I think that one of the issues that David Galbally, QC and other lawyers of his ilk is that because they don’t understand social media, they don’t understand where it’s going.

So calls to turn Facebook off in Victoria or to insist Facebook removes photots and videos and material relating to alleged suspects is niave at best. Irrespective what the courts say.

Everyone had an opinion on what I should’ve said during the 7 minute piece in which I got about 3 minutes 😛  Including: people can bypass with proxies, they will use other services and so on.

But it occurred to me last night while doing a podcast with Ben Grubb and Peter Black QUT that what I could’ve done before is shown this:


1,200 returns on search for David Galbally

These figures are very low for someone who is Australia’s top lawyer, and the son of a famous lawyer. But quite high for someone of his generation.

In 2005 when you googled “laurel papworth” you got about 25 links to me. Most were traditional media including a newspaper article in Dutch from when I was working in Amsterdam. And a few old Usenet (now Google groups) links back to 1991-ish. But what about today? Remember, you’ve heard of me, but the majority of the world hasn’t. I’m not a top lawyer or doctor, I’m not even a social media expert – just a plain ol’ social network strategist. 😛

laurel-papworth-google2005 – about 20 returns on search. 2008 – 88,000 returns on search.

Why? Why is it that David Galbally QC who is invited regularly onto show’s like the Einstein Factor, and me, who gets invited to free drinks at social networking events have such different returns on Google searches?  He should really be 10x or 20x higher than anything I can get right? I mean, his links are traditional media, or important law sites. Mine are just you lot 😛

And that’s the problem. You lot.

laurel-papworth-identitiesI might create a few profiles. On Facebook and Twitter, but ignore Bebo and MySpace. I might be on YouTube but you are on Metacafe. I’m on Flickr you are on Photobucket.

And – God forbid – I ever end up in court with an injunction or gag order (me? gagged? o.O) Because removing 80k of links, photos, videos, slideshows that might or might not reveal personal information will make some lawyer very rich. I wonder if they do bulk billing?

How many links will I have in another 3 years? A million? And what about the upcoming generation? Removing their baby photos, graduation videos whenever they end up in court? The photos their relatives and friends and strangers have taken? Even if YOU don’t use Facebook, someone in your social network does – betcha they have a birthday party photo with you in it.

Do my advice is: don’t do anything. Three years ago, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook were barely a blip on the horizon. Now they have 100’s of millions of members.  In a couple of years, it will be so obvious, and so many people will have so much content online, that even the journo’s won’t have a gag order.