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I won't stalk you. I really enjoy your posts so keep'm coming.

Val
Oregon, WI USA

Ha. People even know when my Astroglide expires. I have the privacy that I choose to have. Some people might think they know a lot, but they know what I choose to share ;) I think what you do is totally fin

i think that the chances of someone stalking you (breaking into your home, meaning you harm etc) who reads your blog and the chances of someone stalking (etc) you who does not, are more or less even.
i am a fairly trusting person although i choose to be fairly anonymous on my blog -mainly because i am new at this.
that said, i am certain that anyone with a few google skills could figure out who i am in a few minutes. as long as it's not my in-laws i don't mind. just kidding!

OK, you asked for it :) I'm generally pretty relaxed about what I post online.

HOWEVER,I do remember reading on a blog once (I think it was My Marrakesh) that the author was getting a ton of traffic to one particular picture of her handsome young son. When she traced back to where the traffic was coming from she found that it had been posted to a not very savoury site.

It would worry me if a stalker/pedophile could somehow find a picture of my kid on the Internet, obsess about a picture of my kid on the Internet and then work out where my kid lived. I know it's far-fetched but I do limit the information I give so that it's not quite so easy to make that connection.

Tertia honey...I fit in the same category you do. I lay it all out there and opinions be damned. I see nothing wrong with what you do.

Gorgeous Tertia : )

This is really a matter of perception. It sounds like you are pretty safe to me with alarms, bars on windows, etc. Personally, I don't have anything like it, so I just do not want my children's routine to be public. Ciao,

Anna

*I* personally worry less about the unknown than dealing with crap from either side of the family. Plus there is down the road the possibliity that one of my DD's friends might find somethign I've written and One of teh kids be upset by it. Not likely but possible.

Yes there is some concern about nut cases finding me or my kids. I was once stalked by a creepy guy in college and had to get a couple of big guys to talk to him. On the internet I don't know any big scarey guys that could step in and help out.

I hope you never have an issue because I many people would be worse off for losing the public Tertia we all know.

I think you are a magnificent specimen and should post whatever you're comfortable with. If your hubby objects, that's really the only uncomfortable part I can see.

I think the chances of you being stalked are slim and it probably would have happened by now since you've been blogging for a few years already. And if you've got so many walls, guards, and dogs, someone would have to really, *really* want to get to you. Frankly, I myself am too lazy to come all the way from Wisconsin, USA unless we had lunch or something already scheduled.

Many years ago when my 5 year old (the third of our then 4 children) burned down our house, we were staying in a motel nearby until the insurance man could find time in his busy schedule to assess the damage (and eventually depreciate the baby pictures) and I was on the phone when I realized I need to change my clothes to go out. It was evening and the window curtain in our room was open, but across the courtyard, it looked as if all of the other rooms were dark and so I continued talking to my friend as the children continued their mayhem and holding the phone in various manners, proceeded to change my clothes. When we finally hung up, the phone rang again and a young male voice said, "Thanks for the show" I was confused and asked "what show?" He said, "You have a nice bod." I was taken by surprise and answered without thinking, "Thanks!" and hung up. Only later did I realize that I had not lost anything from the encounter, but in fact, as the not so glamorous feeling young mom I was, it had been a real boost to my ego.

Later on, when my 5th child was about 16 months, I was sitting in my living room talking to someone and she came walking in with my underpants on her head. It was then I realized that there are no secrets!

The reason that my blog is relatively anonymous (although I do post pictures of my son, hopefully they aren't being hijacked onto an "unsavory" site!) is that I was -- and will be again when my son starts school -- a mental health counselor. I don't want any of my clients to stumble onto my site and read personal information about me... it could be damaging to our relationship as therapist/client. Everything must remain professional in order to protect both the client and myself.

I think you hit the nail on the head, Tertia. Americans, for the most part, live in relative safety and comfort. With fewer real dangers to worry over, they feel the need to invent them.

Piggybacking on CJ's comment: I think the need for online anonymity varies with one's profession as well as with one's personal inclinations. I am a college professor and do not want my students, nor my employer, to have access to my assorted rantings. Academics are generally warned to guard our online identities closely in order to maintain professional distance from students, supervisors, or potential future employers. Although I've become more "visible" in the last year or so (I am on Facebook, for instance), I am still careful (I don't accept friend requests from students), and on my LiveJournal I use aliases for everyone and everything, starting with myself.

