Public Privacy Part 2

Posted 28 November, 2011 by Trish in Uncategorized / 41 Comments


About a month and a half ago I discovered that someone pinned a picture of Elle on Pinterest. I believe that this was a harmless act and when I asked the person if she would remove Elle’s pictures, she immediately responded with understanding.

After this incident, I’ve started thinking a lot about Public Privacy. Many of you saw the original post where I asked for sage advice, but I still felt conflicted. Over the past several years I’ve shared so much of my life with you and I love posting the monthly updates of the babe’s progress–and of course the pictures. I was undecided on how to proceed until the other day when I happened to check my sitemeter account and noticed someone had clicked on a baby picture from one of the monthly updates. When I refreshed, the person had moved to another update and another picture and so on and so on. This absolutely freaked me out and solidified my decision.

I have set up another blog, which I have made private, where I will copy the monthly update posts and pictures. At this point I’ll still post the updates here, but I’ll leave a link to the private blog. Right now I’m thinking about posting the pictures here and a day later removing them. I know that Google Reader will update the edits, but will other feed readers? I’m not familiar, so please let me know as this might change my decision completely.

I’ll still post other random pictures and have no issues with posting pictures if Scott or I (or someone else) is also in the picture. I think the issue with the monthly updates comes from people specifically googling “Baby XX Months” and happening upon my blog. Otherwise, my blog really is a small one that doesn’t get a lot of traffic. I’m not as afraid of true real life privacy issues (not hard to figure out who I am) as I am about someone else taking my pictures for who knows why. You just never know.

If you are interested in having access to the other blog, you can leave me your email in the comments or email me privately.

41 Responses to “Public Privacy Part 2”

  1. Trish that would freak me out for sure. There are too many crazies out in the world (as my mom would say). I swear, I tell my students all the time that I don’t know how they handle being a teenager in this time period. (And I know the babe is many years off!) but with facebook and the web and digital pictures. Yikes!

    I would love to keep up with your guys, public and private. It’s your call, of course, and I understand, since we haven’t met IRL.

  2. I don’t know – if someone was looking at baby pictures and clicking on them to see the larger versions, that sounds completely normal to me. Like something I would do, you know? I like to see the large versions of people’s pictures. Sometimes I think we get too paranoid by what shows up on the news, and forget how rare this stuff actually is. :/ Having said that, of course what makes you feel best is what matters. I hope a private blog will be a good solution for you. I don’t know anything about other feed readers.

  3. I sometimes wonder about this too, which is why I don’t post a lot of photos on my blog. I also am leery of Facebook, but that is another issue. I tend to post pics more regularly therre since it is supposedly private.

    I would like access to your private blog, if that is okay. I love your Elle updates. :-).

  4. I know how you feel about the privacy thing. I keep my posting about family things to a minimum, just because it makes me feel strange to have a worldwide audience accessing it. I love your baby updates, please consider letting me follow along on your private blog.

  5. Kay

    I totally understand your concern. I thought I had commented on your previous post about this, but I see I didn’t. I think you have to do what seems best for your little family and if that is taking things much more private, so be it. Who would have ever thought about some of the issues that exist today? I’m really glad I don’t have a teenager now. :-)

    I’d love to be able to keep up with you guys, so please consider me for the private blog. And, yes, I’ll still be around commenting occasionally even though my blog is “gone with the wind”. LOL

    janezfan (at) yahoo (dot) com

  6. I think that would make me uncomfortable as well. I am a little wary of posting pictures of myself online, so I know that the mama instinct will be strong as well. I say do what you need to so that YOU feel comfortable. :)

  7. I imagine a lot of mums google about babies to see if their child is developing at the same rate. I would definitely have done that if the option had been there when mine were little.

    You could always just post on the private page and invite friends and family to go and read it there. I do think it will be a lovely blog to hand over to your daughter when she is grown up so that she can look back on her past. I really wish I had done it.

  8. I think you have to do whatever you feel most comfortable doing. I would love to be able to continue to follow the Elle updates (and photos) on your personal blog :)

    caribousmom (at) gmail (dot) com

  9. *Christina – It’s definitely very different from when we grew up, huh! I don’t like to be the paranoid type but would rather not worry.

    *Amanda – Yes, I think that enlarging baby pictures is normal, but when someone googles “cute baby pictures five months old” and then spends 45 minutes on my blog looking at picture after picture, I start to wonder. I don’t have any problems being personal or even posting pictures, but what I don’t want is for my pictures to end up somewhere else. This has already happened to me once with Pinterest, I would rather it not happen again.

    *Lit Feline – I’ve also been a little cautious with posting pictures on Facebook, which is weird because it’s supposed to be private. Who knows–rather be safe than sorry.

    *Jeane – I won’t be posting over there very much but I’d be happy to include you. Will need your email address, though.

    *Kay – I’m hoping to keep things mostly the same around here–so it’ll just be the pictures on the update posts that go for now. Keeping up with two blogs is too much pressure! ;) And if you do start up another blog, PLEASE let me know!!

