Nothing is Private
One of my children learned the hard way that his “private” blog was not so private after all. A disparaging comment about his then current employer was discussed in detail during an interview for a possible promotion. A subscriber to his blog, who was also seeking the position provided the excerpt to the interviewing committee.
He naively thought people who were not invited or subscribed to his blog would never have access to its content. Obviously, he did not get the position, and the committee declined to go with his competitor for ethical reasons. According to a small survey of bloggers, over half of those surveyed included their name or other identifying information.
This is a scholarly analysis of bloggers expectation of privacy. It is intended to introduce issues of privacy into academic discussions of blogging. The article contains information about the history of blogging, the demographic tendencies, the practices, and the views on issues of privacy from a small random sample of bloggers. The study features links to various blogging resources.
With the advent of more search engines crawling the World Wide Web for content, I feel it is unrealistic for bloggers to feel the “web is just too big for just anyone to find my blog”.
Everything is Forever
One of the main differences between a blog site and other web sites is the journal format of blogs. Blog content is additive. In other words, new content does not replace existing content. Every post is searchable, and essentially indelible as the statue shown above. I had cautioned my adult children to post as if their own children would be able to see the content.
Houston, we have a problem
The contributory nature of blogs means that the author really only can control the original post. After that, it is open season and any subscriber is free to comment and often the original author is held liable for all the content of the blog. Also, a comment in the middle of the blog can be so controversial as to “go viral” and the intended message or discussion of the blog gets lost.