"Maybe it is because I live in South Africa, a country that has one of the highest crime rates in the world. Maybe because we live behind locked doors and windows, in security estates, with 24 guards patrolling the estate. Maybe because we have electric fences and guard dogs, laser beams and alarms."

Exactly. If I had that, I would never worry about strange people finding my house and being weird. Most people in the rest of the world just have door locks and maybe an alarm.

Now, as to the anonymity aspect, I also blog about things like fights with my husband and he hates that, (we are supposed to be perfect! ha!) so I partly started blogging pseudonymously because I knew he would not be okay if he ever found my blog and my real name or his real name were on it, but also because I do political stuff and political party members in North America are looked down on pretty severely if they have any flaws, never mind personal lives and vaginas and dead babies and mental illness.

You are very lucky to work for a company that doesn't care if you blog about this stuff. There are actually companies out there that forbid blogging and will fire people instantly if they find out about it, even if it is anon and has nothing to do with work, even if it complementary to their work.

Dooce is not a rare example sadly. So kiss your boss sweetie. And kiss your guard dogs.

There have been horrifying stories in the U.S. news of things that have happened to pregnant women due to their online activities. One could argue that those things might have happened to those women even if they'd never heard of the internet, via people they knew irl. The thing is, with the 'net, you cast a much wider ... net. And you don't always know what kind of psychopathic fish you've picked up in your net until it's too late.

I don't use our last name, although I do use photos of my kids' faces, and our real first names. I refer to the state I live in by name, but not the city. It probably wouldn't take someone too long to figure out where I live, based on past posts, but I try not to make it too obvious.

I worry about my kids being taken from me, honestly. I'm not so worried about myself, but I worry about kidnapping.

Sorry if any of the above is scary to read... knowing that you're pregnant and all. You did ask!

I usually roll my eyes at those parents obsessed with pedophiles using their kiddie pics as jerk-off material. I'd take that over a pedo abusing a real-life kid anyday! I live in the US where I think the safety issue (stalkers, etc) is insanely overestimated. The rare instances when a "stalker" has traveled a great distance to meet up with his prey, always seem to involve a teenage girl who was a willing participant and voluntarily ran away with the creep.

You're asking readers who you're not gentle with to be gentle with you, but okay.....

I just think that there are a lot of crazy, violent people in this world. And the Internet has the potential to be a medium for really pissing off someone you don't know well. The combination would make me nervous if I had a blog that thousands of people read. But then maybe not, if I lived in such a secure, locked-down neighborhood.

The only thing that stops me from being Tertia-like un-anonymous (that would be such a relief for me, not thinking about who might be reading) is having to explain everything I write to real life readers. Some family members now know where I blog, because they saw the site opened at a favorite aunt's computer - I actually invited her to read.

And now these uninvited aunts cut me short when I try to tell a story: "I read all about on your site dear, no need to tell it again," and it's driving me nuts. Or my mother-in-law telling me I shouldn't drink and breastfeed at the same time - after she read about me having a glass of wine and *horror* feeding my daughter afterwards.

I also talk about my job a lot (no names of course), and about my relationship, and I fear the day I have to talk to my boss about something I wrote on my blog, business or personal.

All in all it's not the perverts or whatever unknown people I fear (why would I, they see us *outside* all the time anyway?), it's the family members, co-workers, former classmates and neighbours I'd rather not see reading my diary...

I use a fake name because my blog is about mental illness and if people ever figured out that I am mentally ill they probably wouldn't want me treating their loved ones (I'm an OT). Prejudice still exists.

Also, I simply am paranoid. Feeling very safe really matters to me. I take safety precautions at home beyond what is strictly needed too.

Could someone figure out who I am? Sure. I even know one way to do it from my blog. But if it takes effort it's not going to happen unless someone is serious about it.

Ironically, I am going to answer this one pseudonymously, whereas usually I link to my blog.

