Friday, June 19, 2009

overexposure

Checking my site stats, I've noticed that one of the people who's been reading my blog just happens to live in my mother's fairly small town (population: under 10,000). While it could be a coincidence, I'm thinking that what this really means is: welcome to pwned-ville (population: me).

What would you do if you suspected that a family member who you hadn't told about your blog was reading it? Or, which isn't quite the same thing, what should I do? Because if my mother hasn't discovered my blog, I don't want to encourage her to look for it by telling her not to read it. If you know what I mean.

32 comments:

Tash said...

Oh jeebus, this is my worst nightmare.

Last year out of nowhere my mom asked to speak to Mr. ABF with some technical questions regarding a blog she was trying to set up (for a local club she belongs to). After some listening I realized: she has no fucking clue what a blog is, and what she really needed was yahoo groups or something. But there were a few testy moments there where I wondered if she was trying to tell me something, or get me to cop to something.

Can you do something similar and gauge her reaction? "So, do you read blogs ever? There's this hilarious food/gardening/music/art (something really really far removed from here) blog I read . . . " and see what she says/does? (Or is she the queen of the non-readable expression?)

Christina said...

That's one of my worse nightmares too.

Can you tell what Internet service provider the person has? Does your mom have the same?

I guess the only thing to do would be to ask her if she ever reads blogs and maybe say how you came across one that was funny (and make up a random one that has like jokes on it).

Beruriah said...

Do you want advice that might really work? Or stories about how it hasn't? I'm kidding. On my blog a long long time ago when people did actually read it, I asked folks who really knew me to fess up to reading it and no one did. And yet they made it very apparent with their comments that they had indeed been reading.

I like Tash's idea!

Julie said...

Exactly this has happened to me. I know for a fact that my mother, my brother, my aunt, and some cousins have read my blog. My mother and my aunt had my blog in their computers' history files, and my brother has even linked to it from his own blog.

I have just pretended that they don't read it. They haven't asked, so I don't mention it. It's a bizarre way to handle it, but it works, more or less — I'm able to feel slightly less constricted than I would if we'd had a whole big DISCUSSION about it.

Creepy feeling, ain't it?

Maggie said...

Oh no! Maybe it really is just someone in your mom's town...even if it is small, there has to be someone else that could be reading.... Right?!

Bluebird said...

Well shit. You just reminded me to check my stats and, for the first time, found 2 readers in my hometown (where the rest of my family still lives). Nuts nuts nuts nuts nuts.

That said, I kind of like Julie's idea. Although I definitely don't want them reading it, I make it a point to not say anything I wouldn't say directly to them (if they were burning my eyeballs with a hot torch and sticking pinds under my fingernails!)

The Nanny said...

That's why I went private for a long while...and why I really considered it again this past year, not wanting my roommates to find it.

I still wonder if they do, though they know I don't want them to.

Consider going private, I suppose? Though that's a rather craptastic suggestion.

The Nanny said...

Though...this post sort of negates you doing anything. Because, um, if she reads it, then she'll have read this post.

niobe said...

I figured by putting up a post on the issue she would know that I know that she knows. If you know what I mean.

Anyway, I snagged the IP addy and I'm going to compare it with my mom's when I go to visit her.

angie said...

i have had similar fears. last time i went there, i logged onto my blog from her computer, noted the time, and came home. apparently someone ELSE from her small town is reading my blog. Whew. But then...who?

Virginia said...

Ignore, ignore, ignore.

Helpful, aren't I?

Seriously, I would freak if my parents read it; my nephew has read it, which I was initially uncomfortable with, and has caused me to censor myself a bit. But if my parents found it--I'd take it down.

Cate said...

Yeah, I really don't know. It depends on what you use your blog for. I actually have two blogs. One, for general consumption. One, not so much.

Rachel said...

Someone was reading randomly from the town my MIL lives in pop, less than 1000, about the same time someone started reading from the suburb where my SIL lives. I freaked and asked all my lurkers where they were from.

I never found the one from my MIL's town, but the person never came back, so I quit worrying about it.

Eva said...

Oh God, that sucks. For me it was just a friend who started reading, and that was bad enough!

Alexicographer said...

I have no advice but am oddly relieved to learn of Julie's approach since to me, she is the paragon of sane, responsible, adult behavior (Julie, oh yes, you are, though I admit I'm a tad quirky). So it's lovely to see that her approach would be, um, what I would not think of as how such a paragon would deal with such a situation. I feel much better about my own imperfect self.

Sorry I'm no help!

Angel Mom said...

I'm afraid of that very thing. A few days ago I made the mistake of reading the blog of my SIL's friend while I was signed in. I have no clue if she even checks her site stats but I didn't want to take the chance. I've gone private for a while which doesn't really matter since I haven't been blogging anyway...

Angel Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia said...

I'm not going to be much help. I hope they haven't found me, but they live in a rather large city, so I can't easily figure it out. On the other hand, it seems that I am taking a Julie-like approach. So, you know, at least I am not alone in the whole la-la-la thing.

Meanwhile, I am fairly sure a mom from Monkey's class has found me. And by that I mean found me and has not fessed up. Someone else did and did, about nine months ago, and I found myself being ok with that. But the not fessing up one... urgh. I guess I am continuing the la-la-la thing, though I don't care all that much what she thinks. It's just I think it's uncool to not fess up.

