I posted some pics from my travels last week. All of my friends know what I do for a living and I pre-warned most of them that there would be a chance their pic could end up on my site but posting the pics still made me think a little about the privacy of people I know.

Respecting other people’s privacy is not a major concern for me with Blogging Tips because it’s not something I will post about. I have created a personal category so that I can post about private matters on occasion however such posts will concern me and not my friends.

A personal blog is a different kettle of fish though as the majority of posts will be about you, your friends and your family. Bloggers getting into trouble with their employers has been well documented in the last few years but in this post I want to speak specifically about the privacy of your friends and family.

Everyone has a different boundary

Around 2 years ago me and my friends were having a little bit of a heated discussion whilst we were propping up the bar 🙂 The discussion involved me and several of my best friends, we have all known each other since school so we know each other inside out and once a year a pointless drunken argument arises!! haha

This heated ‘discussion’ arose because one of my friends was joking around with another of my friends and my friend took a little offense at one of the comments. It was at this point that my other friend came out with a very profound statement, well it seemed very profound at the time!

He said that everyone has a different bounday and problems arise when someone goes over that boundary. For example, we have some friends who you can joke around and insult and they just laugh it off however some other friends would take offense at the same joke ie. some people have a shorter fuse that others! Being friends with someone involves knowing these boundaries.

This boundary extends to the blogging world. For example, say you post about a night out at the weekend on your blog and you name names. Some of your friends will not be concerned about the story being on the internet whilst others will be very annoyed. Some people respect their privacy a little more than others and you should remember that when you are posting about something which involves your friends.

What can you do to respect your friends privacy?

You probably know your friends better than they know themselves so try not to write anything that would offend them. Here are some tips to stop you getting into trouble with your buddies 🙂

  • Change the names – If you write on a blog which is only viewed by your friends and family then there is no need to change the names of anyone in your story. If however you write a personal blog that is mostly viewed by strangers, changing the names of people in your posts can make it less obvious who the story is about and may save you a lot of hassle.
  • Ask your friends if they mind – Your friends might not mind you mentioning them in your posts. If in doubt, ask them directly.
  • Be smart – Respecting your friend’s privacy is 99% common sense. Don’t write anything you think will offend, embarrass or hurt them. Blogging about your personal life can be rewarding but when you are losing friends over it you need to look at the content of your posts.

I have owned the domain name KevinMuldoon.com for many years and I am contemplating using it for a personal blog so this topic is something I’m interested in (the blog would have some posts about web development but there would be more personal stories, pics and news etc).

I’m sure a lot of Blogging Tips reader’s run a personal blog or have done at one time or another so I’d love to hear from anyone who has experienced this. Have you ever offended a friend through blogging, have you ever posted something you regretted later?

Thanks for reading,

Kevin