Like Laura above, I am a university professor, so I "do not want my students, nor my employer, to have access to my assorted rantings. Academics are generally warned to guard our online identities closely in order to maintain professional distance from students, supervisors, or potential future employers." I have been on the job market for four of the last six years, and the average number of applications for each job is about 200-250. Hiring committees routinely google candidates (I know this because I do have a fairly public persona aside from blogging, so when I suddenly see several hits on one of my work-related web pages from a city that I'd never heard of before I happened to apply for a job there, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to put two and two together).

Just to add to the general issues faced by all academics, I also teach sections about infertility and assisted reproduction (am a human biology professor). I have done so since well before realizing that I was infertile myself, or doing IVF to conceive my child. It is one of the students' favorite sections, and it invokes tons of great, illuminating discussion that really did seem to change students' minds (I even had one approach me after class about becoming an egg donor). Having students ask questions like "why don't 'they' just adopt?" (they always assume that infertility will happen to other people, not them, hence the 'they') allows me to help them to explore the reasons that it's not quite so easy for many people in a way that a lecture doesn't quite do. So, when I discovered that I was one of the lucky one in six, I was very concerned about being "outed" as infertile to my students, as I was concerned that the discussion would become constrained by their own attempts at sensitivity to my situation (plus, I wasn't sure how I would handle it if someone challenged me about my own decisions in front of a room full of 200 people on e.g., the day after a BFN!). That class was important to me. I felt like I was making a difference. So, it was worth being a bit constrained online to keep what was working working.

Now that I'm older, more established, and have a kid, though, I'm rethinking that approach. I'm thinking about outing myself next time I teach that section. Any reader opinions about my wisdom there would be appreciated.

So, for me it has nothing to do with pedophiles or peeping Toms (really, what do I care what people look at when they wank?) or with physical security. It's all about my job.

None of this dawned on me when you posted the pictures of your house. What came to my mind was "Ohhhhh that looks like such a nice neighborhood!" LOL I wouldn't worry about posting the Google pictures. If someone wanted to find you, they could do it without those pictures, because like you said, you're not at all anonymous when you post. Don't worry about it.

I would love to have a blog but don't. Why? Because I would hate for 3/D people in my life to run across it! I am a private person and would hate to have any one judging me constantly.

You are obviously a self confident person and kudos to you :) I am envious how you put yourself out there. If it feels good, DO IT.

I don't use my real name or the names of my kid (and future daughter) on my blog for the simple reason of being paranoid about my kid(s). I am slightly paranoid that some pervert out there will look on my blog and have some sort of freakish fettish for small red-headed little boys and will use the information to find out where we are and come and snatch him from me. Truly, that is it. Although truth be told, there are some people in my life who don't know about my blog (my Ex and most members of my family) and simply because they DON'T read I am able to be much more open and honest about what is going on in my life and my thoughts. If I had to worry about everyone I know having access to my information I would have to be much more sensored in what I actually talk about. So I guess my reasoning is two fold. One, I am a paranoid mother and don't want anything to happen to my kids as a result of something I did, and two, I am a selfish person who wants the internet all to myself to be able to post and talk to my hearts content.

But given all of that, I say YAY YOU for putting up google maps of your house. I think you have nice boobs, so I might be inclined to stalk you if I didn't live in California...

Well I clearly put it all out there too but that's because you are the big sister and I guess I followed your lead. The only bit I sometimes worry about is my kids and what happened if some nutter thought I was a nutter and wanted to take them. People can easily find out where I live because they could just pretend to want to drop a donation off. The one cool thing about anon is you get to moan about your husband and speak about real things and people that piss you off without worrying about offending people, I need that sometimes. You are better than me when people are ugly to you but I guess you have had more years of the nasty trolls that still make me want to cry sometimes. Blogging.... a love/hate thing.

I'm with Emma from Amsterdam.

I've had a RLF of DH ask him if he is 'ok' with my blogging. Iow, "Don't you mind your wife discussing very intimate details of her life (and indirectly yours) with the whole wide world?" (despite the fact that I’m very selective about what I discuss) I suppose the topic of TTC/IVF was too much of a taboo to them?! Maybe my unhappiness made them uncomfortable? Who knows? Maybe they just didn't have anything better to discuss?

I decided to "un-link" my facebook account from my blog and go private until these poor souls forget about my blog and find a more suitable target to stalk. I'm in the very unfortunate situation where not everyone is minding their own business and DH has a very keen dislike in blogging in general (regards it as a waste of time), but endears it for the sake of my happiness.

