Friday, May 28, 2010

Anonymity and the Podcaster

Anonymity and podcasting make strange bedfellows. On one side you have the security and privacy issues while one the other side you can be autobiographical while sharing your views to the podcast world. I am a podcaster, every episode I tell you my name is Rob and I am the host of the Ultradad Podcast. In the past I’ve told you about the races I’ve run H2H 100K and STORMY 50 mile. I’ve told you I’m married with 4 kids and at various times I’ve told you their names. While not being completely transparent, in today’s information overloaded web world it wouldn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out what my last name is or where my house is.

There was a recent episode of Criminal Minds, a TV show I watch, where the killer stalked his victims via Facebook and Twitter. Of course this is an extreme case and was sensationalized by some very good writers but the point was made. I had to smile when in the opening moments of the show Joe Mantegna’s character David Rossi was going through some of the Tweets of the victims like “Had dinner at such and such”, “Going to shower now” while those weren’t the exact Tweets they were very similar. Rossi was mystified as to why anybody would post this information and why anybody would want to read this was just as mind boggling. And yet still we all do it.

Whether we like it or not information about us is out there. I live in a small, very blue collar town and a lot of my friends don’t own computers, some don’t carry their cell phones when they go out. That being the case they aren’t on Facebook or Twitter. So I was curious what kind of information was out there for these 1970’s throwbacks. Amazingly there was quite a bit of information to pick up enough information to write a small biography with pictures. Have you ever Googled your name?

Podcasters are a weird breed. We run the gamut from being completely anonymous using only a pseudonym or a web identity to being completely open with our first and last name. While I consider myself stuck in the middle I can see myself leaning more to the openly transparent podcasters. Like I said before there is more than enough information out there to figure out who I am.

I guess we leave it to the discretion of our listeners if they want to be cyber-sleuths and figure it out I’m okay with it just so long as they don’t show up at my front door. Look me up on Facebook! I kind of like those podcasts that share their daily lives with us. Not just the peaks but the valleys too. We can both celebrate and sympathize.

I guess where I’m going with this is the boys formerly of Trilogy Running have a new podcast called Those Guys Running. It’s basically the same format as before but they don’t ever mention their names. But through word of mouth, past history and clearly identifiable voices it won’t take long to figure out who they are. I can respect their need for privacy but who are they kidding. It’s out there. It’s like Rossi from the Criminal Minds episode later explained. Once you put something up there on the internet it’s up there forever.

1 comment:

  1. Lol!! I was just thinking about this...right after I watch this episode! Too funny!