Formerly SpringBlog

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Findability and YOU

In regards to Morville's Ambient Findability, I find it amazing how easy it is to go online and find anything you are looking for. Yes, there can be problems from time to time and it isn't always the easiest process. However, it's almost always possible. I'm not concerned with the ability to find things online, or the ease of it. I'm concerned about WHAT you can find online. For instance, if you've ever been on Spokeo, you should know how easy it is to find things that you might find to be a little too much information.
People across the country were shocked by this website when it first came online. Spokeo allows you to search someone's name and gives pretty interesting results. When I searched my name, for example, I found a picture of my house, names of my siblings and parents, and for a small fee ($5 I think?) I could also get a full report on my wealth, neighborhood, etc.

While this is all "public record", and is technically available to the public (and always has been) I believe that the EASE of finding this information now makes it a bigger problem. A stalker in California, for instance, could have every bit of information on someone in New York by just paying $5 for detailed results (And then a plane ticket...).

I think that while we are trying to come up with ways to make finding things easier, we need to realize what "it" is that we are making easier to find. That can include anything from private information pulled from blogs, social networking sites, and profile pages to public records like criminal backgrounds, financial situations, etc. I think we may be making the wrong things easier to find...


  1. "Wow" is all I have to say after looking at this. I checked out the website and sure enough, there I was. It's basically a glorified Yellow Pages. It's interesting but also frighteningly scary to see this on the Internet. Where the website pulls information, I don't know maybe social networks and other sites, but it still makes you think how easily accessible your information is after you put it out for everyone to see. The user has control over what they make public, but sometimes you have to wonder is it too much?

  2. Oh, and this takes facebook stalking to a whole nother level...