Friday, January 29, 2010

Are You Google-able?

Unlike my Hubby, who is extremely internet-leery (he's adamantly not on Facebook and wouldn't recognize a "tweet" if it bit him in the ass), I, obviously, am a bit more relaxed about the whole dubya dubya dubya.


As you probably know or have figured out, I do not use my whole real name here.  Nor the names of my husband or boyz.  But if you "know" me on Facebook or in real life, then you know my identity.  Obviously.  So it's certainly not a top secret protected by Jack Bauer.


I Google myself on a fairly regular basis.  Just to check and make sure that my real name isn't anywhere I don't want it to be.  The only place my whole name (with my maiden name) is linked to this blog is through Facebook, and I have all my settings set to private.  (Are your photo settings set to "Only Friends Can See"?  If not, anyone who isn't necessarily your friend can still see all your Facebook pictures on your profile!)

If anyone from my work or town Googled my current name, they would merely discover that I have run a few road races and that there are a few others who share my name.  Of course, anyone putting in any sort of effort could quickly link me to this blog.  But I don't have anything to hide.

And, on the flip side of trying to remain somewhat anonymous, I do post real pictures of myself and my family.  So there's that.  Which is a whole 'nother issue (for those of you who choose not to).

Anyway, even though I'm probably easily "discoverable", I just feel better not using my real last name or my family's real names.  So there.

How about you, though?  Are you Google-able?  (Do you care?)
Is your real name linked to your blog?  Do you post pictures of your children on your blog? 


Annie said...

If I Googled my own name in the past - all that came up was my Facebook link and like you, mine is all set to private, including the photos.

Recently though - the top hits on Google for my name are my published newspaper articles which is kind of cool to see.

I have never used my real name on the blog - nor have I linked my blog to Facebook. One of the main reasons my blogging stopped so suddenly on Blooming Marvelous was that someone local was reading it and that someone turned out to be kinda weird, and not someone I wanted knowing anything about my family - or ever having the possibility of finding us :(

Jeannie, Jane, Angel, Mommy, etc.. said...

I have only just now become concious of this. Unfortunately, it is a little too late as I have used both of my girls' names in my blog many many times. It is also kind of hard becuase Ember has her own blog to keep people updated on her journey through life after transplant. I am very open and honest about our experience before, during, and after transplant and I want people to feel comfortable contacting us about it. I also do post pictures of them, but would like to go back and add my name/url to them, but I am not sure how to do it. Any suggestions on keeping a lower profile now that I am more concious or it or is it simply too late?

Shell said...

My real name is not linked to my blog. I do occasionally post pics of my children on mine. If you knew me irl, you'd recognize my profil pic *maybe* since it's more of a side/almost back view.

Anonymous said...

I use all our own first names on my blog, but have never put a last name or even last initial. I only refer to our province, not our town, but that's about as far as my security goes. I have used real photos of my kids. I guess we are google-able. Off to check my Facebook settings...

beenomom said...

I did what you did!! I decided to give myself a pen name, but do use my first name in my profile. I also don't use my kids real names, but you already know that!!

I do post pics of my kids on the blog and at first was somewhat leary about it, but I made sure to be vague about where we live and don't write anything that would acutally put us on the map. My facebook pics are set to private as well!

And, I set up a separate email account where I don't use my real last name. This one I use for all blog related hoo-haa.

Masala Chica said...

I am definitely googleable. And I have done a crap job at staying anonymous. Basically, I'm not at all - and I don't think that was my intent, as I would like to write a book with my own name associated to it at some point. My facebook pics are set to private but it would not take a genius for anyone to find me.

WhisperingWriter said...

Hmm, to be honest I haven't ever checked. I should probably do that now just to see. Now I'm curious.

Suburb Sierra said...

