The Better blogger is aware that blogging is based on relationship building. There are no shortcuts to relationship-building. You need to lay the foundations by being clear about who you are, what you are about and what you hope to achieve through the new relationship.
In the first article in this How to Become a Better Blogger Series we briefly examined the need to introduce yourself to your readers and to consider who your readers are under two subtitles: Who are you? Who is Your Audience?
In this post I would like to focus on Online Privacy.
BLOGGING UNDER YOUR REAL NAME
The proponents of blogging under your real name take the position that doing so provides:
- a sense of responsibility for the things they blog about and publish;
- readers a clear idea of their interests and preoccupations;
- business and professional advantages of becoming a well know name in a chosen field.
My blogging tip is that if you are a make money blogger, or yours is a business blog or a professional blog, then you may want to consider blogging under your real name and posting a recent photo. Blogging under your real name allows you to build a name and branding credibility for yourself and your blog in your area of interest.
If you are a business or professional blogger who desires the freedom to be more casual in your blog, or if you want to develop a tone and persona online that’s different than the normal you, then blogging under a pseudonym will be the better choice to make.
Both within the blogosphere and without, the proponents of blogging under your real name and proponents of blogging under a pseudonym appear to be evenly split.
But how personal is too personal? How shocking is too shocking? How will what we post today affect our personal safety? Our relationships with friends and family? Our future job prospects? Our customer relations?
How do we remain true to ourselves and our unique voices, while making sure our online world doesn’t intrude negatively on the three-dimensional one?
For most people being anonymous on the Internet is not a life-or-death matter. You aren’t dissenting against a fascist police state, or trying to hide from the secret police or from a crazy ex-lover who means to do you harm. You are anonymous because you want to keep a modicum of privacy. It is an easy goal to achieve if you put some thought into it.
BLOGGING UNDER A PSEUDONYM
The proponents of blogging under a pseudonym take the position that blogging under your real name has led to:
- situations where bloggers lost their jobs because of their Facebook activity.
- harassment and stalking and criminal threats made by internet trolls.
- being placed on government and/or police watchlists.
- becoming a target for identity theft.
POSTING CONTACT INFORMATION SAFELY
Spammers have several ways to collect valid email addresses. It’s also noteworthy that some viruses that spread themselves by email read the browser’s cache of the infected computer to find possible victims: so if an infected computer is used to browse a web page containing your address, the virus might sends itself to you via an infected mail from that computer. There are simple ways to prevent such spam bots from doing their “dirty work”. Four such strategies can be found in Eluding Email Address Spam Bots.