In Which I Request Your Opinions

I am the only person typing at the outdoor tables on the Glorieta de Bilbao in Madrid. My hair is brown and my shirt is pale green. Walk up and say hello if you are here, because I have been outed.

Should I mark this blog as private? Or what? If I did not check my blog statistics I would not have the information that makes me wonder, but I do check, so I know.

One of the search terms that has led people to this blog three times in the past week is the name of a former colleague — a person who does not know of this blog (at least not from me) and who for no rational reason made sure to do me as much harm as ze could.

Now, somehow, a search for hir leads people here, which I am assuming means ze, or someone, has posted something, somewhere, linking hir by hir real name to this blog.

I could Google hir and find the page, but I do not want to see what it says. And yet, on the other hand, I should perhaps know so as to protect myself.

It is a difficult problem since I want to avoid upsetting influences. In real life I have the Blackguard and my alcoholic half sister to deal with. I am avoiding them but will not do so forever … and I just do not have the energy to deal with additional silliness.

So what do you think? Must I search out the reference and try to address the situation … shrug it off since this blog is not entirely anonymous anyway … or what? What say you, Servetus? Historiann?

Now there is, it occurs to me, a way in which third parties might confuse this blog with that person, through no action of hirs. I hope that is the case. But what are your opinions?


11 thoughts on “In Which I Request Your Opinions

  1. google said a guest blogger of mine was the author of my blog for an undetermined amount of time. She lost job offers over it and I was devastated both by how she was treated and that I was somehow culpable. When I asked if she wanted me to shut the blog down, she said the damage was done, so I just wrote a public statement and periodically bring it up on the blog. The point: there are lots of different ways that you or someone else can be implicated on your blog, or that traffic ends up at your blog via people’s real names that you actually know. You can’t control it & once it happens you can’t undo it either. So your best bet is to determine to whom you are accountable and do your best by them. In your case that means assessing the impact of not checking out what this person *may have* said vs. checking on your life and your ability to blog. If people knowing who you are would change the way you blog, you might want to check. But even if you find out zhe has said nothing, you should consider always blogging as if there is someone out there somewhere who knows b/c there likely is.

    As for responding to what zhe *may have* written, unless it negatively impacts your career or your writing, best to leave it alone. Confrontations on blogs only lead to flame wars and innuendo and for those inclined to side against you, it gives them reason to do so.

  2. sorry, I meant that flame wars encourage people to take sides, so anyone inclined to side against you will as will others, otherwise uninvested in the issue. If you’re trying to avoid more drama in your life it seems like a bad idea to confront someone, you’ve implied you don’t trust and don’t get a long with if it can be avoided.

  3. I would just act as if this didn’t exist. If it causes a problem to crop up in real life, you will then deal with the real life problem more meaningfully and forcefully — and credibly — that if you act as if something is already eating away at you.

  4. I hope Spain is treating you well!

    As to your disturbing problem outlined here: I’m with Jennifer above. I haveou not (fortunately!) had the experience you outline, and have a hard time imagining how it could happen. But, I don’t think that you could possibly figure this out, even if you wanted to, so just let people find you as they will and let the chips fall, as they say.

  5. Thanks for your input, y’all! Spain is pleasant!

    I have googled this person and the first three pages of Google are all normal — you get hir professional site, hir Twitter, hir Facebook, references to hir publications, and so on.

    This person has been known to use a nickname which non observant person could confuse with a possible abbreviation of my blog title. I am hoping this is the case. I am figuring that if ze is on line saying this is my blog, look how crazy I am and how much time I waste, which is a typical response from detractors (one of my ex chairs and my dean know about the blog now, and I still say what I want because I am blogging for mental health and am not willing to censor the blog for fear of who may be reading) — well if ze is on line saying things about the blog it will look worse for hir than for me.

    However I do not use any real names or talk directly about any current problems, or about my current institution, because the point is not gossip or rumors.

  6. Not sure what advice to give – just wishing you strength, good sense and luck in this uncomfortable situation.

  7. Sorry for the delay, I was trying to format my vitae, uch. For this I got a Ph.D.?

    I have really mixed feelings about this based on my own experiences. It turns out I can’t really work without the blog outlet anymore. I hope to go back to the original blog eventually, but not until after the tenure decision–too potentially dangerous and too hard to disable every risky post on that blog. So the new blog has to be my home. That said, I feel like I amputated my history, and I am going to feel weird when I get back to work wondering whether any of my colleagues saw what I wrote and identified me.

    I guess it comes down to what you think the consequence could be to you and whether or how willing you are to bear it. You really have a ton invested in this blog, it is a real resource, it would be a shame for new readers to lose it. On the other hand, you want to live to blog another day, and even if your peace is all you have to lose that is an awful, awful lot.

    My old blog was not really a general resource. Until the linking incident the most visited post was a narrative about the correct way to cook white asparagus.

  8. Hi Katie, nice to see you!

    Servetus, I’ll bet they didn’t see it. People who don’t write blogs don’t read them nearly so much as those who do. And if they did, they may not have identified you. They may have seen a resemblance, but then not read the rest of the blog.

    I tend to think that at my current job, the consequences are already had, and I don’t think I am recognized otherwise. I’ve got regular followers who don’t realize who I am.

    What freaks me out is if this person whose name led to the blog knows about it … but what’s done is done … I guess I’m staying the same as I have been!

  9. P.S. two more hits today from a new form of that search term. I wish it would not lead here. But I think it is the search engines which are causing this.

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