I have just worked out this morning that two days ago was my seventh Blogiversary! My first ever blog post was February 1999. It was great looking through my old life but one thought stayed with me after reviewing my old entries, how much should I have made public?
One of the weird things that started happening after I had been posting for a while was I would be contacted by people I had never met. At that time I called the site my journal, I don’t know if the word “blog” had been coined yet. I wasn’t really part of any blog scene so my visitors came from search engines and clicks on newsgroup and discussion list signatures.
I got some very weird messages. People would email me like they knew me, really over familiar. I would get people asking to meet up because they were coming to England. People would ask how my wife and daughter were. They would comment on my photographs. I think I shared too much now thinking about it, I even had details of our new house on there – we could have had visitors!
We tell people that to get people involved in your blog you need to put across personality, people need to feel connected. Can you do that while keeping a distance? How personal do you need to be to have personality?
If you look around at some of the top bloggers, they all vary in how much personal information they share. Scoble gives quite advance notice of his travel plans, he even has his contact details right on his blog. We know about his family life. Darren Rowse very explicitly says he does not like to share too much and is very selective about what he does divulge.
I think Darren has it right now I have thought about it. Scary thing is, even though Darren is ultra careful he still wound up with a stalker making a physical attack on his house!
Thankfully they do not feel threatened now it has been resolved but I think there is a lesson for all of us, be careful how much you share. It frightens me now to think of how much I have let slip over the years, how much information I have put out there for anyone to read.
Your blog is not worth risking your families safety for.