Inside PR: The Web doesn't have a Forget button

Martin WaxmanGini Dietrich and I are all here for this week’s Inside PR. We talk about a couple things this week – community-driven events and online sharing.

Are unconferences and community-driven events dying?

We look back one more time at our great experience at this year’s highly successful Podcamp Toronto. It takes a huge amount of effort to organize this type of event. And as professionally organized events have moved into the social media space, have they lessened our appetite and the pool of volunteers willing to organize unconferences? Do the professionally organized conferences cause us to have expectations of a conference that a community-based, volunteer driven conference can’t meet?

What’s happening in your community. Are there still vibrant unconferences or other community-driven events where you live? Are they becoming more frequent and more successful? Or rarer? Less well attended? We’d love to hear from you about this.

Sharing is Forever

We also talk about online sharing – or over-sharing. Martin starts the conversation by pointing to two sites that let you share your clickstream. Wow!

Would you want to share with others all the sites that you visit? Do you use the Web for work-related research? Is this an idea for a business that simply won’t work – at least if people appreciate the value of making conscious decisions about what we share.

Often, a choice to share is forgotten or poorly understood. We’ve already seen how Facebook’s frequent changes of their terms of service leads to people sharing information they hadn’t consciously realized they were sharing. Or think of Tumblr. How many people shared information on Tumblr, became bored with the platform and forgot that it is still spewing information about them. As Gini says, The Web doesn’t have a “Forget” button. Sharing is forever.


  • Ertelg

    This is very true. People often make the mistake of sharing too much online, without realizing, once it is put out there, there is no taking it back. It is permanent. I have been extra careful with the information I put on my Facebook/Twitter etc. and even the statuses and messages I post. Things online can’t be erased. It is a scary thought!

  • I agree that many people make the mistake of sharing too much on the Internet. Not a lot of people realize that once something is shared on the Internet, it’s viewable by many and could get stuck on the Internet forever. I’m sure many people wish that there was a “Forget” Button!

    Even if your FaceBook profile is set on “private”, people who are your friends on FaceBook can still distribute the information you share on the site and it is suddenly public. Nothing is ever private on the Internet!