I tend to ask myself, "Is blogging worth all this social gymnastics?" The answer to date has been yes...but...to make life easier for DH I might have to remain private, or go anon. The whole ordeal has put me off blogging a bit, but my appetite is slowly recovering.

Perhaps in SA people still need to get used to the idea of blogging, bloggers here are considered a bit odd, as opposed to the US where it's much more prevalent.

I am considering tough to put my over sensitivity aside give them the proverbial finger and get on with my life and tell them to 'get a life'.

To me it's not a matter of security (esp. if you have the advantage of a security estate/complex), in the sense of physical threat, it's the managing the feelings of real life people that is tricky. VV frustrating! I wish I could return to that innocent space where the wrong RL people didn't end up reading my blog! Being on the receiving end of social criticism is not my favourite pastime.

Or maybe I should start blogging about various species of blub plants? That is another alternative...

Like you Tertia, i also use my real name..I think what makes ur blog so addictive is the reality of ur life..meaning we all go through it, we all share alot of ur feelings and emotions and that makes us able to identify with you. Creeps exist in this world unfortunately.Children are victims to paedophiles etc whether their pics have been posted on the internet or not. Parents do everything they can to keep their kids safe.i dont think u r jeopadising ur familys safety in any way. U're a great mom and a real inspiration to us all, becos of the way you are.

I agree that, being South African our fears tend to be focussed more on the tangible rather than the imaginary or theoretical.

My hubby absolutely loathes how active I am online, hates Facebook, LJ etc, and cannot understand why I read so many blogs.

I would love to start my own - I feel that I have so much information to "dump" - from life as an expat in the Middle East, to the complexities of the adoption triangle (being both an adoptee and an adoptive parent), tracing and contacting my birth mother, heck, even learning to ride a motorcycle at my age! However, at this point in my life, it is simply not worth the negativity and disapproval I would get at home, so it's all bottled up, waiting for an outlet. I am very envious of wonderful people like Tertia, who not only write so well, but also take the time to consistently update their blogs, at the same time opening themselves up to judgement and criticism.

I have taken the step of making all my online albums private or friends only on FB and Yahoo Photos, after seeing several hundred "hits" in a 24 hour period on an album of pictures of my very beautiful daughter, who was only 18 months old at the time. That just gave me the creeps.

Having said that, I know that you would never do anything to place your family in any danger, and I honestly can't see that happening as a result of your blog.

Well. I am for sure not someone who easily freaks out. I mean, I'm on the phone book, a bunch of people know where I live: deliverymen, cable guys, neighbours, mail men and so on. I used to have a blog the address of which I distributed to my family where I wrote about my life quite openly, but when everything I wrote ended up being analysed and dissected to pieces by certain family members I just had to stop.

Now I am anonymous and loving it. Yeah, there are things I wouldn't tell my boss and other things I wouldn't tell my mom - and certain things I wouldn't write about in my blog. I guess I always want to keep a part of me to myself!

I debate this a lot. I have this personae. And I have my real one, which is also on the net. I choose to have both only because some of what I say (the bad erotica, the ranting, the strange ramblings, taken out of context by an employer or a family member, might be misinterpreted or be felt as hurtful. I hope, one day, that I can merge the two, and to hell with what people think. One day, when I'm a real grown up, perhaps? :)

I mainly worry about kids becoming attractive to nasty types online. I write about my kids and a disturbed person could think they 'know' them.

I once posted about the fact that boys don't pee straight and how I loathe cleaning up the toilet. It infuriated me that pee could be hitting the WALL behind the toilet.

Traffic to the blog soared. I had tons of google hits from the search term "boys pee".

I deleted the post but it left a bad taste for me. I felt that I had been touched by creepiness and retain a sense of vigilance.

I don't want someone looking for pictures of boys peeing to know where my boys live.

I started blogging with a psuedonym for two reasons. One, because I didn't want people I knew to find the blog by googling me. And two, I have had stalkers. Yes, plural. Two I had to call the police on when they broke into my house. The third, the police called *me* to tell me that they found papers with my picture surrounded by a bullseye in the cell of a man I had known before he was arrested on drug charges. He then literally broke out of jail, no lie, in the hopes of seeing me (the warden was fired). It isn't an abstract fear for me, just as your general fear of crime is real for you.

