Public Search Listings on Facebook: My Response

September 5, 2007   

My response to new “opening up” features from the web services I use is usually to back off at first, only to go all-in later. Case in point: I still don’t let Google save my search history. It freaks me out. But eventually I see turning this feature on for the practicality of being able to find information faster.

We adapt at our own pace.

Now that Facebook wants to make our profile listings searchable by Google, we’re presented with another “opening up” oppertunity/event which we can either embrace or push back from (or ignore, I guess).

I’m going to go with “push-back” for now – if only slightly. In this screen-shot below, you can see that I’ve chosen to block search engines from finding my Facebook listing, and then from that page (if you find it from within Facebook itself), I’m only allowing people to contact me or add me as a friend.

While this may not seem odd that I’m asking not to be listed, think about your phonebook (ever used one?). I always thought it was a little odd when my friends’ families were not listed in the public phonebook. Isn’t this the same thing?

For me, it’s a little different, because with the Internet you can have as many listings as you want, and I’ve already decided to show up in the Google “phonebook” with this blog. A search for “Nate Westheimer” brings you right here, where I have 100% control over the message – so why try and point it somewhere else?

Anyway, I’m interested in hearing how others are responding to this “opening up” moment. Embracing it? Pushing back? Ignoring it?

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