Monday, November 17, 2003

How to Prevent Your Blog From Being too Public

The Onion -- In a turn of events the 30-year-old characterized as "horrifying," Kevin Widmar announced Tuesday that his mother Lillian has discovered his weblog.

"Apparently, Mom typed [Widmar's employer] Dean Healthcare into Google along with my name and, lo and behold, PlanetKevin popped up," Widmar said. "I'm so f*cked."

In an e-mail sent to Widmar Monday, Lillian reported in large purple letters that she was "VERY EXCITED :)!!!" to find his "computer diary," but was perplexed that he hadn't mentioned it to her.

Upon receipt of the e-mail, Widmar mentally raced through the contents of his blog. He immediately thought of several dozen posts in which he mentioned drinking, drug use, casual sex, and other behavior likely to alarm his mother.

Have No Fear - Blogger Offers Advice to the Panic Stricken

Use a Pseudonym
Go Multi-Lingual
Change Your Blog Address, Keep Your Readers
Search and Destroy Modify

You know how faces are sometimes blurred on news programs to protect peoples' privacy? You can go that same route with your blog by searching for potentially incriminating keywords and editing for a softer, more Mom-friendly vocabulary. For example: "I got really drunk last night" becomes, "I got really marshmallow last night." It may not make sense, but it does give you plausible deniability, which could help. Every little bit counts.
include a disclaimer on your blog
"Nothing in here is true"
Remove your blog from Search Engines

Of course, my advice is to grow up.

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