303009640_ec7ebc2bc3It’s amazing how much information we can find online.

A lot of the data is helpful and accurate.

But what about that which exaggerates the facts, borders on being gossip, or is information the person being written about isn’t aware of – yet?

Today’s Lesson

Whether in blogs, Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace or other social networking sites, we often see stories of spouses, significant others, exes, employers, employees, parents, friends and/or children. Granted, the names are sometimes obscured, but anyone who knows anything about the author, knows whom they’re talking about.

Ann of Vintage Mommy realized how writing about her daughter’s adoption could have repercussions, wrote a post titled “It’s Not My Story To Tell” and changed the direction of her blog. As she put it,

My decision not to tell the whole story here was sealed when a couple of moms from Vintage Girl’s classroom recently found me on Twitter. Suddenly it felt very inappropriate that they could read her story online, perhaps learning things about her adoption that even she doesn’t know yet.

When I announced I was blogging, an important person in my life told me they didn’t want to be written about online. Others in my life never voiced a preference, nor did I ask.

When I think back to what I’ve written thus far, I can’t think of anything I’ve said that could be detrimental to others, but I do realize it would be easy to do. As I’m typing my posts or leaving comments, I’m often reminded of incidents that happened to others I could use an example. Although the stories may be inspiration for a post/comment, I also know I need to carefully pick my words so as not to incriminate, verbally hurt or embarrass another person.

When we share information online, the whole world has access to it. Assuming others can’t figure out whom we’re talking about is foolish thinking.

Knowing where and when to draw the line shows we’re blogging responsibly.

Today’s Assignment

When you share a story online, do you assume “they” will never see the article?

Do you assume others won’t figure out whom you’re talking about?

Have you ever written a story about another person only to regret it later?

If so, what did you do? Delete the post? Reword it? Leave it as is?

Knowing how easy it is for others to figure out whom we’re writing about, feel free to share how you deal with including stories of others, including minor children.

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Hello Barbara,
    What a surprise – I was just getting ready to sign out and shut down when I saw your new post. I’m glad I stayed up late tonight!

    I’ll be very interested to hear what your other readers have to say about this issue. There are a lot of people “letting it all hang out” in the blogosphere – some famously! I guess it’s just not my style.

    I’m feeling much better – and more motivated – about my blog now that I’ve made my decision about VG’s privacy.

    Vintage Mommy´s last blog post..Show and Tell: A New Look

  2. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I have a few friends that pop in to read my blog every now and then. And, you never know who else is reading that you’re not aware might be reading. I always write with the belief that “they” will read the article. Things have a habit of catching up with a person if they’re not careful.

    Davina´s last blog post..Self Help Me

  3. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ann – When I read your post it reminded me of what I read online and how some of it can be very detrimental to others. I love how you took a stand and decided the story of your daughter’s adoption will be for her to share with others when she gets older – if she chooses to do so.

    Thank you for the inspiration for this post. Like you, I’m curious to hear what others have to say, as well.

  4. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    The only people other than myself that I have written about are those members of my family – my wife and kids have been mentioned. And, with them, I have not used their names. They definitely know that I have used them as writing material sometimes. If it’s a story that I feel is too personal, it will not be shared. What I do share, I make sure is something I wouldn’t have a problem sharing with anyone. I try to also limit picture use of them (although I have not completely not shown pictures). I figure that if I write about someone in my family, anyone who knows us could figure out who I was talking about. And I’m perfectly okay with that given what I have written about. So, I have not regretted what I have written and posted.

    Lance´s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  5. I think that we have to first be true to ourselves. Aren’t we really writing about how that person inspired or touched us in some way? Perhaps it’s just the authentic filter that I like to use but I think that anything that has affected me is mainly about my life and thus fair game. Upon further reflection I think I do this because I’m first a coach and I know my intent is always to encourage or to inspire. If you’re intent is always to build up and not tear down then that intent gets through.

    That said, I always change the name if I use one or write about a “client or friend” without naming them.

    I don’t spread anything detrimental about anyone and as a result I don’t really need to be cautious. This is also because I’m a coach who happens to blog. I’m not a journalist who reports more of what he sees happening with others. All of my stuff is in my life or has been.

    That sounds a little self-centered if you don’t understand me but to me that’s what makes a story, an exercise or a tool real.
    It’s already been experienced or tested by another.

