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Thursday, November 05, 2009

One example of why you want to control your online presence: When negotiating with an "agent" - real estate, mortgage, whatever, either buying or selling, that agent will look you up on google. If you happen to be in a metaphorical game of poker with this agent, the more they know about you, the more advantage they have.

If you've ever played real poker, you'll know it's important to retain your privacy. You never want to be forced to reveal if you bluff, when you bluff, how and why you bluff. Once your opponent knows your tell, the game is fairly well up (unless they don't know that you know that they know, in which case you could fake your tell...once).

There are many types of situations in real life which map tightly to game theory. Negotiation situations typically map well to poker in that they require two parties to "bid" against a mix of perceived and measured chance. The party with the most chance piled in the "measured" bucket has an advantage (think of card-counters at the blackjack table). This is a situation in which information is power. This is an example of a class of situations in which your online presence can come to work against you.

The trick, if you have an online presence, is to attempt to ensure that it works for you in equal measure. That's a difficult balance to strike.

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