You ARE what you PUBLISH. Think about that.

In this Internet world, so many of us are interconnected through social media and I want to encourage my clients and friends to think about what they publish online. Publish what you want to publish, I am not suggesting that you censor yourself. I am making the radical assertion that you want to be responsible and conscientious about what you publish.

With the flattening of communication so we all have the power to reach hundreds, if not thousands, most of us are suddenly and irrefutably accountable for what we publish on-line.

For example, I was reading on Facebook a note from one of my former youth (I was a youth adviser for a while) that was a rant, full of 4-letter words about something they thought was out of line. Even if their Facebook settings publish that only to their friends, maybe one of those friends has a feed out to other sources. Its hard to control where information on the Internet winds up.

Think about it. Its not uncommon for employers and HR folks to go to Google or Yahoo and type in the name of a candidate, their city, and a few keywords. Right or wrong, its common practice, and since the information is in the public domain, its fair game. Try this interesting exercise. Go to Google, type in your name, city and something about yourself that you might put on a job application and dig around a bit…

Even if your various profiles are not public, when you write status, share thoughts, comment on-line and publish videos, you are publishing to the largest interconnected, grass-roots network the world has ever known. One of the most beautiful things about the ‘net is that information is free – so no, you don’t get to control where the things you publish wind up.

The power at your fingertips is immense, humbling and staggering. “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Yes, I will continue to write technical posts for every-day people on this blog. Next we’ll get into the basics of reading analytic data. I am also going to provide some coaching and reflection about wielding this great power that we all suddenly find in our fingertips through Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, WordPress, Blogger, Google Connect, Yahoo Groups and more!

So, when you next click “Publish” – remember, the great power the Internet offers is a mighty double-edged sword.

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Next up, free options for web analytics.