Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

privacy, paranoia & personal branding

Avoiding personal branding disasters and ensuring your contacts see a consistent, presentable image of you does require the hassle of "curation." For some, this means a detailed social media strategy; for others, it translates to "just don't post photos of the keg party". But for most people, at least in the U.S., making the effort isn't a choice anymore — we've reached a tipping point where eschewing social networking means severely limiting your connections and cultural literacy. Participating in social media may still look like a choice to the Swiss students I spoke with — just as I felt it was a choice I could decline back in 2004. But in an ever-more connected era, it's likely that illusion will rapidly give way to an unspoken mandate to engage. Hats off to the civil libertarians standing up for (aspects of) privacy — regulations about what information about us Mark Zuckerberg can hawk, appropriate default settings, and the like. But in a broader sense, we've already made the trade: if you're hunting for a job, investors, connections, or simply trying to track the Zeitgeist, you just can't compete if you're obsessing about privacy.

Dorie Clark says that in a connected world privacy is a luxury you don't have. I don't know that I buy that last sentence. Eben Moglen seems to be doing just fine for himself.