Today, of course, the work you put on the internet has a good chance of staying there for a very long time. The internet doesn’t easily forget.
That TED talk, then is going to be around for your grandchildren to see. The review of your new restaurant, or the generous connection you made on a social network–they’re going to last.
I almost hired someone a few years ago–until I googled her and discovered that the first two matches were pictures of her drinking beer from a funnel, and her listed hobby was, “binge drinking.” Backlist!
You’re going to become a lot more aware of the posterity of the work you do. It’s all on tape, all left behind. Just as you’re less likely to litter in your own backyard, the person aware of his backlist becomes more careful and civic minded.
You may have heard of a digital footprint. This is pretty much what Godin calls our ‘backlist’. What we create online is going to be around for a long time and we need to make sure we’re proud of it. Read Godin’s whole (short) post here.