Friday, July 11, 2008

Privacy Is As Privacy Does: A Poll

Have you ever been freaked out when a casual acquaintance from ‘real life’ found your blog? Or when your Sitemeter showed a steady stream of Google pervs visiting your site? Do you wonder about whether to put up photos of your children or your friends on your blog, for fear of your privacy? Many of us have experienced these unsettling moments, and questioned or even changed our writing styles and our habits as a result.

What strategies do you use to reach the audience you want, while maintaining your own privacy? Most bloggers use some kind of anonymization or privacy strategy, a ‘screen name’ being the most simple and obvious.

Mommy-blogger and researcher Aimée Morrison (Department of English, University of Waterloo, Canada) is conducting a study of writing strategies to protect privacy. She has set up a voluntary, anonymous 15- to 20-minute survey at that asks questions about such strategies, for example, if you use password protection to limit your writing’s audience. Follow the link to learn more about the study, or to participate. You can also contact Prof. Morrison directly at ahm [at] uwaterloo [dot] ca for more information.

Aimée is going to BlogHer in San Francisco, and she’d love to interview you in person if you’re going—send her an email at the address above.

Please feel free to repost this message, unchanged, to your blog to encourage others to participate too.
This study has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance through, the Office of Research Ethics, University of Waterloo.


Anonymous said...

I blog anonymously for good reason. Sometimes I write about clients, and I must protect their identities. Also, I never write much about my fucked up family of origin. For good reason. I tell stories. And that works for me.

Marinka said...

I had a post recently about how I think that toddler girls shouldn't wear bikini tops and was quite alarmed by how many "my daughter topless" google searches had brought "readers" to my blog.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

The other day our office secretary who had never really talked to me before came in my office and screamed "It's you! You're on the front page of the Chronicle! In curlers!" It's kinda unsettling...but freeing in a way.

nerinossa said...


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I blog under a nom de plume because I think that if people knew who I was, they wouldn't bother to read my posts :)

"Who or what is Nerinossa?"