So, as predicted, exactly no help at all.

Aurelia said...

Well, I did think that at one point someone in my kids school had found me based on some comments they made, but then they never came back and were pretty nice, soooo I just let it go.

And with the political people? Funny thing, so far, no one has clued in.

One thing to try though is an IP address blocker. There is a little bitty logo on my blog and it's easy enough to do. Just remember to install it right or it won't work. (Forums have diff things for diff blog brands.)

I know DD tried it with another program and it worked. Good luck.

Monica H said...

Well, since this happened to me not too long ago...I'd talk shit about them and watch them squirm.

Dayna said...

Instead of closing my eyes and praying that no one I know is reading me, I've always gone with the assumption that the worst, most unsupportive people in my life read it daily. Paranoid, maybe, but it keeps me from having moments like these.

If you are worried about who can see what (which is a totally valid fear -- there's a reason I have put off teaching my mother to use the computer for so long. I do NOT want to have to friend her on FB.) perhaps you might want to think of Dreamwidth, Livejournal, or a site that lets you make some things public and "friends lock" other things to a select few? That's what I've gone with...

Good luck, Niobe. I hope it's not your mom.

LAS said...

I worry about this off and on. My brother links to my blog on his side bar and has for the past three years. So far she hasn't figured out what those links are. Or perhaps she has and she just isn't saying anything. Though I doubt upon discovery she could keep her mouth shut. I would probably assume the person hasn't found it rather than saying anything. If I knew my mother found my blog, I would probably feel like I had to move it because I wouldn't be able to say anything anymore.

passingwindows said...

Every now and again I worry that someone close to me is reading my blog, and then I shrug it off thinking that I am being paranoid. I think that if I suspected someone from my hometown was reading my blog, I might severely edit the content, I would lose (even more) interest and the blog would slowly die. So I am not the person to be giving any advice!

Kristin said...

You could "subtly" ask her if she's found anything interesting on the net recently.

Aunt Becky said...

I'm not anonymous so I'm not sure I would care. Because I'm pretty sure everyone I know reads it. But that? SUCKS if you don't want to be known.

painted maypole said...

i figured out that my inlaws and my hubby's sister all read my blog from my sitemeter. I made a little comment on my blog about a year ago, thinking that then maybe they would say something to me, and they never have, except one, pretty recently, my SIL mentioned something that I think I only blogged about not, not spoke or e-mailed about. But basically I kind of ignore the fact that they read... I have tried to always write with the sort of assumption that anyone could find it at any time, so although I do feel a bit of freedom in my anonymity (writing about opinions and such that I would never, for instance, put on facebook) i try to not write anything that would really hurt someone's feelings should they find it.

Quadelle said...

Since my blog is intended for keeping in touch with my family (all on another continent), this isn't really an issue. However, I'm really hoping no client ever stumbles across my blog, but in a city of almost 4 million I can't really track that.

Lately I've considered starting a completely anonymous blog to get a few things off my chest. But I don't have enough time for the existing blog, so I doubt I'll be starting another in a hurry. If I did, and suspected the wrong people may have found it, I'd be a wee bit jumpy about it. I would probably request a delurking of some sort on the blog, plus use subtle questioning in real life. If still not satisfied, I would either go private or go for a real conversation - the choice would depend on who I suspected discovered me.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping that any of your newish readers from small towns will send you a personal email so you can know whether your mom has found you or not.

three minute palaver said...

I closed my 1st blog down because I realised my sister (who I don't have a good relationship with) was reading. I couldn't bear knowing she was there, all over the private little space I carved out to grieve and rant and purge privately and anonymously and yet was STILL a judgemental nasty a**hole to me publicly. It made no difference to her that she ruined it for me. And I never found my voice or enthusiasm for my 2nd blog because I'd started self censoring bigtime by then. I like Julie and Julia's suggestion to just go lalalalala when ever you think about it (because I am not capable of that degree of denial myself but what the heck).

Anonymous said...

From a lurking relative's point.
Just not your relative.
I had my own blog, and used to enjoy hitting the "next blog" button. That is how my relation's blog was found. I mentioned it to no one.

Other relations discovered it after it was updated on their computer during a visit by the Blogger.

My point is. . . this is the only way we keep up with this family's life. They are Very busy and don't have time to write or call though we do both to keep them up with our lives. (one family emergency, the only way I knew how to reach them was because of info on the blog.)

We "family lurkers" understand that we are eaves dropping at our own risk. (of course I only speak for this family.) It is worth it to see pictures of our loved ones who live so very far away and participate, (granted vicariously), in a very small way in their lives.

I understand this does not help you in your situation.
I understand your privacy issues, with Great justification, with Your family. Over time your blog and perhaps you, have changed considerably. I hope that you have more peace then the last time you asked this question . . . the cat and the trailer, so yes I have been lurking, even here, for quite a while.

My job and situation limits human contact, so I hope you will forgive my lurkage.

Katy

Anonymous said...

Bloggers:
Unless you somehow password protect your blog, you must realize that what you are posting is open for the entire world to see. If you think otherwise, you are complete morons.

Anonymous said...

She's reading.

Many of mine were secretly lurking. I think I wanted them to find me. No I didn't. Yes I did.

Be intrepid. Confront her. Might do your relationship with her some much needed good.

-Shamela

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I can't see how this has any hurtful comments about anyone's family.