Friday, August 12, 2011

Careful What You Say Online

We’ve all heard we should watch what we say online, but let’s be honest; the internet is a big place. I think most of us believe we are hidden in a forest of sites where no one can find us.
I’ve learned that’s not true.
I figured only writers and close friends would be interested in my blog, but I get comments from people I’ve only met once and don’t care about writing at all. It’s flattering!
Once I posted a video with music, and an hour later, I heard someone at work humming the song.
Since so many people can and do see what I say, I try to keep it classy, but the one time I mentioned someone in a way that might not be appreciated, I got busted.
It was on my Marquee Names article. I figured I kept the reference vague enough for no one to make the connection. She had no interest in writing, and even if she did, she wouldn’t have enough interest in me to read my blog. And what were the odds this one person would read the one post where I mentioned her?
Come to find out, she loves writing, she does read my blog, she saw that post, she recognized I was talking about her, and she approached me about it.
She’s probably reading this now. (Hello, how’s work going?)
Luckily, she didn’t mind. She just said, “I saw you mentioned me on your blog today.” Whew! So now I’ll be more careful

Here’s another piece of blogging advice. I’ve read countless articles where people promise to do something, don't do it, and apologize. I’ve also read countless apologies from bloggers who didn't post as often as they thought they should.
This is both boring and disappointing. My motto is this: no promises, no excuses, no apologies, no regrets. Just do what you can.

Speaking of being careful, this is hilarious:


  1. I love that picture of that sign. It makes me laugh every time I see it.

    And you're right about the need to be careful what we say online. I was busted a couple of years ago in a way that did not resolve as nicely as your story. I have tried to avoid duplicate that experience ever since.

  2. Yup. When you're online it is public. Good reminder!

  3. I've been tempted to blog about people I know, but I've decided unless I've got something good to say, I probably shouldn't be saying it. Great post.

  4. Unless Stephen King reads my blog, I should be okay. Thanks for the reminder, though. I've seen many blogs where people are apologizing for something they've said.

  5. This is a great post, you are so right about this--and it totally applies to not just blogs, but also other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. You never really know who's watching what you write. Occasionally I will mention people that I know, but I don't give names and the mention is always in a positive light. I try to be careful and so far I haven't made any mistakes...the last thing I ever would want to do is accidentally offend somebody!



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