    To the contrary, I don’t think we need more caution in the blogosphere but we could use even more courageously expressed authenticity.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..Five Mood Enhancers for Business Success

  6. I use the same rule in blogging as I use in ‘real life’ … if you can’t find something good to say about a person, then don’t say it. My friends and family are far to important to me to risk damaging our relationship. I can see that I might, in the future, have a desire to write about someone’s negative experience in order to share a life truth, but I’d never do it without their permission.

    Tammie @ Are You For Real?´s last blog post..How To Use Blessings?

  7. In my Information Studies Masters back in 1994, I was told never to put anything online nor send an email that I didn’t want seen on the nightly news.

    My life is an open book, but there are some things I don’t talk about on my blog. One thing I definitely don’t talk about is other people unless it’s something they’ve already published or I’ve asked for their permission first. Even then I run it by the person before I post it.

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post..Goals and patience: Michael Martine interview

  8. When I write, I always write from my experience and perspective. If it’s someone else’s story, I tell only what I know, don’t make assumptions and add my thoughts about it.

    If it’s my story, then I keep in mind that words live forever, whether spoken or written, and I assume that they will eventually read the article.

    I leave names out for privacy, I try not to give too many details but just enough for the point I’m trying to make, and that’s it.

    In anything in life, consider what you’re doing before you do it or say it. Think of all possible outcomes. If you may regret any of them, then just don’t do it.

    Oh, and I’ve *never* deleted or reworded something. If I’ve written it or said it, I should be big enough to live up to the consequences of my actions.

    James Chartrand – Men with Pens´s last blog post..Freelance Writing Jobs for Monday, January 19, 2009

  9. Wow, nice topic! I’ve never seen this topic discussed before, but I’ve ran into the same problem. When I use personal examples I don’t use names, but like you said sometimes it would be pretty easy to figure out who I’m talking about if the reader knows me. I always write as if they will see the article, and I make sure to put them in a positive light.

    When I made a decision to share myself online, I really didn’t take into account that my life has been affected by others. Other people have made an impact on me and affected my life so sometimes it gets difficult to illustrate a personal example without using others. However, I also realize that the decision to use personal examples was my decision. “They” didn’t make a decision to share themselves, so to me it would be unfair to put them out there without them knowing.

    Broderick Allen´s last blog post..Persistence

  10. For all of the reasons you mention in your post I do not share private information that could have negative consequences. But everyone is different and blogs for different reasons. I share experiences – my own or a client – with a purpose of helping people. I often leave names out, but to Tom’s point – if I have a story or experience that can help people, I’ll share it. I’m in the business of helping not hurting.

    That said, I have a very good friend (friends for 30 years!) who kept asking me “When will I be mentioned in your blog?”

    Different strokes for different folks I think is the key. I just hope the original intent of any blogger isn’t to cause harm.

    Stacey Shipman´s last blog post..Got Stress? Use it to Your Advantage

  11. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I try to generalize where I can, unless it’s all about me.

    If it’s just about me, then I’m free to tell the good, the bad, and the ugly, or at least amusing.

    I try to strip stories down to the essentials and the reusable parts. I focus less on “who did this happen to” and more on “how can you use this?”

    J.D. Meier´s last blog post..Actions, Insights and Notes

  12. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I have a big mouth. My entire family knows this and knows I cannot keep a secret to save my life. However, for me, blogging is safer because I can stop and think about what I am writing. There are two cardinal rules I go by:

    1. Never put anything in writing that you don’t want someone else to see (because chances are it will be seen)
    2. If it’s controversial, wait 24 hours before you send (post) it. Once you’ve calmed down, you may decide you really don’t want to say that.

    In my blog I try to respect my children. I may talk about things that drive me crazy, but for the most part I try not to discuss serious concerns or problems they may be having. I have a signature on my e-mail and many of my friends and aquaintenances have found my blog though that signature. It wouldn’t take much to figure out which child is having what problem. Sometimes I would like to ask for help on a certain issue, but I refrain because I know the help I may get probably won’t outweigh the harm I may be do to my child.

    I have left a comment or two that I probably shouldn’t have, but I do try to be careful there as well. I think comments are a little safer in that no one I know is probably following me around the blogosphere reading all my comments. I did once post blog post on a social network that I belong to about an extended family member I was upset with. However, after a couple days I deleted it. I doubt she would have seen it, but it was not worth the risk.

