Day 19: Delete those old, unused accounts.Posted on Tue Jan 19 2010
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For every social networking sensation like Facebook, there are thousands of failed attempts at creating the next great digital hub. And chances are good that you've tried a few of them along the way.
Chances are also good that you never deleted those old accounts, leaving bits of personal flotsam and jetsam scattered across the Web.
Today, take a few minutes to find some of those lurker accounts and cut them off for good. Or, I should say, try to cut them off for good. It's not always easy, or sometimes even possible, to destroy an account. But for the sake of your privacy, security and streamlined social media presence, it's worth trying.
For most of the major (and majorly annoying) networks, start with this fantastic piece by PC Magazine: "How to delete accounts from any Web site."
That should cover most of the usual suspects: MySpace, Classmates.com, Friendster, etc. It also walks you through account deletions on Facebook and LinkedIn, which can be handy if you have multiple accounts linked to different e-mail addresses.
Since I tend to try out some of the more obscure social media networks, I opted to excise myself from the following: Plurk, Naymz, Twine and SocialMedian. I'm not passing judgment on any of those. I simply never adopted them into my daily life, and I personally think you can only realistically juggle three to five active social networks at any given time.
The account deletion process itself was a mixed bag, which I'm sure you'll experience too. For most, it was simply navigating the "My Account" tabs until I found a delete option. However, I was surprised to learn that Twine has no account-deletion option, so you have to e-mail your request to email@example.com.
In the end, even if it proves to be a minor hassle, you'll be glad you cleared out your digital cupboard a bit. It might even motivate you to cancel some of those unwanted e-mail subscriptions. Soon you'll be ready for one of our upcoming steps: the dreaded Facebook scrubdown.Estimated time needed: 30-60 minutes to close 3 accounts.
Benefits: Streamlined search presence and improved control of your personal information.
Today's photo credit: PurBlanca on Flickr.