Tag Archives: privacy

On Borders

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So, I co-write a WoW-blog.  We average ~3000 hits per week.   That doesn’t take RSS Reader numbers, and likely includes several “multi-visits” on post days from our more frequent commenters.  However, we do have some (small) level of fame and a following.

We also make no secret our character names, home server, faction, and guild.  Hell, we include links when we make posts begging for raiders.  We also include links to guildie’s blogs, and they often link to their armory.

We’re easily traceable.  And our guild has a Friend & Family rank.  We’ve had readers roll on our server to say hi, to level alts, and even join our guild.

Now, our guild is a chatty, social bunch.  You could say we put the “fun” in “dysfunctional” and that wouldn’t be far from the truth.  Our guild locks most of our fora, but anyone who is guilded can access most of it, including stuff like the thread which has a repository of facebook links.

Yesterday, I got an email alert from Facebook:

Hi Marianne,

<name> added you as a friend on Facebook.  We need to confirm that you know <name> in order for you to be friends on Facebook.

<name> says, “<charactername> – social guildie, devoted fan of snarkcraft!”.

Thanks,
The Facebook Team

And I had to sit there and stare.  My first reaction:  Who the hell is <name>?  My second reaction: Who the hell is <charactername>?

I consider myself pretty open and honest about my identity online, however I do have pretty firm boundaries between what I consider to be Jov-the-blogger and Marianne-the-person.  Yes, it’s probably very easy to use Google to determine my frequently-used non-Jov webhandle.  It’s uncommon enough that a search on THAT will likely net you another handful of things I do separate from Snarkcraft.  But just because you can FIND it doesn’t give you access to it.

I mean, yes, you could probably guesstimate and find this blog, but I keep this pretty bland.  You can’t access (for example) the flocked posts on LJ, or my wedding pictures on Facebook.

Which brings us back to the original topic.  That is a border for me.  If I don’t know who you are, and don’t know who your character is, even though you’re a Friend/Family member of the guild I’m in, I’m not comfortable adding you to my Facebook.  The information is there for guildies, the ones I actually talk to, or at least know something about.  I know their jobs, or lack thereof.   I know, regionally at least, the part of the country they’re in.  I might have cellphone numbers, email addresses, IM handles…  There’s a mutuality born of being around them, talking to them, existing closely with them for over a year.

If you’re a non-commenting reader of Snarkcraft who joins the guild as a F/F member, but has zero presence in the guild itself (no posting, no commenting, never coming online or saying anything in gchat) you’re not someone I’m comfortable with letting in past that border.  You’re just coming across as kinda creepy and stalker-ish.

Thoughts on privacy

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One of the things I have the most difficulty with when posting here is determining the level of privacy I want to maintain.  I mean, if you’re really wanting to poke around, you can find my full name, my husband’s name, my current residence (at least as far as city goes) etc.  Generally speaking, I’m not terribly hard to stalk.  I count on the fact that I really don’t provide any meaningfully interesting reasons to want to do so.

Well, I can bake.  But otherwise, I’m a pretty prickly individual most days.

But otherwise, I’m pretty open about “who I am” on the internet (well, except for stuff like including a facebook link in my wow blog).  For whatever reason, that doesn’t really trigger my privacy bells.

The important stuff, personal stuff about me, what I do and the like doesn’t really get covered, however.  I’m not certain why…  I said (to myself, at least) from the beginning that this wasn’t just going to be an outlet for my whining, or angsting about personal stuff.

I… don’t know why, however.  I mean, I kinda know why.  I have certain things compartmentalized in little boxes with labels like “that’s boring” or “that’s no one’s business”

It may be boring, but so are my character write-ups.  It doesn’t stop me from posting them.

It may not be anyone’s business, but neither is my recipe for porkchops, but that doesn’t stop me from sharing.

I think everyone reading this, however, is pretty active online in their own ways, so I’ll turn theses questions to you:

How do you determine your preferred level of privacy in your blog (or other online outlet)?  What are your yes and no columns?  What is kosher to discuss, and what is never handled?

What are you interested in from me?  Do you want peeks into my boring box?  My day-to-day?  My stuff I would probably whine about if I didn’t actually have an audience?