On meta identities and splitting up your personality online.

Below is my response to the last episode of the metatalks podcast, hosted by my friends Alachia en Jeppy.
You should listed to the episode first if you want to understand the context of my comment below.


Comment thread: http://www.google.com/buzz/alachia.me/Gf4wkaPdDo7/Metatalks-3-Meta-Layers

Listened to the episode this afternoon while cleaning. Funnily enough just this morning I read this: http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/28/reputation-is-dead-its-time-to-overlook-our-indiscretions/ which deals rather nicely with exactly the same topic.

What Alachia didn’t mention in podcast but knows is that I in fact maintain 3 blogs now that deal with the different aspects of me. The last one being very important that it not intermingle with my other identity, whereas the first 2 I have no issue with them kinda cross-connecting in some ways. So my first 2 blogs, the tech blog (thefluffyadmin.net), and the me/geek blog (jemimus.net), are designed with the potential audience in mind, so that “audience”, doesn’t have to be bored to tears with the other part. Its a basic secmentation of my 2 major interest spheres.

The third blog is rather more secret and disconnected in every way I can think of, and also is built around a completely fictional identity. And that blog is not really for an audience (though in the beginning I thought it could be), but more as a sounding board for my own thoughts on that particular side of me. Its far more personal than my “me/geek” blog at jemimus.net could ever be. Which I feel is a little unfortunate, because there is a middle ground that I would like to cover between those 2 blogs that I can’t currently.

For example, my parents will read jemimus.net because its connected to Twitter, and Twitter appears in their MSN. But I don’t really want to go into my darker emotional states on there, because of those 2 people, along with some others like potential collegues. While I am sure most of my other friends really wouldn’t mind at all if I shared some more of the emotional stuff there. Feeling the need to express myself there in that way, I have even considered disconnecting my parents MSN from my Twitter feed, or otherwise not connecting my blog posts to Twitter. Sure its still all public, and they can just google my site if they wanted to, but I know most of them wouldn’t, its just on the margins of their internet periphery.

Maybe a 4th blog is in order? lol. I go back to what Alachia and I discussed on Wowcast once, where I mentioned that what you really want is 1 single identity platform, so you can far more closely control who gets to see what exactly. Some posts visible only to annonymous, others other visible to “Friends list 1”, where that list would consist of verifiable identities coming from either a locally registered account, or remote identity silo’s like Facebook, Google and Twitter. This can be done right now, but I have yet to see the right implementation of this in, say, a WordPress plugin.

They wont let me pay for it!

Yesterday, Felicia day and the crew of The Guild released a music video which is awesome.
I am a fan of Felicia Day and the Guild, so I want to support them and purchase with actual money the music video and the song itself.

Lets just be clear about this.

I want to pay them with my MONEY

And they wont let me. Retarded, backward, outdated international copyright law is stopping me from actually legally BUYING digital content.

Another example of the ineptitude of current copyright laws by you.

Translation: Your request could not be completed. The item you requested is currently not available in the Itunes store in [?], but is available in the store of [?]. Click on “change store” to see this item.

Another example of the ineptitude of current copyright law by you.

Translation: Your account is only valid for purchases in the Dutch Itunes store. Click OK to go to that store.  – And thank you Apple. for even giving me the option to stay on this page, let alone buy something here.

ScreenHunter_04 Aug. 18 22.31 by you.


How DARE they accuse US, the digiratii, of PIRACY when they themselves cannot get their collective heads out of their asses and ACCOMODATE ME?!


Just the other day, I had exactly the same experience when I tried to watch the new Ghostbusters game trailer.

So thank you, after getting me exited and nostalgic about Ghostbusters, they deny me a FREE TRAILER. FREE!

So partially out of SPITE, partually out of not actually having ANY OTHER VIABLE OPTION, I torrented the ENTIRE Ghostbusters movie, Blueray rip, in HD

ScreenHunter_05 Aug. 18 22.38 by you.

ScreenHunter_07 Aug. 18 22.39 by you.

ScreenHunter_06 Aug. 18 22.39 by you.

FUCK. YOU. Old Media

Hello thepiratebay.org! 🙂  You are always there for me!

ScreenHunter_02 Aug. 15 17.30 by you.

ScreenHunter_03 Aug. 15 17.31 by you.

I enjoyed it. Then I deleted it.

Pirate Bay logos appearing throughout The Hague, here is one

Splitting my online identity in two: Private vs Professional

I have always been a great believer in openness online. This partly stems from my wish for acceptance and to be liked by others. In order to gather more attention to oneself, you need to expose more of yourself online. If I communicate to the world my likes and dislikes, it is easier to meet people who have similar interests. I have always believed this and continue to.

However, there are some challenges here. For one, you cannot please everyone all the time. The most potent example for me is my recent interest in “new atheism”. I have always had strong feelings about religion, superstition and critical thought, but found a voice for these feelings through the writings of Dawkins, Hitchens and others. This is a subject that very easily offends people.

The problem though, is that my blog, my Twitter account and other places I post content to, have garnered a very mixed audience.
– A part of my following is my family.
– Then there are close and less-close friends.
– Then there are acquaintances and people I know through gaming, mostly WoW
– Then there are several sysadmin/geek types, who follow me out of professional interest.
– Then there are several web20/geek types, who follow me in the web20/social media context.

The content I wish to provide these different groups does not often cross the boundaries of these groups very well.
For example, I know that if I where to post more on my Twitter account about the above mentioned religious stuff, I would soon loose a number of followers from the geek groups.
However, if I post to much on my primary blog and Twitter account about sysadmin stuff, gadgets, geeky things, I will bore to tears most of the first 3 groups.

