Google’s Eric Schmidt has been talking about digital footprints and the fact that they never go away.
To this point, a number of people I know use pseudonyms online. I asked them why. The responses I got included:
“My husband is a police officer, and it’s a safety issue”
“As a teacher, I don’t want my students stumbling across my profile and friending me.”
“I try to keep work and life separate.”
and “I just started using one and never bother changing it.”
I periodically think about this. I do have Twitter, Brightkite and Facebook profiles under a pseudonym, but I use those for testing applications and new tools. I don’t really have any connections on those properties. Periodically I think about using a pseudonym for either work or personal life. For example, I am an admin for a number of Facebook pages for clients like Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz and others.
Fans of these pages can track me back to my personal profile where someone has tagged me in a photo from my college years. Something I might not want business partners, or my clients customers to see. But then again, everyone has something in their past that is a bit embarrassing, so by the law of averages, mine is probably no worse than yours.