    *Allie – I can still remember the first time I posted a picture of myself–was during my first readathon. I was so nervous! Now I don’t care, but I don’t want people googling images and coming up with my daughter. :-/

    *Vivienne – Yes, I’ve already set up the blog and will provide a link here so that people don’t have to worry about missing updates since private blogs do not show up on feed readers.

    *Care – Thanks for understanding. :)

    *Wendy – I really don’t want to go this route, but when I saw the person hopping from update to update and opening every picture, it made me sick. Maybe mamabear is just worrying too much, but oh well.

  10. I would have thought someone just wanted to follow her story with the clicking. Do you KNOW it’s the person who googled that? I mean, does sitemeter tell you? I’d just assume it was someone from FB who decided to read my archives.

    Anyway. I want in on the new blog. Or just text me the pics. :)

  11. I can understand your concern. I’m sorry that this has been something you have had to worry about. I’m glad that you seem to have found a solution that you are comfortable with. I’d love to follow your private blog if you don’t mind. I’m pretty sure you already have my email address.

  12. Amy

    I totally get where you’re coming from and this seems like a smart choice. I would love to be able to follow your new blog if you don’t mind! mypalamyATgmailDOTcom

  13. Amy

    You have to do what makes you feel comfortable as the mom whether or not others agree with you. I don’t see anything wrong with taking precautions for your family. (my husband didn’t like that I have my birthday on my FB page, just the month and day, he just didn’t see the reason for it and feels its safer not to have it there) In this day and age, something odd, weird, traumatic and unexpected happens often so whatever steps you can reasonably take to protect your beautiful baby makes sense to me!

    And I would love to be able to access your private blog :o)

  14. Understandable, though it could just be someone trying to keep up with the story or who had missed some posts and was catching up.

    I’d like to, if you’d have me. You can email me at my blog’s address tediousandbrief at

  15. I think your concerns are understandable, especially given the fact that you’re so open, although it very well could be someone just trying to catch up on old Elle photos. I just posted a photo of my sister’s grandson and didn’t mention where he lives or his name, for privacy’s sake.

    I’d like to follow your private blog. Not sure how I’ll go about it because I no longer use a reader but please add me and I’ll figure it out. :)

    bookfoolery at gmail dot com

  16. I totally understand your concerns, Trish, and that’s why I don’t post my daughters’ pics on my blog.

    I’d like to follow your private blog; little Elle is too adorable and plus I’d like to read more updates of her. :)

    melreadingcorner (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  17. Being someone who is currently pregnant, this has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve got a lot of time to go before I will have to worry about my decision on posting pictures online, but I’m definitely torn. I have tons of friends on Facebook that post pictures of their kids doing everything imaginable. But Facebook is constantly changing their security stuff and I’m afraid to put anything on there. And my blog, well that’s tough too, because I’m not sure who all reads it. I feel comfortable with my regular commenters seeing pictures but other than that it’s a hard decision because anyone can access it, right click and save your picture and then do anything they want with it. It’s very disheartening.

    I know I don’t know you well, but I enjoy seeing updates of Elle, and if you’re comfortable with it I would love to be a part of your private blog.


  18. It’s sad that all these things have to be taken into consideration, but it is a scary world out there too. =( I’d love to follow your other blog as well.


  19. I think I’ve put a total of two pics of Z on my site over the years. It was more of respecting my husband’s wishes but I agreed that it was just easier that way too. But now I’m starting to feel a bit sad that I can’t share my cute little guy with my blogging friends. I hope that you find the right balance with all of this — especially since Elle is such a little cutie!

  20. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do…and what’s right for you. So I understand.

    I don’t need to be included in the posts, but if you find it in your heart :) to include me:

    unfinishedperson (at) gmail (dot) com.

    If not, though, I truly won’t be offended. I enjoy reading your other posts as well and that’s what drew me here first.

  21. I completely understand and since we last talked about this, I’ve deleted all the pictures of my little man from my blog and most from my facebook. It’s crazy!

  22. *Lisa – Yes, I do think that sometimes people like to catch up, but this was a google search. Sitemeter isn’t great about the details, but in this case I was able to tell. And I’m sure it was probably innocent, but my main concern is pictures ending up on other sites.

    *Kristi – Thanks for understanding. I’m trying not to make this a big deal, but I’d rather not regret it later on, you know? Not much will change here—I haven’t decided yet if I’ll remove the update posts completely or just the pictures, but I definitely have your email address.

    *MyFriendAmy – Yes, I will certainly include you. Won’t be much content there, at least I don’t plan for there to be, but I’ll send an invite soon.

    *Amy – On the first post I wrote on this topic, many people mentioned that their husbands did not want any sort of personal information included. Scott has been pretty relaxed, but I also have to think about how he’d react if something happened. Rather play it safe!

    *Tediousandbrief – There have been times when people have been catching up, and of course I’m making assumptions about this particular visitor (who came via google search), but just don’t want to risk having the pictures scrapped onto another site.