I love this topic for so many reasons but instead of going down all the different paths, I think about this:

If you have decided to publish material in an open forum for the benefit of the masses (i.e. not behind any passwords), don't you sort of open yourself up to the same public access as celebrities? For example, how frustrated are you when a celebrity has a baby and doesn't tell you what they named it, immediately, and then omits the photo spread on the front page of People Mag so we can't watch every single move that child makes until they enter rehab at 18? Come on - admit it...

That being said, I do use my real name, and on occasion my children's names, on my blog but I also consider myself very internet aware and less vulnerable than people who just dabble in it and fill out everything about themselves including their social security number on facebook :) There are limits. And there will always be vulnerabilities.

Now excuse me while I lock down my house for the night; pull up the drawbridge to the moat; turn on the alarm system and put down the shade darkeners...the paparazzi are hanging in the yard again.

Vodka Logic said...

You can get more info from vodka logic than my real name. My FB name is fake as well.. last name is anyway,. I do not want work on my FB. I am not a crazy person but my out of work life is just that.

Good post Laura xx

Lolli said...

I typically don't use my name on the internet, other than Facebook. My family all has nicknames on my blog, although my real first name does get out there sometimes. Not my last name, though. I do post pictures, but try to leave out any identifying characteristics (town/street name, school, kids name, etc)

Draft Queen said...

In addition to occasionally googling myself I have Google Alerts set up for not only my real name and my blog/ blog identity, but my children's as well.

My real name garners results on Facebook, my father's obituary and I presume some things tied to someone I used to do things on the internet with whom I won't mention because I know he has an alert set up and I kind of go out of my way to not to mention him.

Sandy said...

Because I have a website for my business I am definitely Googleable. Are you familiar with Google Alert? You can sign up to have Google contact you if you show up.

KK said...

I don't worry about it, but respect those who do. I mean, if your child's pic is in the paper for winning a soccer tournament, they are google-ale. It's not like everything isn't already out there. I am careful about not announcing vacations or my part of town, etc.

Anonymous said...

Like the precious poster said..I respect those that are far more careful...however, I live my internet out there pretty publicly, full name etc...but have a hubby, like yours, that is sooooo anti-Facebook/social its awkward.

I am pretty locked down on Facebook...just because I cant stand the idea of friends of friends peaking into my life unasked for but yet I have a public blog...duh!

Anyway...have a great weekend!
Mindy ( a fellow SITStah )

Anonymous said...

My name is out there well my maiden name. I don't post pics of my daughter I am just too scared that some crazy psycho will look at them or find something out. I know some many people do and it is safe but I am neurotic but nature I guess. LOVE your blog and will be back again soon!

Patois said...

It's funny because I just wrote last week about my older kids' middle school and the number of kids who are 11 or 12 or 13 and becoming fans of the school's page, which pretty much says, "Hey, I'm a kid who goes here. Now you know my name and what I look like."

I'm not out with the blog, just my first name and my husband's. I've not used the kids' real names in forever, but you could find out their first names easy enough.

As for my true name? I only use my maiden with Facebook and tie it to the blog, in some weird way of trying to protect the kids' identities. I am, however, searchable from my previous professional life. (No, not as a stripper.)

Judy said...

Privacy seems to be a thing of the past. Since I am branding my website, I am all over the place. If I had small children, I would be very cautious about their identities. I wouldn't even allow our names on the door or mailbox when they were growing up! *)

Rachel Cotterill said...

I use my name openly... if you google my name, you'll find my website, my blog, and a whole host of comments I've left across the web. But then, I don't think I'm particularly contraversial, and I don't have kids to worry about... at the moment, this works for me.

Visiting from SITS, hope you're having a great week :)

Anonymous said...

I only use my name and picture on my blog. First initial for the husband and daughter. She's really friendly and I would hate for someone (probably totally never gonna happen) to "find" us and know her name and call out to her and then she'll think said person knows her...etc. No pictures of her face either. To each her own!

Facebook is linked to my blog, but not vice versa. I let it all hang out on fb, so my blog is not linked back to it.


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