While none of them are really issues now (new fairly common last name in a large city, other reasons it would be hard for them to find me), I could never, ever feel comfortable putting as much of my life online as you do. You are kind of a "brand" now, so it makes sense for you to not be anonymous, but I couldn't deal with the freaky people it brings out of the woodwork the way you do. I know with some determination I could be found through my blog, but my stalkers were kind of dumb, so I can't worry about that.

BTW, I have no idea why I attracted such lunatics. I kept wanting to say, "Dude, look, I'm not that great. Totally not worth all this energy, so you can just leave me alone now..."

I think that if I were in South Africa I wouldn't be as worried either. Things in the US are different, and I'm not sure why. Perverts and stalkers here DO use the internet to find their victims, it happens everyday, and most of us don't have walls around our houses and security systems. I won't even put my kids names on their clothing, let alone the internet. Maybe we as Americans are extremely paranoid?

As for being anonymous on the internet I do it for a very good reason. When I was in college there was a guy online (on a college network) who decided to take a shine to me. He did not have my real name, but he was able to find out what college I attended, and one day drove down from upstate NY to find me. While I was online, he started to chat with me, and told me that he didn't know what dorm I lived in, but he knew what computer lab I was in. I alerted campus security, and the monitor of the chat line I was on. They were able to find his friend's dorm on my campus where he was, he was arrested and all of his internet access on campus was shut off. If I had used my actual name instead of my internet handle, he would have been able to find the dorm I stayed in and things may have turned out differently. Just saying. This crap really happens.

WOW one day I wanna be as brave as you TERTIA. I love how everyone in your life knew about your infertility. Unfortunately I am an idiot and seem to think I wanna do this all on my own and one day say here I am pregant and am having a baby and am normal like everyone else. I have struggled with this for 3 years and the 3 people that I trusted to tell are no help whatsoever. I haven't even told my parents. And I feel like a fraud every day for being a whole 'nother person on the internet. But I am so afraid of people making ugly comments or thinking what I think so often that I am just not a real woman because of this.
I know this is silly but I am soo afraid that someone will say: Well maybe you are not supposed to have children!

Well a few month back I told person number 4 and he has been supportive but lives in another state and can't always be there for me.

So maybe one day I will be brave like you...I am working on it.

Thanks for writing your blog...it has helped me thru a lot...
THANKS TERTIA!!

I started blogging under the name Flicka to escape a toxic friend who stalked my un-anonymous blog over at LJ. (Also to shake off the child-free community which had invaded my personal infertile space and was making my life hell.) I've known this person from childhood and despite repeated reasonable attempts to be her friend, some drama of rewritten history always spring forth and then it's a huge mess that I have to deal with for days and days. Frankly, I just don't want her in my life anymore though that's a little complicated since our families are good friends. Blogging anon worked for a while but she did eventually find me; not sure how. She must have had to really work at it. Now I keep blogging anon because this is the name people are used to and because there are still some people I'd rather not have as readers (the in-laws, for one.)

xxx
Flicka

i'm just imagining some horrible scenario where someone wants to kidnap or harm you or your kids... I think with a very popular blog with very sympathetic and wonderful devotees some sick person may see an oppertunity to exploit you and your sympathetic support network (read family, friends, readers) for money. Or, taking your audience into account, some poor misguided, desparate woman snatching one of yours because she is stricken with grief she can't have one of your own.

I'm not saying that anything is likely to happen, and i def don't want to be preachy. But you can help yourself by making it harder for someone to do you harm. Remember, you are showing pictures of the streets where your children will be playing.

I'm a female pastor in a particular denomination in a very small U.S. state. I use an alias on my online communities I post on, and even then, I'm sure any regular member who reads my posts over time would be able to figure out who I am if they wanted to. Still... given that I would be very uncomfortable if anyone from my congregation were "eavesdropping" on my posts about TTC, etc... I feel a little more secure using the alias and not posting my real first or last names online. I think it a lot of it boils down to what type of professional career you have.

Laughing, because I did just post my real first name here. But I post so rarely, it doesn't count. :-)

I basically gave up blogging because I was so afraid of being out there as me, but couldn't keep my anonymous identity straight.

