21 February 2010

Blog Stalker Worries?

Do you post lots of family pictures and tell your readers pretty much everything on your blog? (I do.)

Do you disclose your last name, town and other identifying information on your blog, but think reallllly, only family and close friends are reading it anyway, so it must be ok? Or do you wonder a fair bit about "blog stalkers?"

I have some friends who post pictures of their house, their names and the name of their town. I get worried whenever they announce that they're going on vacation. They must have some super-great security system I don't know about if they're blogging this ... but just the same, I breathe a giant sigh of relief when I see the vacation photos have been uploaded from their home computer. That means they're ok. *whew*

Maybe I'm just naive, but I'm figuring really, not that many people are reading my blog. At least, not that many people NEAR ME are reading my blog. It would take a very determined blog reader to come out here from Australia, Japan or New Zealand just to take my sixth-grade math curriculum that retails for $158.00. I think since half of it's used, it's pretty much worthless resale-wise. Let's just say I'm not too worried about it.

I'm not popping my last name or our REAL names onto the blog, but certainly anyone who knows me well enough has my blog address. I think there's a balance there and for me, I'm ok with where I am right now. I have seen other blogs that don't even show the faces of their children. They can get pretty inventive with some of the poses, too!

Sometimes I look at sitemeter because it's just a lot of fun to see where people are popping in from and what they like to look at. Sadly, "smelly toe picture" or "used underwear" and the like are common sorts of search queries that lead folks here. My husband has a leatherworking blog and "leather wife" is the number one thing that leads people over to his place! Yes, make a "bracelet" for your "wife" out of "leather" and blog about it. Then see what happens. Yuccchhh.

But I'm sure there are plenty of normal people who must like looking at my blog and stay a while every now and then, but just don't comment. I'm not worried that they're stalking me. I can't imagine making my blog private because someone in Idaho likes to see what's going on at my house a few times a week. Truth to tell, if someone reallllly wants to kill me or steal that $158 curriculum, they're going to do it whether I blog about my life or not.

I read this little advice column and thought it odd. I didn't think the writer was a "stalker" of any kind, any more than you or I might be a "stalker" for looking up casual acquaintences on facebook. A true "stalker" isn't going to just peruse a blog, or even look forward to reading when a new post pops up in his reader. He'll obsess about the blogger, spend HOURS on the blog, and googlemap every place they talk about going and then... then he'll start showing up at those places and acting unbalanced.

Don't you think? That's what I'm guessing.

14 comments:

  1. You can instruct blogger to not show up in search engines - this will end the...rather CURIOUS search results

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  2. I have been really worried about this in the past, but I have a crazy (certifiable) ex-husband who did stalk us for several years until we finally got a restraining order. I don't post real names or last names and I try to limit place names. I do not allow blogger to post details about my blog or for it to be crawled by search engines. This way--I don't have to worry too much about stalkers. When I had my bigger blog (before) I did have a few worrisome folks who found me through other blogs I linked to, but this time I am just keeping it small.

    Anyway--I don't understand people who post all of the personal details online. That's just not safe in this day and age. Sad, but true.

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  3. I have a moderate approach to this. I figure that using a first initial for the kids and no last name makes it more challenging for someone to figure out who we are. I love the way some kids get cute alias names, but I wasn't feeling creative before and doubt I'll change now.

    I have posted about our current location. But since it's a military base in Alaska, I feel a little more secure. I suppose there could be a blog stalker up here. I just figure the likelihood is slim compared to when we lived in Maryland.

    As we've been house hunting, I had friends ask to see the house we are buying. I opted to NOT share it on Facebook or the blog. Rather, people I trusted got a link to the listing.

    My dh thinks I suffer from TMI and shouldn't be doing any sharing. I can understand his concern as he had identity theft even WITH his being extremely cautious in life. Sadly, if someone wants to stalk you or anything else, then a very determined person will be able to do it.

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  4. Well, I'm nuttier than most people I know but I figure there's risks in everything, so while I take some precautions [no real names, no last names, no exact location] I do know islanders I don't know have found us & read. Not too worried. Most people are rather excited to find us & are super nice.

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  5. I don't put my exact location on my blog... or our surname. If I am being stalked I don't know!
    I try to take some precautions though... maybe not enough?

    And don't worry, if I were ever to come over there I WOULD let ya know first.... so you would have enough Diet Coke in the fridge for me! lol

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  6. I tend to be a trusting person, and an optimist. Thankfully, my husband and I balance each other out. When I started my blog he insisted on no real kids names or last name, especially since we want to be able to post photos.

    I understand that people who have actually written books, or those who have some other business that they need to promote, need to put their real names out there. For the rest of us it really isn't necessary to take any extra risk, I think.

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  7. First name, last name, really easy to find my physical location (especially if you want to come say hi while I'm at work)...

    ...yeah, not too worried about it.

    I try to be careful not to be stupid with my disclosures, but I guess I fancy myself a more "public figure"... which is just wistful thinking. I wish I were that important [smile].

    ~Luke

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  8. I have used info from a site to work out where someone lived. They were having a down day and I surprised them with flowers and chocolates anonymously. Then another time, I offered to turn up on their front door with an axe and a bottle of wine, they dared me to and I did. We are now good friends.

    Since I know how easy it is to figure things out, I don't use real names and use approximate locations.

    Recently I found out just how deceptive people onlione can be, will blog about it soon.

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  9. I don't use real names, but I'm sure it's not too hard to find me if someone wanted to. I use to write more personal stuff on my blog, but my wife and oldest kid are not too fond of that.

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  10. I use first names but no last name and do not say where I live. However, it can be kind of obvious with the desert background in my pictures and our super hot summers. Ha ha! I have thought a lot about this. I was worried at first but 4 years later, I've stopped worrying. But yeah, I leave out really personal information.

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  11. I do know one person who seems to have a blog "stalker."

    This person writes a blog in my city, and there is another blogger in the same city who occassionally sends what feel like disturbing, almost angry letters to the first person.

    The second blogger sends angry comments to the first about, "WHY DON'T YOU READ MY BLOG??" and makes unkind or disturbing comments about photos the first blogger posts, such as, "What are you doing going to a party where the house you're at is decorated in such a fashion?"

    The first blogger is quite popular in my city, and the second blogger is not. I think the second blogger is jealous and wants to be "associated" with the first blogger, or listed on her blog, in order to get more links and traffic to his own blog, and to be a "recognized" person by the first blogger. The first blogger wants nothing to do with the second and continues to ignore him.

    This seems to be a real blog "stalker." He must have some real personality issues.

    Eileen

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  12. Just wanted to add that you can tinker with your IP address. No matter where I am in the country, my IP address will always be the same and show the same general geographical area.

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  13. I don't worry about it too much. I am vague with details but I have been blogging for three years now and my real name is out there in cyberland if you want to look for it. xo (your link is broken btw )

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  14. The link worked for me, so I have to wonder if the ol' clean feed is working for you yet. :(

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