Friday, May 25

The Perils of Blogging?

With the recent flurry of bad manners exhibited on Outdoors Magic it got me to thinking about the visibility we Bloggers have. And where that could potentially lead.

(BTW the specific OM stuff is sorted now, and the sites normal friendly banter has been resumed. And yes I dobbed the offender in to the rozzers. He made the terminal mistake of getting very boring. But I suspect I wasn't the only, or first OMer to flag the situation)

There's some basic rules any Internet user should normally follow concerning protection of identity, location, and personal matters. Add to that an increased employer sensitivity to be wary of which has lost more than one blogger their income in the past.

For that reason I never disclose my personal details until I am happy with the individual concerned. Even then I will retain elements of my anonymity where necessary; That's not because I'm paranoid, but because my family, friends and employment are only a superficial part of this virtual world. As they've not elected to be involved, (nor indeed have they been asked) I automatically offer them the level of protection & respect that I would expect from them concerning our joint right to privacy.

At times that world can bleed through onto here, due to time frame, personal upheaval or just a general nudge to explain my thought process. But hey, that's life.

So that is why my profile is generalised. My photos mostly exclude identifying faces. And I keep my real world life in a silo, separate from my outdoor/blog personality. I've spent years perfecting that particular trick due to other lifestyle choices not generally understood, or shared by the greater population at large (And no there's no juicy gossip there!)

Personal details, mine or yours, will never be exposed on this site. And are rarely shared outside via e-mail or meet-ups. Unless I'm happy over my safety and the same courtesy is available to those people that I liaise with.

Now I'm a firm believer that there's some sort of benefit from almost everything that happens to me. Sometimes I can't see it at the time, or it may not be the correct thing, but without making mistakes there's no chance to change. To grow with increased self realisation, or sometimes self disillusionment. For without that consciousness what is the human condition?

To date we're pretty damned unique in this limited universe, as we understand it. So best do something with it. Or try to. As far as our limited perspective will permit.

I'm not an optimist by any means. But when surrounded by negativity and blinkered vision I tend to shift to an air of positiveness. Better that than the alternative blackness. All too easy that option.

And as I re-read that section to correct typos I realised there is a lingering issue raised by the walk/mental health post which seems to have lead me into a very introspective pondering today.

Far too deep for my normal wittering; And definitely not what's need to gee us up for the coming bank holiday weekend. But there you go. Events in the normal world influencing my mood without my direct realisation. No comment at present on that. Let's just call it enigmatic. So time to get back on track.

The OM issue showed me just how careless an individual can be in identifying themselves. In this case the person concerned was proud to advertise key personal facts, seemingly oblivious that as the conversation became more odious, such information could have taken on a more threatening relevance for any one of the slighted conversationalists.

And in turn I was waiting for the appearance of unnecessary comments on some of the UK Outdoor Blogs.

We are very public in our web presence, and indeed that's part of the remit that goes with blogging.

We can control certain unwanted elements from third parties, or not, as we see fit. But it's a hassle we can normally live without thank you (And that's not a challenge!)

And as we all know there's an ever increasing audit trail across the web relating to each individual's activity. However lost/deleted old communications may seem. Try and Google you won details when you have a few spare minutes?

So a word of warning. This is a wonderful medium, and has truly revolutionised the ability of an individual to communicate. But like Pandora's Box, be careful how far it's opened, because it carries a responsibility.

Personally I approach said box with a bloody big fly swat whilst wearing midge proof clothing.
Have a good one this holiday.


HAs some links to further stories and some tips.
cheers Darren

I've been editing and managing web properties for a dozen years now. Which, apart from making me feel old, has taught me that random explosions of trollism are always going to occur. Usually typified by behaviour that individuals would never indulge in were the situation face-to-face.

Anyway, that's not the point I'm looking to make. I really enjoyed your post on mental health. As much as I enjoy the outdoors for the sheer spectacle, I do treat it as a kind of therapy. For me it's a way to shed responsibility. Instead of the bank, family, job, whatever, I'm only responsible for myself. It's my safety, my comfort that's involved. Everything else is left on the doorstep when I set off.

Sometimes I feel as though it's the closest thing to freedom we can find in these days.

Mark - you're definitely not alone in that feeling of release
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