Friday, March 21, 2008

It's a Scary Web Out There

I sometimes think that maybe I am a touch paranoid.

Or Netanoid if you will.

I do not use our names online nor will I ever post pictures of my kids or myself.  I refrain from posting my own pictures because I want you all to picture me as blond, willowy and perky.  A picture would destroy that illusion.  However, my kids are the cutest on the planet so I'd love for you to see them but I am a little worried about the bad guys out there.

Sometimes I tell myself, "come on it's just a mommy blog.  13 people read it.  8 of them are related to you.  The bad dudes are on MySpace looking for naive 13 year olds, not 33 year old mommies in need of stylist and better hobbies."

However, then I am reminded of the power of the web.

One of my fave bloggers recently posted a funny piece in which she made a slight against an invented language.  It wasn't a major slam and in context it was quite funny. 
Veronica is a very intelligent, articulate writer of a mommy blog. Normally she flies under the radar and writes thought-provoking posts about life, theology and motherhood.
HOWEVER this time she used the name of this invented language and it showed up in Google blog alerts.  I won't because I don't need the headache, although I would like the traffic!

Apparently, if you are interested in  a particular subject you can have alerts sent to you whenever the subject is blogged about.  I had no idea such a thing existed.  I bet you Veronica didn't either.  All of a sudden she is getting comment after irate comment from the defenders of this language.

It's just a mommy blog.  She probably has around 200 steady readers or so (judging from the amount of comments she gets) 10x's my amount, but in the grand scheme of things, not all that many.  Yet a large group of people who don't normally read her blog found her.  

She meant no harm at all.  What if I do the same thing?  I suffer from foot in mouth disease and I may unintentionally offend someone sometime.  If they do make it to my blog I really don't want them to know much about me.  They can leave their silly comments and then leave me alone.

So maybe a little paranoia is a good thing.

Just not about DVT.


Veronica Mitchell said...

Well, I knew about Google alerts, but it didn't occur to me that mentioning that particular language would bring such angry, impassioned people to my blog.

So far it really hasn't been so bad. They've left plenty of negative comments about me, but I haven't been flooded with negative email (though I took down my prominently displayed email address just in case). No one has written their own blog post smearing me and linking (so far as I know - though I've had a bunch of searches on the title of the post, so maybe it's out there).

But yes - oh so grateful that I do not use my real name.

MomOfTheCrazies said...

I didn't realize that people could be alerted to certain words that appear on the Internet. How bizarre. People certainly can get worked up about stuff, eh?

Dawn and Dale said...

GREAT!! Just what I needed to hear 3 days after I return my blog to public!!! lol ;)

Janet said...

I won't be mentioning "that" language, but I can guess what it is....:-)

I haven't had anything bad happen yet. If it does, the WHOLE blog goes down....

JCK said...

You've offended me on many an occasion. Hahaha

Seriously, Happy Geek, I understand where you are coming from. I don't post pictures of my kids either, most especially respecting my husband's wishes/thoughts as well. The blog is for me, anyway, not for them and I won't risk that.

That is crazy about Veronica's experience. I've encountered a couple of anonymous wacky comments, but like you - don't have that huge of a readership.

Methinks you are a smartie. And...I am SHOCKED that you are not a willowy blonde. Just STUNNED into ...well, SEMI-silence.

KnittinChick said...

I can think of words that I'd use that might alert angry words... diet, exercise, yarn diet or girls rule, boys drool....

Seriously, I agree with the scary stories. That's why I'm staying away from online dating... there are many VERY scary stories out there

Jill said...

With a name like the Happy Geek, I automatically assumed that you were a willowy blonde..... As am I.
Today, I read an article about whether or not it's safe to post photos of your kids on your blog. I do post pictures, but none that are identifing to my family in any way. No face shots, just hands or feet, and the occasional baked items. (Hopefully, nobody will send me hate e-mail about my cupcakes)
I would love to post photos of my kids, (cause they're just so darned cute!) but we've chosen to play it safe.

Janel said...

That is craziness! I love how Veronica handled it, though.

Who knew?