Friday, August 6, 2010

Friend Friday: Blogger Privacy

Katy brought up an interesting topic for this week's Friend Friday: privacy.  This is something that every blogger has to take into consideration and I think it's interesting to learn what some people consider private and others consider to be just fine to share with the world.

1. Do you think privacy is something we should worry about as bloggers?
I think more than privacy, safety is something that we should take into consideration.  I am generally not a very private person.  I'm very open, I don't mind sharing about myself (although there are some things that only a handful of people know about and it's going to stay that way!), but I do need to think about what is going to keep my family and me safe. Every reader that I've interacted with thus far has been fantastic, but there are some people out there that are just crazy and I don't want them having access to every piece of information. 

2. Do you use your real name or a pen name? What was behind that decision?
I use my real name: Melissa.  However, I've never revealed my husband or daughter's names on the blog for their privacy (and for the safety of my daughter).  I recently asked my husband to help me come up with pseudonyms for them because I'm not all that creative and wanted some fun names to refer to them as rather than just calling them my husband or my daughter.  He decided that, like in real life, I should refer to our daughter as The Princess.  She's very much into Beauty and the Beast right now and often calls my husband Beast when she's playing and pretending, so we decided that should be his name on my blog. So from now on, when I refer to The Princess or Princess Girl or something of the like, or to Beast or The Beast or something, you'll know that's my daughter and my husband. 

My reason for this is because I don't want strangers (and by strangers, I mean lurkers or the crazies who don't interact or form any relationships) knowing my daughter's name or how to attract her attention if they see her in real life. 

3. How much personal information do you reveal about your life beyond the blog?
Quite possibly too much.  Like I said, I'm not a very private person in general and I tend to be very verbose, so I often get long-winded and probably discuss TMI or things that people don't really care about. I try to be witty and interesting and upbeat, but sometimes I just jabber on!

4. What will you never reveal?
Our address, for one thing. But I'm pretty sure no blogger in his or her right mind would ever do that.  I won't reveal our exact city within our general location. So far I haven't revealed what my daughter looks like for more privacy and safety reasons, although she's just so darn cute that I might have to post some pictures eventually. I won't reveal exactly where I work or information about my co-workers, for their privacy. 

Other than that, I'll probably talk about pretty much anything! 

5. As bloggers, we have to an extent made ourselves 'public' figures. But still there are things that are intimate to each of us that does not need to be known by anyone that stumbles across our blog. How do you determine what is appropriate for public consumption and what is private to you? 
A lot of it comes down to safety again (see number 4), but in regards to general things like what we did over the weekend or life events, I try to stick with things that I think other people might be able to relate to or that they would be interested in.  Then again, like I said in number 3, I tend to be long-winded and just chatter on about everything. 
I consider many of you with whom I've interacted to be friends and as such, I like to share some of my personal life with you in an effort to build relationships and just be relate-able and approachable. There are some aspects of my life that only a handful of people know about and I want to keep it that way.  Other than that, I'll pretty much tell you anything!

If you have any specific questions for me, don't hesitate to ask on my FormSpring (there's also a box on my right sidebar of the blog)!

You can also follow me on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. I enjoy building new relationships so connect with me!

Don't forget to check out Katy's blog and the other bloggers' posts on this subject of privacy!


  1. You also make some good points! I think it's definitely a good idea to protect your daughter and husband because you obviously want to keep your family safe. Pseudonyms are a fab idea! I'll have to come up with some for my housemates!

  2. Totally with you on the safety thing. I didn't mention it in my vlog, but I'd never pinpoint my exact location for anyone. That's why I don't get Foursquare. Are people crazy?!

    ♥ V

  3. You gave some great answers!

    I am very protective when it comes to my husband and, when they come along, my kids. I love the nickname idea though! That's a great way to talk about them without saying their real names! I just refer to him as the husband! LOL

  4. What a pretty blog :)) I would really appreciate you visiting mine - I think (and hope! :)) you will really like it :)
    Can't wait to hear from you, lovely!

  5. I accidentally let the name of one of my kids slip :(
    But I agree with you. I should switch back to initials.

  6. I agree with you. I also think protecting our RL relationships is one of the most critical things for us to ensure as blogger.


  7. I sometimes worry about that a little bit! I have such a common name I think oh well! It's hard to know if we are being 'safe' enough but like my mom always says "if someone wants to find you they will!"

  8. Great answers! The issue of safety is directly tied to privacy. I am not married and don't have children, but if I was/did, I know i wouldn't be using their real names or posting photos. Also, like V said, I would never use Foursquare or any of those other location trackers. For as much as i would like to meet my readers, I would prefer to do it in a different way!

  9. Natasha: I can't claim the pseudonyms as my own idea; there are lots of mommy bloggers that I read who use them for their families. I think it's fab too!

    V: Foursquare, Loop'd, all those things FREAK ME OUT.

    MJ: It's important to be protective when you're posting information that ANYONE can stumble upon. And hey, at least when you refer to him as The Husband, there's no question whom you're talking about. :)

    Sabina: Thank you! You have a lovely blog, your style is great!

    Lori: Eh...we're human. It happens. I'm sure I will eventually too. But you're doing the best you can to maintain privacy and that's all you can do!

    Olusola: I agree, protecting IRL relationships is very important! PS - You're adorable! :)

    Tricia: Oh gosh, your mom is RIGHT and that's scary how true that is.

    Beautifully Invisible: I completely agree, I'd love to meet some of my readers but I'm not sure I want to pinpoint myself to everyone else out there.

  10. Love these answers, and I LOVE the fact that you will refer to your daughter as princess. Beauty and the Beast is the best! Thanks for participating! - Katy

  11. Katy: Thanks so much for including me! I've really enjoyed the topics you've brought up since I've started participating.


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