    Debbie Yost´s last blog post..Please Pray for Margaret

  13. LingNo Gravatar says:

    I keep my real and virtual lives miles apart, and as a rule, I never write about my family, friends or anything associated with my real life. So, it becomes a bit of a stumbling block when you’re trying to make friends online, but I figure its better this way, than to regret it later. You can always find a new community online to hang out with, but its a little bit more difficult if you lose real world friends/family because of something you said or did on the internet.

  14. It’s a tough issue to deal with. My wife has nixed a few of my articles because she didn’t want me to expose myself or herself to the public. I want to be open with my audience, but there are some lines I can’t cross to keep my marriage happy. It all comes down to what’s most important in my life (my wife/my family). Blogging has to take a second seat to my loved ones.

    Karl Staib – Your Work Happiness Matters´s last blog post..How to Be Happy at Work – Right Now!

  15. I’m wondering if anyone has ever read anything on someone else’s blog that made them uncomfortable; either it was too intimate or revealed something too personal.

    The struggle I had was that I wanted to share our story to encourage others, but then I realized there was a limit to the sharing when it invaded VG’s privacy – particularly because she’s so young.

    There were always details I knew I’d never share in the blog, but my limit came sooner than I expected.

    This is a great topic Barbara!

    Vintage Mommy´s last blog post..Show and Tell: A New Look

  16. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    It has always been a given not to publish anything that would not harm folks or myself. Unfortunately, the youngsters of today are finding that out early. Many of them did not realize the ramifications of their actions online will have on their careers or lives.

    There is many things I would love to write about but cannot and even though it would be a very interesting read, it is not worth the emotion that would happen afterwords.

    Linda´s last blog post..New Face 2009

  17. We recently posted a very personal entry, but never would have done it without the permission and editorial input of those whose story it was.

    There are certain things I could write about but have not out of deference. I think the arbiter for me is “Whose story is this, really?” If it’s theirs, and only mine secondarily, then permission, permission, permission first, and always. (Except when my brother turned 50, heh). I think if others would ask themselves this, it would tend to get rid of a lot of dirty laundry on the Internet.

    Words do live forever in this medium. Popping off rarely serves anyone or any situation well. Best to let things sit and see if the they taste their best when steeped.

    Betsy Wuebker´s last blog post..CATCHING UP

  18. DaisyNo Gravatar says:

    GREAT post!

    I’ve written a handful of posts that are ‘sensitive’, and I try my best to relay the message as what I learned from it, not who did it. I’m quite careful about the way I craft the message because although I think it is highly unlikely they will ever read it, on the offchance they do, well, then I’d better make sure I’m comfortable with them reading it and I am.

    With comments, I too, am more more willing to be more ‘free’ with my words since I think it even more unlikely that the person I am referring to will happen upon that post. However, now that I think about it, perhaps, I should be just as respectful and sensitive no matter where I’m writing. Thanks for this excellent post!

    Daisy

    Daisy´s last blog post..Who reads this stuff?

  19. TobyNo Gravatar says:

    Often when I read posts where the blogger constantly writes about her/his children (esp. by name), I think “Hope the $ from the Google Sense Ads are being saved for the shrink sessions.”

    Now Max doesn’t seem to care what I write about him .. oh Max is my YouTube rock star .. dog! lol

  20. Ehm… I just finished a post today where I was purposefully “vague” so as to protect the client’s identity.

    We must all remember that we’re leaving deep digital footprints and when we write about others, we’re creating footprints for them as well. When I name names, I make SURE that I ask permission AND that I apply the “Golden Rule”. In other words, I ask myself if I’d be happy or sad to be “painted” in this light. If I’d be “sad” then I make DOUBLY sure that the identity is obscured beyond recognition. After all – it’s hard to erase these digital footprints we’re leaving!

    Kathy @ Virtual Impax´s last blog post..Your Digital Footprints…

  21. […] I leave on other blogs not to mention the information contained in various online profiles are available for ALL to see.  Combined, those interactions are creating a digital footprint that can’t be easily erased […]

  22. I’m very careful online. Whatever I write, I keep in mind my parents, in laws, boss and coworkers and of course friends will read it. I often ask my husband if he thinks something I want to publish is appropriate. And I never write about people from my offline life without asking for their permission first.

