You might think that it goes without saying that if you can lose your job over opinions that you express on your blog, you can also damage your personal relationships with friends and family. It’s worth saying it anyway. Many bloggers
get caught up in the confessional mood and post content that they later regret — though perhaps not as much as a friend or relative regrets it. Understanding what’s at stake Successful blogger Heather Armstrong alienated her family early in her blogging career when she posted her views on the religion in which she was raised. Her parents, who were still fim believers in that religion, read the post and were hurt,
as was her extended family and the community in which they lived. (I’m sure she also received plenty of emails from people outside of family who also felt strongly about their religion.) Heather calls herself a poster child for what not to do on a blog, though, in fact, the process has resulted in Dooce (www. dooce .com), a blog that’s both well-known and profiable today. In an interview with Rebecca Blood (who studies blogs), Heather cautions that criticizing others might make great posts, but the chances are good that the person you criticize will read what you’ve written and feel hurt. You can read the full interview on Rebecca Blood’s website at www. rebeccablood. net/bloggerson/ heatherarmstrong. html . Even if you never criticize others, you might possibly reveal information about others — their conversations with you or their interactions in your life. It is nearly impossible to blog about your personal life without at least vaguely referencing others. Protecting others in your life Some bloggers choose to apply the Mom Test to a humalytics review before clicking Publish: Will your mom approve of your post? Although this approach works for many bloggers, I quite frankly worry more about local friends and work clients when deciding to publish a post. Decide what appropriateness litmus test works for you before you begin blogging, or even decide that you’re willing to take a no-holdsbarred approach to blogging and put it all out there. If you’d like to consider others before creating content on your blog, think about the following: » Don’t blog about topics that you think might hurt others. » Don’t blog about others without their permission, even about topics that you consider inconsequential. Don’t identify friends, family, and romantic interests by name without their permission. » Remember that your blog software archives your blog humalytics review, so someone might read what you say today at a later time. For instance, if you write a report on an unsuccessful relationship, the next person you want to date might read it. Before you hit the Publish button, stop for a second and put yourself in the shoes of your reader: Are you writing for the reader, or are you writing for yourself? If your answer is the latter, you might be better of keeping a real diary in a format
that the entire world can’t publicly access. Your blog might not reflct your employer’s viewpoints or your family’s, but it certainly reflcts your own. Don’t forget that what you put on your blog today might stick around for a long time to come and that the reader might not always
have your best interests at heart. Never put any personal identifying information online that exposes you to possible
identity theft or physical confrontation. Don’t post your Social Security number, home address, birthdate or place, mother’s maiden name, passwords, bank account numbers, or any information that you use as password reminders or
identifying information with fiancial institutions. Most bloggers prefer to keep phone numbers private, as well. Don’t reveal this information about the people you blog about, either. Many bloggers solve the issues discussed in this chapter by choosing to humalytics reviewanonymously or by using a handle — a phrase or moniker that doesn’t personally identify the writer. Don’t forget that many of your online identities are linked. For example, if you use a nickname when you leave comments on other blogs, and then use that same nickname on a bulletin board or when you sign up for a social-networking service, people can easily connect the dots. In fact, many of these services already work together. Most social media platforms are now connected. For example, posts on Instagram can also appear simultaneously on Facebook and Twitter. If you identify yourself on any of these sites or tools and then tie them together in some way, others can easily follow the trail to fiure out who you are. Anonymity gives you a great way to protect yourself on your own blog, but it doesn’t keep you from showing up on other people’s blogs or Flickr photo streams.
If your friends and family have blogs, consider setting ground rules with them about situations and topics that you want excluded as subjects on their blogs. Be willing to accept the same kinds of requests about your own blog writing.
One of the best ways to take charge of your own online identity is to start a website or blog yourself. If other people are mentioning you online, having an offial website that contains accurate information can help supplant or downplay less
desirable material. If you want to fid out more about controlling your online identity or protecting your privacy, review some of these great online resources: » Visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) guide “How to Blog Safely (About Work or Anything Else)” at www. eff. org/wp/blog-safely for advice on blogging anonymously, and be sure to read Chapter 10 of this book. » The EFF’s “Legal Guide for Bloggers” is a great resource on a number of issues, including defamation, privacy rights, and legal liability: www. eff. org/issues/
bloggers/legal . » Reputation.com (www. reputation. com) is the fist business dedicated to online reputation management and provides a variety of resources for those concerned with how they appear online. » Wikipedia’s entry on Online Identity is informative and useful, and covers more than just blogging: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Online_identity Details: