26 February 2013

Lessons in Internet "Privacy" (or "My Adventures in an Oxymoron ")

Well everybody, we are at a crossroads now. After yesterday's fiasco in which I discovered that the visage of my little angle was lifted from the pages of this blog and is being used to promote a whole bunch of…well, batshit crazy, I thought the worst was over. (Although I still await a response from the original offenders I feel hopeful that my threats of legal action will create movement soon. Link provided in case you feel a good rant coming on and need a place to vent it. **UPDATE**: They finally moments ago removed the image from facebook. It's still at their website but I'm now confident they are working on it. Link removed, please refrain from ranting on them.)

But no, the worst was not over…no, not by a long shot.

In the process of digging through my blog to find out where my photos are I started looking at stats. This is a technical term for stuff. Stuff that shows you who is looking at your blog, how often, and how people are finding the blog. There is also this handy little feature that shows you what the top search terms are that are leading people to your blog. Pretty neat stuff, unless of course you have a blog about your funny, frustrating, fabulous life with pictures of said life and pictures of your awesome cute cuddly and sometimes half naked kid and the number one search term people are using to find your blog happens to be...(keystrokes modified so that the oh-so-smart Google God doesn't latch onto this):

l!ttle  b0y  pen!$

Did you get that? Yes, that's right. That is the search term leading "people" to my blog.

Can I just say right now FUCK YOU GOOGLE without it hurting my page rank? I don't know, but I'll risk it anyway. I'll risk it twice in fact: fuck you again google.

Yeah so I was looking at all my posts and there is this information provided on how many "views" each post has received. Most of my posts hover around 50 to 70 views on average. (Which is pretty cool, I mean I don't even know 70 individual people). Some posts like this one top 90 to 100 because they are funny my best friend linked to it from her blog and her blog is really funny and smart. This post has an unusually high amount of views. I don't know why, maybe the title is good. Anyway, those are the only 2 pushing close to 100 views but then this one jumped out at me with a staggering 153 views (easily three times the average of all the other pages) and the title isn't even that good! Then I read it. I looked at the pictures (such a cutie!). I pondered for a while…hmmmm, curious. Then I clicked on the stats and discovered the number one search term some "people" are using to find my blog. L!ttle b0y is right there in the title. Pen!$ is in the first sentence. And there is my beautiful child sitting in the bathtub with a soap beard.

My blood turned cold and beads of sweat broke out on my forehead. Every tiny hair on the back of my neck stood up and my eyes darted around the room - every single fucking pore on my body opened for heightened sensitivity to my environment. Are the doors locked? What was that sound?

Oh, that was the sound of white hot rage seeping from every cell in my body. That was the sound of the protective instinct throbbing with every beat of my heart, radiating into my aura, into the living room where I sit, into the gang-crack-dealer-poverty-stricken-methadone-half-way-house infested neighborhood I live in, into the power lines strewn along the street coming from my house and weaving tangled electronic webs and nets, shooting as fast as lightening through these cables and through the city and then the state and then the country and then right into some goddamned pedophile's lap top and into his fingers as he taps away on his keyboard and my prayer of a prolonged agonizing electrocution from this sudden shock of rage that snaked backwards from my blog and into his computer….

...I'm holding my breath…
…deep breath….

So I'm in an interesting place in my life right now where I am actually learning some very effective tools that are helping me shift from anger to action. This anger is useful in so far as it has alerted me to the need for action and now I can let that piece fall away and put myself squarely on the path of action. Not REACTION. Action. Which is why we are at a crossroads friends.

There are some great lessons for me here. Not only am I learning a few technical tricks of the trade concerning privacy and anonymity but I am also learning that there is really just no such thing as privacy in today's world of electronic connectivity. But the answer is not to retreat into a cave and unplug, and the answer may not even be to take this blog offline (although that is what I am considering). I think the answer lies somewhere in reinventing this blog. Perhaps.

I think what makes blogs cool and fun are the personal pictures. Lots of pictures. We are a visual crowd, there should be a variety of beautiful funny cool things to look at. Like this:

I mean look at that crazy deer-like animal. Just standing up on his hind legs to eat tree bark. That's some weird shit that's fun to look at right? Yeah, but he's not as cute as my kid.

I would be very sad if I were not able to include pictures of my amazing family and the crazy stuff we do, but I'm having to evaluate how much I really want to share with the wide anonymous world who might accidentally stumble upon this blog because of some strange search term. I could start stuffing the content with search terms I want google to catch and catalogue to attract the right audience (BEST BLOG EVER WRITTEN) (REALLY FUNNY BLOG ABOUT A CRAZY MOM AND HER HILARIOUS KID AND AWESOME HUSBAND) but then where would we be. And then there's this blog that is awesome and hilarious and who already has the best idea ever for maintaining anonymity.

So anyway, I'm not sure what the answer here is but I'm writing a blog about it and taking ideas from you, my faithful 6 readers, (yes you, Mom) in the comments section here (or just give me a ring since you all know me personally) on how (or if) I should transform this thing to protect my family. Other than not having the word pen!$ ever show up on the page again. This one I know. Or at least I now know to spell it funny so you have to squint to figure out what the word it is.

I'm considering taking this blog off line and creating it over again (sans old blog posts and pictures) over on the wordpress platform. I could change names and get generic pics of random kids who are not as cute as mine…I could try and recreate the scenes I am verbally illustrating with fruits and vegetables and fun kitchen utensils and photograph that ridiculousness for you… or I could just be myself and let my family be what it is and give no concern for who might stumble upon this. Anyone have any good ideas for me? Taking comments from the peanut gallery below.

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