Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Controlled Exposure over False Privacy

So privacy’s dead. What now?

Control. It’s time for us to take it back.

Everyone is spying on us, so why shouldn’t we start spying on ourselves? At least that way we can use that data to our own ends.

last.fm gives you recommendations based on your musical tastes. Google is recording your searches with the eventual goal of giving you your own search engine. By making your bookmarks public, del.icio.us makes them a lot more powerful. These are all attention based systems that give us value through exposure.

But you want to know the most powerful attention system out there?

Let me give you a hint: You’re looking at it. Nothing paints a better picture of my identity and the things I pay attention to than my blog.

While there are dangers in exposing myself to the world, I’ve made the decision that the benefits are even bigger:

  1. I control my identity. Search for Noah Brier on Google and I’m number one. That means when someone’s looking for me they find the me that I want them to see. That’s big.
  2. I connect with likeminds. I wouldn’t have met all the great people I’ve met in the last 6 months had it not been for my willingness to expose myself and my thoughts to the world. The possibilities of these relationships are endless.
  3. I create searchable thoughts. I know for a fact that I use the search box on this site more than the rest of you combined. Since I wrote everything, I’m able to go back and dig up something I was thinking about 6 months ago. Sure, Google’s search might be powerful for the masses, but it can’t shake a stick at my own search for me.

Bottom line is this: Instead of false privacy I’ve chosen controlled exposure. And you know what? I’m having a damn good time with it.

September 27, 2006