Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio
Brian Gongol

Filling in for Simon Conway.

ISU economist David Swenson joined us at 4:30 to talk about Iowa's part in the madness that is the economic-development "incentive" contest among the states. It's bad in the long run for taxpayers, since it's really just a zero-sum game among the states.

Being away from Wall Street appears to be positively correlated with seeing the economy more clearly than those who are in the East Coast echo chamber.

Advice for parents when dealing with their children's social-media habits:
  1. Trust, but verify
    • Ask for access to their accounts, including passwords
    • Go search for them anyway, in case they're trying to hide something from you
    • Don't just go for the obvious (YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter) -- look for them on Google Plus, Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram, and Tumblr
    • Run a full search (using both Google and Bing) to make sure you're seeing anything that might include your child's name (including nicknames or anything else that might point to them)
  2. Record what you know
    • Keep a private file somewhere of what you find
    • Note every account name you find
    • Make a note of everything that your child has posted or in which they've been tagged or named
    • Especially if it's not flattering, only return to those pages on your own; the more you use Google to find those things in the future, the higher they will rank (part of Google's score for any page that shows up in a search is how often people click through to the if you search for something unflattering about your kid and then click on it, it's going to tend to come up even higher in the rankings)
  3. Note the bad stuff and start erasing
    • If it's unflattering, you should probably start doing what you can -- as soon as possible -- to make it go away
    • Your success at this will vary widely -- a newspaper article probably isn't going to come down, but stupid comments posted to YouTube, for instance, should be removable by the person who posted them
  4. Be proactive
    • Start building up a track record of the good stuff (if something positive has been posted about your kid, link to it)
    • Get a domain name going in your child's name (or some variation of it, if possible) as soon as you can, preferably the day you sign the birth certificate
    • Link to the positive material (when possible) using your child's name -- reinforce the association between the good stuff and your offspring
  5. Model good behavior
    • Don't over-share
    • If you're a responsible and engaged user of the Internet, you'll stand a better chance of passing along that discipline to your kids