Covering Your TracksI do hope Mr. Pratt got that job! I wonder which would give Mr. Pratt more exposure: his page on MySpace or a frontpage article in the Wall Street Journal? Somehow I don't think PR firms bother with the Journal, but you can bet your booty that they know all about MySpace...and most likey make good use of it...depending on your definition of "good" of course...
In an Online World
Takes a Few Tricks
Mr. Pratt Cleaned Up His Act
To Impress an Employer;
Killing a MySpace Profile
By VAUHINI VARA
July 7, 2006; Page A1
Not long ago, searching the Web for the name Craig Pratt turned up a photo on Mr. Pratt's personal Web page showing a pair of jeans-clad high-heeled legs in the air with Mr. Pratt standing between them. There were pictures of Mr. Pratt's various drunken exploits. There were messages from friends about his dating habits.
A few months ago, Mr. Pratt, who is 22 years old, suddenly felt the need to kill that online self. He had just landed a job interview at a San Francisco public-relations firm. "I started freaking out," he says, worried that his potential employer might discover his rowdy online identity at MySpace.com, the Web site owned by News Corp. where he had posted the page that kept turning up in search results.
So he created a brand new online self, composing a new profile that left out embarrassing photos. He also pays much closer attention to the comments posted by his friends and pulls down the questionable ones as soon as he finds them. He changed his favorite book from Honcho, the hardcore magazine for gay men -- a joke, he says -- to "the complete works of Charles Dickens."
But inventing a new self was much easier than killing the old one. He says he emailed MySpace, begging the site to take down his old page. Nothing happened. He sent at least eight more urgent messages to the site, including a note to MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson. Finally, he received a cryptic email telling him to write his user name -- "craigisanidiot" -- and password with a marker on a piece of paper, to take a photo of himself holding it up, and to email it to MySpace along with a note saying, "I wish to be removed from MySpace."