January 10, 2009

Blogging Considerations

When I first got involved in blogging, it was only really popular among techies. Like others, it was such a great way to have the software manage quick posts to your site.....and it was how Guatadopt got started. Yeah, it was just me back then and I was posting information that I found during my own adoption research. My intent back then was just to provide updates and information for friends, family and the occassional question about the process. But blogging can be powerful and with it, there is a certain amount of responsibility for the blogger.

Today, blogging is the #1 way for online family journals and it is a wonderful way to journal about adoption. There are now thousands and thousands of adoption blogs on the internet and with it are thousands of links to other adoption blogs! But there are unseen risks and considerations that families should be aware of....

If you are blogging or considering it, here are some things that you should think about:
1) Unless you have it configured to be private, it is public to the world.
2) Most public blogging sites have very good webcrawlers that will catalog phrases, names, etc. from your site. That includes full names, birth names, embarrassing comments, etc.
3) It will also catalog photos (by your comments). So, before you load them, would you show those same photos/posts on your blog to a stranger in the supermarket? How about the US or Guatemalan government?
4) Can a child predator trace your child to your home if they found your site? Is your schedule of daily events visible?
5) Did you know that semi naked pictures from innocent family blogs have circulated the web? Look again at those wonderful pictures of your kids!!!

I know many of us blog with the thought that unless you advertise it, its really just going to be friends and family. However, that is not really the case. So please, please be careful out there. While most of our readers enjoy sharing our experiences with other adoptive parents....we may be sharing a bit too much!

General tips:
Avoid posting full names
Don't use last names or identifying information in your blogs
If you are using it as a personal journal, consider making some posts private if that is an option
Make sure the pictures posted are decent
Use aliases for family members

Also see The Dangers in Blogging

Posted by Kelly at January 10, 2009 03:13 PM | TrackBack

Thanks Kelly for writing this. As a blogger, I started out with the desire to chronical our life rather than sending out a mass email once a month or annoying people who really didn't want that email. I also found it a great way to post pictures and little tidbits, as well as processing things I go through as an adoptive parent.

Still, I realize that there is a HUGE responsibility and that there are whackos out there.

Thanks again -- lots to consider!!

Posted by: alzaun01 at January 10, 2009 11:38 PM

I think we would all be wise in what we post on any public forumns.

Posted by: cathie at January 11, 2009 05:28 AM