    *Jeane – Thanks. ;-)

    *Irene – Definitely don’t want to make this a big deal because it’s not right now, but thanks for the understanding.

    *Bookfool – And it isn’t even so much about someone being able to find me as not wanting my pictures to end up on someone else’s computer or website. It’s amazing how motherhood changes the game, huh? Feed readers don’t pick up on private blogs, but I’ll be posting links from this main blog.

    *Heather – No, I definitely don’t mind—I love sharing! Just don’t want the pictures to fall in the wrong hands. Will make sure you’re added.

    *Melody – Elle won’t be removed from the blog entirely but I’m going to be more conscientious of which pictures I include. Makes me sad, but I’d love to remove a bit of the worry.

    *Talesofabookaddict – Your thoughts are exactly those that I’ve been having and it has been a tough decision. For several years I’ve shared so much of my life that it makes me sad to have to exclude little bits and pieces (though I don’t foresee much changing). It’s sad that we have to even consider these things but you’re right that it’s just too easy for people to take pictures. I wish you the best on your decision as well—ultimately you have to do what you think is best for you.

    *Jenny – Because I’ve always been so open with my personal life, I’ve never understood why some of my family members have kept their blogs private. Funny how motherhood changes everything. Will definitely include you.

    *Kristen M – Curiously my husband hasn’t really said much about my blogging—he doesn’t read it but does know that sometimes I post about personal things. I used to blog elsewhere and was more focused on books but this blog has always been a big dose of personal—and my audience is relatively small. I feel comfortable with my intended audience peering into my life, but it’s those random googlers that make me nervous. It is a shame that we can’t all be as open as we’d like—I know I’d love to see more of the personal life of my blogging friends!! But do understand the reservations.

    *Unfinished Person – Yes, I’ll add you—silly goose. But no worries—this blog really won’t change a whole lot. And there won’t be a ton of stuff on the private blog. I don’t want to have to keep up with two blogs—been there, done that, and it sucks! ;-)

    *Kristina – I’m not to the point where I’ll delete all pictures but it does make me sad.

  23. I think you need to copyright those pictures and let people pay for them. Perhaps a little capitalistic, yes, but there are babies out there who get paid for being cute, and most are not even a fraction as cute as Elle. That way you can still share her beautiful photos…free for your friends, and the others can supplement your server space fees ;-)

  24. I was so nervous when I posted a picture of myself on my blog awhile back. I don’t have kids, so I don’t know how that feels, but it does feel like you’re opening a door that you can’t really shut.

    I’d love to keep following you though! avidreader25 [at] gmail. [dot] com

  25. I would totally freak out too, and I don’t have kids! I just…I don’t know. If your gut is telling you it’s not right, then I say go with your gut. Instinct, intuition, we have it for a reason.
    I would love to follow your private board too! Elle is adorable and seeing your family photos reminds me that there are sweet and genuine people in the world. How corny am I? :)


  26. Also, I think once something is posted, it’s on the web somewhere forever. My hubby always says that, so the post and then remove may not work. Don’t know for sure though.

  27. Les

    Trish, as so many have said, I can’t imagine having a teenager, let alone an infant, in this technological day of ours. There is just so much uncertainty with cyber crimes and identity theft. I probably share too much personal stuff on my blog, too, but I understand where you’re coming from. It’s too bad that you’d have to create a private blog for your friends and family to peruse, but I would most definitely trust your gut instinct. No need to add more stress to your life, right? I would love to continue watching that adorable babe of yours grow up via all your photos and posts, so if you are comfortable with it, please add me to your list. Elle’s smile is so contagious, as is yours as her mama. :) Reminds me of my little one… almost 28 years ago!!

    lscher at neb dot rr dot com

  28. I totally understand your concern and if I were in your position I would be too.

    Would love to keep up to date with how Elle is doing.


  29. Thanks for the invite. I’m glad you knew I wanted to be included, even though I am a slacker on emailing you. :)

    I totally get this, by the way. I never cared about Jason & I (or anyone else I hung out with) being on the www for everyone to see, but once I had that babe, it all changed. You never know who can copy/paste the image of your baby and put it somewhere (the possibilities are endless & that’s what is scary!).

  30. I understand. One thing to do would be to post small size picture and not allowing people to enlarge it.
    In any case, I would love to see her updates too.


  31. I understand your concern. Jason and I talk about it, but I guess I just feel like there is so much out there already and really is the real threat?
    My only concern is putting too much info online. That could certainly be used by people looking to do harm.
    It’s tough. Did I ask to be put on your list? stacybooks at yahoo

  32. Oh man, I am struggling with this whole thing too. It’s to the point that a few nights I’ve been up and couldn’t sleep worrying that someone could stalk or find our home because of pictures I’ve posted. That and I was taking a new thyroid pill that made me a little more anxious than normal. It’s so hard isn’t it? I thought about Google + but then it’s just another thing to deal with and I’m already struggling finding time just blogging.

    I’m still working through it too. Which reminds me, I pinned a picture of your cookies. And the scrapbooking project. Is that ok? No baby photos though.