Saturday, June 16, 2007

Li'l Ole Me

I know that there are things I know a lot about, and I know there are things I know very little about - aside from "life in general," which is the longest schooling I've ever had, and my diploma is nowhere in sight, which is totally fine with me.

I've seen some posts on other blogs that mention blogging ethics, steering traffic to one's blog, how a meme and meme tagging works, and how to get high mentions on Google. Sometimes I've gotten the general idea, and sometimes I have no idea what they're talking about. I don't even understand how linking to another blog works behind the scenes. A lot of it is over my head, and I'm not interested in learning because I think I have just a few readers, all of whom know me in real life, and so I write my blog for them (in fact, I should probably write, "...and so I write my blog for you").

A friend of mine is very net-savvy and follows, oh, about a million blogs a month. She knows what technorati is, how to set up a blog visitor counter, what "monetizing a website" means, and understands Google rankings. She talked to me last night about the blog, the personal information on it, and was saying that by writing about work I could be traced. The way she said this kind of freaked me out, like I need to scope the area when I get to work.

I've been focused on someone doing a name search Google and finding this blog, which is why I use nicknames for just about everybody in my stories (and is why I use the generic "a friend" so much), as well as my own. I hadn't thought about being found through the name of my employer. Maybe I didn't exactly understand what her concern was (someone is going to come to the food bank to find me in real life?) , or maybe I just understood that she was telling me to think about what I want out of and out there in this blog. Maybe I have been directing traffic here by accident, or maybe Blogger's "next blog" arrow has sent someone my way. It could happen. My friend suggested that it has.

That discussion led to the thought that I'm now writing on the 'net about my employer, which would have never been my intention. But here I am, working for them and so all of my past writings (not to mention any future) are about my employer. Fortunately I've only said good things about the food bank, and I don't have anything bad (really!) to say about it, the FB director, or the FB board, and also fortunately it is not some big state institution or corporation. I will only write about clients without any identifiable characteristics, but I wasn't going to do that anyway. Now, if I ever would have been so inclined, I won't be writing about the volunteers at all.

I suppose I have been terribly naive, but I am still so naive that I still don't exactly understand what consequences might be lurking out there for what actions. I'm still writing for a tiny audience of friends. I may continue assuming that most people wouldn't care about what I write on this project, or I might change the way I leave comments on other people's blogs, which it turns out is one way to steer traffic your way. I didn't really know that.

I told my friend that I was probably going to post about this.

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