    As careful as I am, I’m sure I could slip. But so far, it hasn’t happened.

  23. Hi Barbara, if I share some story I do it in some a fashion that becomes almost mythical. By that I mean that I take the core of the issue and then re-imagine it in a quite different way. Or sometimes I just make up the story.

    Miguel de Luis´s last blog post..Kaizen Notebook 2: Some observations

  24. Hi Barbara, I see some posts on facebook or twitter that are so personal I wonder if the author would regret it. This post is a good reminder to be careful when it comes to sharing personal info.

    Sterling Okura´s last blog post..The #1 Problem With Small Business Websites

  25. JasonNo Gravatar says:

    I make no assumptions, when I blog about other people or places of business I often change the names to protect the innocent, it’s just good business as nobody wants to lose a friend or become the victim of a libel suit 😉

    Jason´s last blog post..Barack Obama is Not Your Messiah

  26. NaTuRaLNo Gravatar says:

    i keep my mouth shut. i already know my family doesn’t want to be on the web…i don’t want too much of my business on the web so i’m cautious with what i write.

    NaTuRaL´s last blog post..Fat and Happy?

  27. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    I always write recognizing that anyone that I know might drop in and read what I write, so I try to be careful about what I wrote. However, before I started using my own name in my posts and comments, I tried to be sensible and circumspect, just I am in real life.

    Mike Goad´s last blog post..Yellowstone National Park…. and a cool video, too!

  28. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Davina – Well said, “Things have a habit of catching up with a person if they’re not careful.”

    Hi Lance – You bring up another great point – pictures. Should we include pictures of others? Sounds like a great subject for me to bring up in a future post.

    Hi Tom – Yes. If we do write about another person, it’s often because they made an impact on our lives. If the story is positive, it’s easy to include accolades for that person, however, if it created a negative experience for us, I think we’re more apt to throw caution to the wind.

    Hi Tammie – That is great advice – “if you can’t find something good to say about a person, then don’t say it.”

    Hi Alex – I like that. “…ever to put anything online nor send an email that I didn’t want seen on the nightly news.”. I’m guessing there are many out there who wish they heard that advice before they got put into a precarious position.

    Hi James – Great point. If we think of all of the possible outcomes before we hit publish, we’re less apt to have regrets.

    Hi Broderick – Thank you. I agree. If we’re going to include others in our stories, we should put them in a positive light.

    Hi Stacey – Absolutely. The original intent of any blogger should not be to cause harm to others.

    Hi J.D. – Your technique of asking yourself “how can I use this”, is a great strategy to use (once the story is stripped down to the essentials).

    Hi Debbie – Oddly enough, I enjoy reading your blog because you do share stories of your children. I especially enjoy watching Peanut’s progress. I find it extremely educational reading how you handle having a child with Down syndrome, and I would have to believe others do, too.

    Hi Ling – You’re right. If we keep our real and virtual life miles apart, it would be difficult to make friends online. I believe there is a balance where we can have both, however, to some degree caution should come into the equation.

    Hi Karl – Definitely! Blogging should take a back seat to our real life. And you may have heard the saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, no one’s happy”. 🙂

    Hi Ann – Thank you. In answer to your question, I have read a handful of posts that were TOO personal. In those instances, I felt like an intruder/eavesdropper and left without reading the whole post.

    Hi Linda – You’re right. Many people do not realize how the ramifications of what they put online can harm their careers or lives.

    Hi Betsy – Yes. As Ann said, it’s often NOT our story to tell, and asking ourselves “whose story is this” is a great starting point.

    I love how you worded that last sentence. “Best to let things sit and see if the they taste their best when steeped.” That would be a great quote to add to Davina’s book.

    Hi Daisy – Thank you. I’m nodding as I read your comment, agreeing we should be just as careful with our words in comments as well.

    Hi Toby – Good point. When a parent is blogging about their children, what they say could negatively affect the child later in life.

    P.S. Our dogs don’t mind being blogged about either. 🙂

    Hi Kathy – Isn’t that the truth? We are creating digital footprints for ourselves as well as others – often without them knowing.

    Hi Vered – Asking your husband if something is appropriate is a great way to get an unbiased viewpoint, and asking permission is a great way to avoid misunderstandings.

