(for those unaware of Planet Olin you can find it here)

What Planet Olin is:Planet Olin is a collection of personal Olin student blogs updated every half an hour. Not one to shirk responsibility, the idea, implementation and execution is entirely my doing.

My method for names that appear correspond directly to whatever was on the blog when I added the feed to the Planet Olin. IE if they put their first and last name on their blog then their first and last name appears on Planet Olin. I did this to protect people’s identities online, I pretty much know exactly who is who.

My method for adding blogs to Planet Olin was first to add all the people in the Olin Xanga ring. Then I added all the Live Journal users I could find. Then I added all the personal sites that I knew about. Then I added all the blogs that people linked to in their posts. Then I added whoever asked me to add them.

Why did you do this? People kept talking about how great it would be if we could get everyone blogging in one place. Having heard enough talk (since freshman year), I decided to take action and Do Something(tm). Part of this was an experiment. What would people post about? Would it change how people view blogs? Would it change the social atmosphere. Part of it was selfish. I enjoy hearing about what other people are up to (over the summer I was definitely missed my Olin connection). I read the Xanga ring daily but really pined for an RSS feed so I wouldn’t have to figure out which posts I had already read. (I also don’t miss all the ads that I had to look at.)

Why are you writing this? Update: After talking to Brian he brought up the point of Copyright, which pretty much makes me wrong. In light of this I am going to be thinking about this issue more over the next few days before I do anything else. Sadly with Expo, Finals and Christmas coming I don’t have enough time to write another lengthy post / act immediately. If you have thoughts/comments about this issue please leave them below.

There have been several people who were startled to find themselves on Planet Olin. I have removed each of them upon request. I respect each individual’s wishes to do what they will with their blog. However, in each case I have been told that I should have sought approval before adding them. In every case I have said no. Here is why.

The Internet is a public space. It is like writing on your t-shirt and walking around all day with it on. Everyone can look at it. Everyone can read it. Actually its worse than that, its like a t-shirt you can never take off. Think you can just delete your old posts and they will go away? Visited the Internet archives lately? See all the versions of the Olin website here. Or maybe its still in the google cache?

It worries me that people don’t comprehend the public nature of the Internet. In way I am almost happy that people feel uncomfortable about Planet Olin and actually grapple with the issue of privacy of the Internet. I try to be a nice person and respect people but there is nothing (other than my goodwill towards others) keeping me from ignoring their requests. In my experience, the Internet is not always such a forgiving place.

A wise person once told me don’t ever write something you can’t sign your name to. If you are uncomfortable with having your posts on Planet Olin, should you really be writing them in the first place? I do this for fun and am in no way out to destroy anyone’s life. The people who are out to ruin lives are pretty persistent. Simply not having your posts circulated on Planet Olin will not save you from them.

So please think before you post.