I think it is so great that you can be so open and honest. I think it is really silly to worry that you are somehow compromising your safety by posting the information you do. But I am probably too naive and trusting on those types of issues, too.

I've never worried about personal safety for me and my family. My personal issues are more complicated than that.

I always kept a diary when I was a kid, and I kept it hidden, and never wanted anyone to read it. But I wrote freely everything I thought and experienced, it was a great outlet for my adolescent self. But then a traumatic event occurred, which changed the way I kept a diary forever after.

I wrote about my sister's unwed unplanned pregnancy, which happened when I was about 12-13 and she was 19-20. I was not supposed to know about the pregnancy, and all the turmoil and conflict between her and my mother as a result. My sister ended up having a miscarriage (I think). I'm not sure how my mother and sister could think my brother and I did not hear all the screaming and fighting and sobbing (not to mention puking, which is how my mother figured out that my sister was pregnant in the first place) that went on surrounding this event. I knew all about it, and wrote in my diary about my confused feelings, and about how hurt I was that no one would talk to me about any of it.

My sister must have snooped all over my room to find my hidden diary, because she read it, including everything I'd written about her pregnancy. She was hysterical about it, told my mother that I had betrayed her privay (ha!) by writing about it, and basically painted me as a little nosy bitch. I did no snooping, I just listened. She was the one who did the snooping, but that was totally acceptable, apparently.

My mother told me that I to had rip up my diary and flush it down the toilet and told me that I should never again put in writing anything that I wasn't comfortable with the whole world reading. There was absolutely no discussion of my sister's pregnancy, or what had happened. My sister basically didn't speak to me for years. We never discussed what happened,but she was very frosty and acted like I was a little pariah. She thawed out gradually over time, but it was terrible the way she treated me. I also knew that she would read anything I wrote no matter where I hid my diary, so I was afraid to write much of anything that was honest.

I have never been able to get over the fear that was instilled in me over writing about very personal things. There is always a voice in the back of my head asking how I would feel if everyone I knew read what I had written.

I also have always worried about my job. As a working mother, I have always wanted to write about my job, and how I feel about my career and juggling career and family, but have been afraid for my employer to read how I really feel.

I have blogged in fits and starts but generally find that I feel so constrained that my voice does not really come through, so I just don't do it.

I am quasi anonymous.. my last name or details about where I work etc are limited for one simple reason. My daughter's father. The less I say that is identifying, the less chance he has of finding it in some weird google search. Which ultimately saves my sanity should he find some cash and take me to court for access again.
I had an open blog, he knew about it and then things got out of hand and I had to stop..

I think its all about keeping your kids safe and your comfort level with what you share.

(ps your photo is _stunning_ I can only hope to look that good when 40 comes dancing by next year)

When I first started cruising around online years ago, I used a alias because I had had the fear of whatever drummed into me about divulging personal info online.
Now I'm a bit less hassled about it and happily use my own name. However, that lecture I got back then still prevents me from giving any other details - only my true friends know where I stay, my phone number and my husbands name.

I do believe that our privacy level is a personal choice. Whatever floats the boat and makes you feel comfy.

I choose to post under "Dee" as my real name is rather unique and if you google it you will be able to find me, in between the porn star adverts with the same name! I would rather remain anon as I have heard of stories of other bloggers who have "revealed" all and then had complete strangers at work come up to them to wish them luck for a beta test etc. Blogging is very personal and I wouldnt want my work colleagues prying into my life. Im private so posting under a fake name is just a form of protection. xxx

I am from South Africa (like you) Tertia, and the only reason why I don't (always) provide all my information and don't ever enter competitions is that soon after that I get bombarded with smam sms'es and tons of mails (at my address or via e-mail). I am a marketer myself and know why someone is willing to give a wonderful microwave away, it is to get your information for future direct marketing efforts. Ai!