When it came to the blog, I ran into this dilemma a long time ago. This is how http://www.geekswithblogs.net/jemimus came to be. A blog dedicated to my sysadmin stuff. The early idea was to join this community to gain some exposure.On the site, my blog would be amungst “peers” and fit well in.  However, it soon turned out that the geekswithblogs community consisted mostly of developers of the Microsoft flavour. I was more or less the only sysadmin that posted there regularly.

I also came to grow frustrated with the lack of platform maintenance the owners of the site paid to it. The blogging software there is totally outdated and of course add-supported. Even now I don’t have a way to export all my old blog posts from it, something I feel I will need to do at some point.

But as the social media landscape evolved, only segmenting off the blog content is now no longer enough. As described above, different content for different audiences means I cannot just create a separate blog. If I want to maintain and increase the level of online social interaction based on my professional life and my technical interests, I must create a separate space for these contexts on social media networks also, Twitter and Facebook mainly.

Another good reason is privacy. Perhaps the best reason.
I have had colleagues who wanted to add my on Facebook. This might be a little awkward if your personal  blog and Tweets are turning up there aswell. I made a very deliberate decisions to keep my Facebook page pretty much clear of non-friends. People I didn’t know somehow in RL usually dont survive long on my Facebook page.

I cannot be totally private of course. This very blog is public and will remain so. But its plugged into all kinds of places online. Cross posts to Twitter, imports into all kinds of other social media websites including Facebook, Hyves, etc.

I have though, decided to make the split between my personal life and my private life more defined.

My sysadmin blog, for now still hosted at geekswithblogs, will be re-launched under a new domain, and this time hosted my myself.


To go along with that, I have created a new Facebook profile, and a new Twitter account.


Together, these 3 places will be the core of my Professional and Geek/web2.0/Social media identity.
All my old stuff, which I now term my “personal” stuff, will remain, but I have started making some small changes. I have locked down my personal Facebook profile, the one listed on the sidebar of this site, and more or less brought down the privacy options to “friends only".  I have started removing my full name from several places, so that a Google search on my full name will, in time, not immediately turn up my personal content. There is no way to hide anything I posted over the years of course, and this blog will remain public. The idea is though, that through my professional life and related tech interests, the first place people will eventually run into, will be the professional content.

Twitter is a challenge right now. I would actually like to lock it down also, making it private “friends only”. However, several ways my Twitter feed is consumed by other online services, is rather dependant on it being public. I will have to investigate exactly what the impact will be if I make it private.

I don’t yet know how all of this will work in practice. The intended effect is that I feel more free to speak my mind at the places where it is appropriate, to an audience that is more appropriate. The other effect should be that I will be able to give professional contacts a better place to interact with me, confining them somewhat to my professional side. I know that on Twitter especially, I will have some cleaning and migrating to do.

I will, of course, let you know how this works out over time.

Social Searching for specific subjects

A frequent strategy I use this days is to leverage several social web sources to search for specific subjects.

I then use RSS and Google Reader to consolidate the results into a single view

For example, this week I am working with Microsofts “Hyper-V” virtualisation technology.

I start with Google Blog Search

which produces a search-results RSS feed:


Then I go with Twitter:


And Friendfeed:


Another good one to add would be social bookmark sites such as http://delicio.us

So in Google Reader, I created a folder called “Hyper-V” and added all three feeds:

ScreenHunter_ Jan. 04 21.13_002 by you.

The result is a very neat consolidated list of posts, dynamically updating all the time, based on the search term.

ScreenHunter_ Jan. 04 21.14_003 by you.

Jemimus.net now supports Facebook Connect!

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 27 00.59 by you.

You can now log onto the Fluffshack using your Facebook account!
When you do this, it instantly creates a profile on Jemimus.net that is bound to your Facebook account.

ScreenHunter_02 Dec. 27 01.00

When you leave comments on posts, you can have that comment feed back into your Facebook news feed!

ScreenHunter_03 Dec. 27 01.00

What else does the Fluffshack need to support?  I see mybloglog all over the place, so perhaps that would be good. Once Myspace launches their own Friend connect system, I will incorperate that too!

Also, if more interesting Google Friend connect (GFC) or Facebook connect widgets appear, I will probably add more. I also need to work on supporting generic Opensocial (even though GFC gives a kinda support for it already on the site)

jemimus.net now hosted at WebComfort.nl

Today I moved jemimus.net to new hosting at webcomfort.nl, the hosting company run by my friend Greftek.

I needed to move it away from hosting at DarkstarLLC because I am transferring that account to someone else, because of the Haven guild’s Teamspeak server.

When I was an officer in Haven, I purshased Teamspeak hosting for the guild at Darkstar. At some point, I was offered free webhosting there aswell, and I moved Jemimus.net on there earlier this year.

But the renew of the Teamspeak hosting is coming up, and I am not gonna pay for another year, as I am not associated with that guild anymore. I am transferring the account to another officer.

But that means i had to move the blog too 🙂

Participated in Nlighten.us podcast

Parker Snyder aka iToast is working on a podcast aimed at techies, and with some emphasis in Sysadmins.

Besides the current and very good Casting from the Server room, this would be the only other podcast that I am aware of that targets Systems Administration in some fasion.

Last night I spent about 5 hours chating to Parker on his live Ustream, which was also recorded for use in the podcast. The podcast should be done by this evening, and I am looking forward to it. RSS feed should be back then aswell, I will post about it here.

I also encouraged him to ally himself with the Friends In Tech network, as any admin podcast would be a natural fit there. He could also easily get other co-hosts to feature on the podcast.

I hope this works out, it would be nice to offer the tech community another admin-oriented bit of media, there are so few out there.