When Kat posted about her doubts and worries about continuing to blog a couple of weeks back, I was eager to jump in and try to dispel her fears, and poo-poo the paranoia that has been circulating blogland of late.
Oh don’t get me wrong, I am no expert and mostly it was a selfish gesture, because I didn’t want her disappearing back to the other side of the world!
But it got us talking, and me thinking, which is often a dangerous thing, as I tend to engage mouth before brain quite frequently.
I love my blogging ‘alter-ego’, the outspoken persona I can be online and the friendships I have made because of it. I thrive off the way I am encouraged to create beautiful things to share with others, and how others inspire me everyday, I cannot imagine not continuing.
When all the Pinterest hoo-hah blew up about liable and copy write, you know what, to be honest I just ignored it; made a few sarcastic comments here and there and carried on pinning regardless.
If you saw the state of my Bookmarks list, or tried to wade through all the blogs I follow on a regular basis, you would quickly realise that this super online filing cabinet stops me, and my computer from being completely overwhelmed.
The pictures that I pin, or their related tutorials or products are all from the web, they are there for all to see. If you don’t want your ‘things’ pinned, as far as I am concerned, don’t put them online, or stick a great big watermark over them!
I hope I use Pinterest in the way it was intended, as a collection of reminders of where I saw that brilliant/beautiful thing. I rarely re-pin, as I like to find the original; sometimes the source has disappeared, or the other person has pinned a picture that just links to a blog, rather than a specific blog post, (that is so annoying people, please don’t do it), but 99% of the time I trace it back myself.
I admit I have used pictures I’ve pinned a couple of times on my blog, but again they link back to the original, so I am not sure how that could be construed as anything other than flattery. Naive? Maybe, but I can sleep at night.
The same goes with Flickr. I have absolutely no problem with people adding my makes to their favourites or using an image in a mosaic; do unto others as you would have others do onto you eh?!
If I were a designer, or a photographer or depended on my skillz for money, then I might feel quite differently, however I wouldn’t blog about things I didn’t want people to see, and definitely wouldn’t put pictures on a website built upon the ability to download/copy the pictures for free!
The other side to Kat’s worries I probably feel stronger about; however it is the area I am less able to explain.
My blog posts and the pictures I upload to Flickr are mostly ‘craft- related’, however I do intersperse these with some of my family, and I always scrutinise them to make sure I am happy for them to be seen by ‘friends’ and strangers alike.
I have never named our children online; I think until they are old enough to decide whether or not they want to be named, then I don’t think it’s up to me.
Also, as many know, my close family do not know that I blog, and I think having your grandchildren named online would be unfair.
I definitely don’t worry that some dodgy geezer will approach them and whisk them away because he knows their names!
I am happier keeping them all a little protected from googling eyes. If anyone wanted to find out my whole family tree, I’m sure it’s all out there, but we are not that interesting!
I resisted my name being known for a long time, well there aren’t many Hadleys about! I suppose because of my job I have to self-censor a little, so I don’t talk about work in any detail and my apathy to it helps me focus on the things I do love doing when I am not there.
Maybe familiarity breeds content, and I seem to hand my address out at regular intervals to ‘strangers’ and I really can’t explain that, other than there is usually something ‘in it’ for me!
As for the family not knowing, firstly I can only compare it with singing alone in the car – I can write and be open and embarrass myself online because you can’t see me or make me feel self conscious; secondly anyone who has befriended me on Facebook may have noticed that my family, cousins mainly, are quite ‘tight’, and you guys would never get a comment in edgewise if they knew!
But as has been mentioned before, no matter how careful I am, others see things in a completely different way, uploading friends and family pictures without any regard for my or my husband’s opinions. Way back we would ask for photos of the children to be taken off if they made us uneasy, but we cannot police everyone we know, or maybe don’t know, and at the end of the day, my kids are more at risk crossing the quiet road outside our house than from anyone online right now.
So I guess all I can say is use common sense and just be realistic. I love knowing about my online friends activities away from the sewing machine, and it would be a sadder place if we spent as much time and energy second guessing and worrying ourselves silly as we did creating and sharing.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Hadley! It was lovely having you “visit” today 🙂
I totally agree about the Facebook mention as well – people do treat Facebook etiquette about asking permission before uploading photos of other people very loosely.