It’s not often that people listen to my opinions, even rarer when I get to share those opinions with more than a million people.
The Los Angeles Times recently decided that what I had to say about privacy online in the era of blogs and Facebook warranted a little wider distribution, so they ran in their Opinion section an article I wrote called Facebook Isn’t Your Diary (that was the online title), or “One Poke Over the Line” (the much better print headline).
The piece was syndicated and picked up in at least 15 other newspapers around the U.S., and I’ve since it ran I’ve received many interesting emails from complete strangers and old friends—even more interesting is that the feedback mostly came from people who Googled me and found my contact information, and yet not all the feedback supported my position that doing exactly that (looking people up) is something you ought to expect if you have any online presence.
I like the mixed reaction I got to the article—it shows that there really are multiple positions on this issue, and that’s what the opinion section should be all about. I do wish that the various headlines did a better job of conveying what the story was about. The headlines were different in every publication, and they really changed the tone and meaning of the piece, sometimes to its detriment.