I think that its a personal thing for everybody who tends to do what works for them. It makes no sense for you to blog anon cos you have essentially become a "brand" now. I don't have a blog but if I did have one I would probably also use a pseudonym mainly cos I am extremely private and very shy. I would do the same when blogging about my husband and kids mainly out of respect to them. I would want to feel free to write about a fight or something with DH and still respect his privacy (wouldn't want his work colleagues to know that we are not having as much sex as I would like for example ) and I would also use an alias for my kids cos ultimately I don't have their permission to discuss the colour of their poop etc. Pls don't misunderstand me, I'm really not judging you. I really love your blog and part of me is a bit envious of you being so unshy and all.
For me it's just a personal preferance and has absolutely nothing to do with safety or anything like that. I live in SA and am like so used to ridiculous crime. And I really don't judge people who blog their surnames and addresses etc. I say, do whatever you are comfortable with.

I blog anonymously because I didn't want the whole world knowing about my infertility. I have two other blogs where I post with my real name. If you google my real name, there's lots about me so I didn't want people getting a mixed message either.

I'm very envious of people who can say "to hell with it all" and blog so openly like you can. I think it's fabulous, really I do.

The anonymous blog is also a place I can vent about stupid work colleagues, stupid things people say to infertiles, etc. :)

I blog under my real name, but don't tell all and sundry that I have a blog. If they happen upon it, fine, I blog as if everyone's listening (not just my handful of actual readers, so I wasn't upset the other day when my in-laws discovered my blog, and neither were they. At the end of the day you could be totally secretive, and then someone uses your computer, finds your blog & alias and puts two and two together. Then what?

As for posting the google map, you are quite right that if some crazed internet trawler wanted to find you, what with knowing the company you work for, your full name, and the area you live they would so have found you by now. By the way, is that a plot with paddocks, areana's and horses next door? that would be soo cool for Adam and Kate!

Did people get this squeamish about printing their address in the phonebook I wonder? We were the only Cuddy's in the country when I was a kid, so dead easy to find in a phone book

I started out with blogging in 2001. At the time, there seemed to be a lot more paranoia around using real names and the like. In short, everyone I knew used some kind of online moniker, and I followed suit. My online name includes my real name (or a portion thereof), but everyone else has always had a nickname.

From there, wyliekat simply *became* my identity online. It is who I am, as much as I belong to the name I bear outside of the internet.

All that said, I'm pretty cagey about where I live and the like. I guess I still retain that paranoia. And now that I have children to protect - I'm doubly so. Is it warranted? Dunno. But I can't really see me changing that fact. It's just as ingrained now as locking my door.

My 8 year old son was in the wall street journal this year and then on Good Morning America and all over local media too. Several people commented on the "OH NOES! The risk! A child predator will know where he goes to school" (it was an article on his student council campaign and mentioned his school)to which i replied, "I am pretty sure that predators know that kids are in schools" Which is how I feel about a lot of things. I can keep my address a secret, but people can already look it up online at our tax assesor. I don't spell out my employer but if i worked for a bigger company I might. People know that people live in houses and buy stuff and have stuff in their houses. And, yeah the impersonating on the internet? Leads to no actual harm. I understand people wanting to guard their privacy, but I don't feel the need to do so.

I think you are very irresponsible to …………
Sorry, couldn't resist! I blog password protected. For two reasons: I don't want my in-laws to find me and because when I wasn't password protected the search of my dd's name and room came up under a porn search. To think that some guy (or girl) found my blog wanting a porn site really bothered me.

I am not so full of myself to truly believe that my in-laws have the time to look me up on the internet. However, I want to be able to let it all out on my blog and not worry about it. I'm just not so self confident to throw it all out there for anybody to read. Hence, I don't link to my blog on Facebook either.

This is a parody of facebook that basically summarizes why I like to have lots of privacy. There are too many annoying people from my past that have no boundaries...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/thewall/video/video-viewer/video_64.shtml

It'a a new era in the way we share information. You should have the right to be as open or as private about things as you so choose. If it feel comfortable for you and you feel safe, then I say do it. Even those folks who think they only put a 'little' bit of info out on the web, don't realize that a web/tech savvy person can put those bits together to get a high amount of details. Keep up the good work T!

I guess I feel the same way as you. I am going to be the exact same person I am online that I am in person, so why should I hid it. I don't have a blog of my own (though I would love to have one, I just dont have anything interesting enough to write about), but any forum or blog I comment on, I use my real name and information, I just don't see the point of hiding me. I like that you aren't afraid of you and always hiding behind every shadow because of what ifs. If you feel comfortable doing it keep it up!

