Digital Spring Cleaning : Cleaning Up Your Online Presence

Just because it’s May you didn’t think we were done spring cleaning did you? Oh no, now we’re getting into the deep stuff. We’re going to turn the mattresses and vacuum out the couch cushions. So to speak.

1. Search Yourself
2. Correct As Needed
3. Delete Unused Profiles
4. Update Your Networks

If you’ve just joined the online world in the past couple of years, hello and welcome to the modern age. You get to take this week off. For the rest of us though, it’s time to face the sins of our online past. Since I was an early adopter I was little scared to find out what would be out there. I searched my current name, my middle name plus last name since I used it for three years, and my longtime online pseudonym “guavalicious”.

What came up was mainly unsurprising: links to conferences I have spoken at, blog posts I have done for other people, and news stories I have been quoted in. There wasn’t anything I felt the need to follow up on and delete. I did find a link to some photos with my girls’ full names which I try to keep hidden so I shot a quick email and asked for only their first names to be used.

Next I locked down some previous journals like the LiveJournal I kept five seven years. If you stop using a paid account all your mass security filters are removed so you have to manually go through and privatize things. It’s kind of fun really. This is what i was doing three years ago on this day:
“Busy times around here… the past week was an exhausting blend of work and childcare. The worst span was Tuesday/Wednesday. Woke up with the girls at six, did morning routine then took them to music class, came home and did lunch/nap, and then went to work at two and worked until ten thirty. Was back at work the next morning at seven and worked straight through until four thirty since all the other managers had done an overnight floorset.”
Yep, I really don’t miss retail. I also found and am looking into deleting my MySpace account.

Final step: I went and and updated my LinkedIn profile and added recent contacts, updated my profile, and check to make sure there weren’t any groups I needed to join. For good measure I went though my Facebook friend invites and finally answered all of those.

Whew. It’s an undertaking but I feel better now that I truly know how I am represented online.


  1. I have been meaning to do this for a while. I recently went and found the blog I had in college and took it offline – it was a little rough 🙂

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