When you blog on your personal blog – either for just sharing your thoughts or promoting something (including your personal branding activities,) you need to know how transparent you should allow yourself in sharing your personal information in your blog posts.
I mainly blog about general issues and my business ventures. I touch the private issues of my personal and business life in a general manner. However, many keen to share their private life in their blogs, treating the blogs as their diaries.
The fact is, blogs are not diaries. Diaries are for your own eyes. Blogs are visible to each and every Internet users. People do forget this fact and pour their heart out into blog posts that will contain rants, personal struggles, and such (let’s be honest here – not many blogs contain no rants-type-of-blog-posts.)
However, bloggers need to know when to stop – or else, things will backfire and will give them bad days… and more.
Scary blogging stories…
Consider these real-life stories – of course, with hidden identities.
A blogger blogs her story of the difficulties in getting care for her loved one (Ms. Y) in a particular hospital. She gets both encouraging comments that make her day AND stupid comments that make her angry (“Ms. Y will die. Deal with it – we are all going to die, anyway.” I mean, what the… ?
And there are more stories…
Another blogger rants about his boss in his personal blog – his boss founds out, and the blogger get sacked and lost his job.
This one comes from a blogger that use “reality” blogging style, documenting his journey from a debt-ridden life to debt-free life. He uses his real name, posting real income and stuff (I know many bloggers do this – usually in the make money online and personal finance niches.) His personal life is laid bare – so to speak. The impact: Scam offers flooding in, people calling him a scammer, people check on him – and find his address, his office address, etc. “thanks” to the honest blogging style.
How about getting sued by a company claiming that a particular blogger was spreading lies via his blog and social network? How about losing business clients because the business owner blogs about his recent trip to Africa, taping him killing an elephant in a hunting-for-fun activity?
Bloggers need to set a boundary – or else…
… your off line and online reputation will be tarnished. You need to know when to stop sharing too much information in your blog posts. Avoid posting about your loved ones along with their personal information.
Consider this as an example: “Well, today is my son’s birthday; he and his friends will go to XYZ for a small celebration at 10 AM” – this sentence offers enough information for bad guys to track your son! So, beware!
To conclude this blog post, here’s one more story – my story; despite being a bit unrelated, it shows what personal details can be manipulated for:
Last year I was falsely accused for scamming people with my previously owned sites. I sold the sites to a buyer, and due to my recklessness in handling personal information, I keep my email contact details intact in those sites. The buyer was allegedly a scammer, refurbished my sites and flipped them to other buyers priced over fake income claims.
The impact? I received personal attack by the new owners accusing me of scamming people. I need to explain things and get help from a lawyer I know, just in case. All ended well – no legal wars involved, but considering the hassle and risks, you need to be careful with your personal information in your websites and their content.