I see no issue with posting whatever it is you wish to post about yourself on your own (or anyone else’s) blog. My issue is Google. I have no desire for my husband’s crazy ex-wife to Google my name or the names of our family and find out details about our lives that we don’t want her to know. Pictures – they’re not really search engine material if there are no keywords in the associated captions or articles. I wouldn’t post pictures of my neighborhood, but it doesn’t bother me that you did.

I don't practice anonymity because of any paranoid lifetime movie scenario but because I just hate the idea of certain friends, family members or work colleagues finding out personal things about me or my son. I'd rather filter who knows what. I like being able to say...hey, "I had a crap day at work today. I need a new job" without my boss knowing about it. I like being able to occasionally bitch about my in-laws.

I think there are just people who are more reserved and relish the chance to be more open under the cloak of anonymity. And then there are those people who, like you, are an open book all around. I am definitely on of the former.

I think here in the states people are pretty paranoid because we have these awful pseudo-news shows like 20/20 that tell us about the random weird scary things that happen, and then we are given the impression that they happen all the time. My dear mother-in-law was (and still is!) terrified that a deranged woman is going to follow me and my son home and steal him from me.

I have to admit that if I were a big blogger like you, I *might* worry that someone would get the idea to harm my children. I probably wouldn't worry about myself at all, but the kids? Ack. I don't know. There are some crazies in this world! Even in SA I suspect! :)

When I first entered the 'blogosphere' I was TERRIFIED of being "exposed" to the world, and hubby was against it. Being a regular "stalker" of many blogs, yours included (my first comment after about 2 years of stalking) I have also seen the positive side, where bloggers that have faced tradgedy, have been supported by total strangers that can relate and say things that is often is difficult face to face.
I, like you, totally "naively" have posted pics of of my kids on my blog, until a friend asked if I was not afraid of paedophiles, I paniced!! WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THIS! I then referred to my mate... google and agreed with a post I found (selective info, I know!) written by a child psychologist that deals with paedophile abuse, and she mentions that paedophiles are opportunists, and will go for "easy prey", they are usually close to home, like a teacher, family friend etc. She mentioned that to "track" someone down off the internet, would require faaaaar more time and effort and even if "found" one would then then to try and win trust in order to do harm.

My blog isn't linked to my name at all. More because I wanted to be free to say whatever I needed to say without fear my "friends" (acquaintances who like to gossip) or my family finding it. Sounds paranoid, right? Well, I do have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). And so I guess I am a little paranoid BUT I do find I like to try to figure out where people live based on their blogs (not their address --- just their state and maybe their city).

If you live in a gated neighborhood, with patrolling guards, alarm systems, bars on windows, guard dogs, etc. it seems unlikely you'd wind up with a stalker. At least not one who could get close to you!!

you are a magnificent specimen, please let me adorn you with jewels and riches

1. I blog anonymously because I am a homicide prosecutor in the US (not sure how much you or anyone else knows about what that means, but basically, it means I am a lawyer who puts killers in jail). I blog (and post comments) anonymously because I want to talk about my cervical mucous without being afraid some reporter will bring it up in a press conference in front of a bunch of male cops.

2. You shouldn't put the Google map out there because there are crazy freak internet stalkers who will use that as an invitation to come to your house, try to break in, and rape and kill you. Okay, that sounds a little extreme, but you never know what kind of freak is out there, and what little thing is going to give them an idea/obsession that they are just going to role with.

3. In said job as homicide prosecutor, I have seen some crazy shit. You have to look at what you are putting out there not through your eyes, but through the eyes of the freaks who might see it and use it to harm you. I know you'd rather not worry and you are a laid back chick. . .but particularly here in the US, we are a suspicious lot who would rather be "safe than sorry." And seriously, did I mention the crazy freaks that are out there?

Honestly, I think you are nuts to reveal as much information about yourself and your family as you do. Particularly for your children, who have no say in the matter. At best, it's potentially embarrassing for them as they get older, at worst, it could be fatal. And don't even get me started on the ditzy chick who thought dressing in front of an open motel window was ok, because she couldn't see any lights on in the other rooms. Crimony! Some people are living testimony to the fact that it's better to be lucky than smart!

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