    Hi Miguel – How creative – to re-imagine a story in a different way. That would definitely help to avoid including the experiences of those we know.

    Hi Sterling – Like you, I’ve seen personal information I didn’t feel needed to be shared online. Will they regret it? Maybe later.

    Hi Jason – Well put – “nobody wants to lose a friend or become the victim of a libel suit” (over something posted online).

    Hi NaTuRal – Being cautious is the key, isn’t it?

    Hi Mike – Good point. Keeping in mind that anyone could read our work is a great way to temper our words. Even if someone isn’t reading our blog now, they may be tomorrow, or next year.

  29. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I am aware that some of my friends/clients read my blog at times. Hence, I am very careful with the words I use or what I intend to reveal. I don’t quote names and I prefer to tell stories on my blog from my own personal experience. I also take note if I appear to be “judging” someone or a situation.

    It all boils down to this: If I don’t like something to happen to me, I sure wouldn’t want to do the same to others.

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..HAVE-DO-BE or BE-DO-HAVE?

  30. I have got myself into trouble a couple of times, the most mortifying one when I was writing a blog about my dating exploits. Although I didn’t use real names, one guy I dated found my blog and read that I wasn’t sure if I could learn to like his face! It was horrible, but he was a really good sport about it.

    I also got caught writing a snarky blog about my flatmate, only to discover that someone in my building (I still don’t know who exactly) reads my blog and told him about it. He, too, was a very good sport about it. I’ve been treated far better than I deserve.

    Needless to say, I am far more careful now.

    Frisky Librarian´s last blog post..Freaky photos

  31. CG WaltersNo Gravatar says:

    Very good point, which needs to be considered, Barbara. Thank you!

    I think it was always a matter of manners not to tell the story that is not ours to tell. It just so happens that the possibly quick and wide reaching impact of telling online brings the repercussions to light with much more force.

    Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence? -Sai Baba

    …maybe this jewel needs added, “is it yours to tell?”

    blessigns to you and all you hold dear,
    CG

    CG Walters´s last blog post..CelebraZine 14Jan09

  32. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve had my cloak of invisibility fail on a couple of occasions. Extremely embarrassing – I’ve GOT to remember to wear something under that thing!

    My only advice is to always assume that some how, some way the topic you are writing about will be read by the subject. You will save yourself some hassle that way.

    Cheers

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..7 Wealth and Happiness Hazards for Writers

  33. I write stories about others with pleasure if it lifts the other guy.
    If I have a permissions to mention the name I do it.
    When I have negative, ehm… ehm… constructive feedback – I will do it in person, not publically. It is bad practice to flame on public – either verbally or via blogging. It ruins your brand. It shows your values…. I mean the lack of it…

    Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com´s last blog post..Fear No Recession – Surpass Your Career Potential

  34. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    Such an interesting topic Barbara.

    I write a lot about myself and rarely about anyone else – but I am learning a lot from what the others are saying here – I will be a little more prepared if I ever talk about another person on my blog ….

    Maya´s last blog post..Preparing to Believe in Yourself: The Science of Ditchiness

  35. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    If you always write as if everyone is reading, you have no worries about caution. It’s really not that difficult. 😉

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..Do You Use Google Alerts?

  36. RuthNo Gravatar says:

    So far every blog I’ve written has been found by someone I know (actually, not my first one…that I know of!). So I try to exercise a certain amount of discretion. I also try to avoid putting too much identifying data on it….so that people will have a harder time guessing who I am if they know me IRL and happen to run across it.

    I try not to write things that belittle others or share very personal information.

    I don’t think I’ve regretted anything I’ve posted about other people. There are some very intimate things about my own life that I’ve posted and regretted a bit (not on this blog). But once it was out there, I decided to leave it since it wasn’t damaging to my reputation and the only people I was really concerned about had already read it.

    I did take down one rant because it was better getting it out of my system than actually posting it and another rant because I couldn’t take all the crazy commenting and it didn’t fit on my blog (religious).

    Ruth´s last blog post..Do You Really Want to Do Nothing?

  37. I am much more careful about what I say online than to my friends and family, as the latter are not putting my words up for all eternity. (most of the time they probably don’t even pay attention to me anyway, ha ha.)

    In my poems I can be as obscure as I want and love that freedom.

    Still, I don’t want to hurt anyone and don’t believe I have so far. Except that teeny slip about Madonna years ago.

    Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Like a bord on a wire, 3

  38. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    I try to be very, very careful what I say or write about, primarily I just phrase everything in terms of my thinking and my experience.

    The folks I have written about have read, edited and approved of the post – including my children and other family members.

    I had my credentials suspended by what someone implied about me and it took me lots of money, lawyers visits, and writing to get them reinstated. I know the pain of words first hand.

    I would also like to say I hope this always makes me a better editor of my writing, a careful communicator, and a person who looks for Intention and Clarity in all my communications.

    Not only to I wish to be acknowledged for my writing and kindness, I wish be be acknowledged for my wonderful ability to listen and respond.

    Patricia´s last blog post..Doctor, Doctor are you Listening?

  39. […] Barbara Barbara is reminding writers and bloggers to be thoughtful and careful about what they say about others in their writing.  I think that is a good way to be and to work at lifting others up in a positive light without harm.  Lifts my thinking! […]

  40. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    My girlfriend and I write a lot about our life on our blog, and since we are currently stuck 4,500 miles apart with her waiting for a visa to be approved it’s rather frustrating at times – well to be honest all of the time!

    It’s refreshing to read so many stories about different people and to get to know them through their blogs. I have made some good friends online who live all over the world, come from different backgrounds, but all of who have something to write about that interests me.

    It’s really amazing what you can find online these days, and not just the encyclopedia type of information that you would be searching for a few years ago either.

    Tony´s last blog post..Email From The Consular Information Unit Arrived!!

  41. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Evelyn – What a great mantra, “If I don’t like something to happen to me, I sure wouldn’t want to do the same to others.” That’s a great way of looking at it.

    Hi Frisky Libarian – Thank you for sharing your experiences. Although they didn’t get you into big trouble, that’s a perfect example of what can happen.

    Hi CG Walters – You’re welcome. That’s true, isn’t it? We do need to ask if it is our story to tell? Sometimes, it’s not.

    Hi George – Isn’t that the truth? “…some how, some way the topic you are writing about will be read by the subject”. We would be foolish to believe otherwise.

    Hi Alik – I agree. It’s much better (and feels better) when we lift up the other guy/gal.

    Hi Maya – I’m happy to hear this post has been educational. Like you, I’m also enjoying the comments and hearing others point of view.

    Hi Dennis – Good point. And no, it’s not that difficult.

    Hi Ruth – You bring up a good point. If we post a “rant”, we also have to be prepared for the comments. Knowing not everyone is going to agree with us leave the door open to all viewpoints. Based on the subject of our blog, some posts may be best left unwritten.

    Hi Jannie – That’s true. Our words will be somewhere in cyberspace, forever. It really helps when we think before hitting the publish button.

    Hi Patricia – Thank you for sharing your story of how words put you in a compromising position. Fortunately you got it resolved.

    I like how you ended your comment. “I wish be be acknowledged for my wonderful ability to listen and respond.” Me, too.

    Hi Tony – I certainly hope you and your girlfriend can be reunited soon.

    You’re right. Blogs make our online experience so much better. We get to read opinions and ideas from others and in the process make many great friends. Isn’t blogging great?

  42. DotNo Gravatar says:

    Can’t resist adding my 2 cents. I’m fairly open about my life in real life, so I don’t fear too much having people read about me online. As for writing about others, either they’re public figures, or I say only positive things, or I disguise the person. I have written about friends, but after they suggested it. And I never write about work or the people i work with.

    Dot´s last blog post..Question for Subscribers

  43. Barbara – intriguing topic. When disclosing a personal story or information about others my golden rule is to speak/write how I would say it to ANYONE, which eliminates the games of back peddling or regret. Plus when you’re saying/writing one thing to someone and something else to another person the chances of getting ‘caught’ are pretty high. Thanks for the post.

  44. HenwayNo Gravatar says:

    Been browsing around this blog and had to chime in… I think it’s VERY easy to accidentally write something negative about someone we know, and not think they will find out. We might not even view it as negative because we don’t know for certain what the other person’s reaction is gonna be. But it’s also very easy for them to find the story too even if they have no idea you got a blog.. just from following trails such as from your Twitter username -> Facebook account -> old Yahoo account -> old forum username -> blog.
    Check out Henway’s awesome post.My Colonix ExperienceMy Profile