The girlfriend I mentioned visited this weekend, and let me know that months ago, I had opened my blog through her laptop (I don't remember doing that - silly of me!) and she had found the URL by accident looking for something else. And been reading it the last several months, without telling me. (She also said she would no longer read it, so she may not be reading this. Or she may. Human nature is a funny thing.) It's not like that gives her access to information she didn't have - I had been very open with her about my IF, although, of course, I don't make any non-IFers listen to my totally insane ranting. I imagine I have that in common with most infertile women...
Now that I know this, of course, I have to think about whether I'm truly anonymous, and what implications that has for other people in my life, whom I periodically discuss on here. I mention people IRL only in passing, in general; or, sometimes, when some interaction with them is germane to IF or another topic I discuss here (home decor!). But I feel it appropriate to drop the odd fact about un-consenting third parties, because who here knows who I am? Or, rather, several people now do, but in the context of them being infertiles also...so there's sort of a relationship collateral of sorts. It doesn't feel like an undue risk.
And of course this is the first time I knew I had been outed. At least two other people that I know of have tripped over this URL - one a colleague, who knows I visited the site, but would have no way to know it's mine; and doesn't seem like the sort who would, or would want to, read about Women's Issues for fun. (I can only imagine what a headache an IF blog would be for a non-IFer! Good grief!) And then there's a law school classmate who, being I think rather devious, tracked back on my browser when I showed him an internet-linked JPEG. I could have tossed the URL in a new window and thereby hidden the trackback, but I am just not paranoid enough. He may have clicked back looking for something else, seen a blog that didn't interest him, supposed it was something I merely read, and ignored it - but I have no idea. So, Brad, William, if you guys are reading, hello! I hope the cervical mucus discussions entertain you thoroughly.
Anyway, all this being the case, and me having a perspective the details of which I am still working out in my head on the subject of other people knowing that they are reading your blog and not telling you that they are (obviously that's not something I can prevent them from doing and it's a risk I take being on the internet, and not being a computer security nut), I need to think about the future format of my blog. I don't think that it would be responsible of me to continue it in a totally public format. But, of course, I'm not any good at wordpress; and I have always been disinclined to go password-protected for the whole blog, because then, I feel, I'm not contributing to the marketplace of ideas any more; and people having to sign up to get a password has a sort of spectatorship quality that isn't quite the feel I was going for. But I do have to do something.
I suppose another option would be not revealing personal information on my blog, and while this may be laughable, that seems like a restraint I wouldn't like to have. Heaven knows there are plenty of people I know IRL whom I'd prefer to give zero information about my sex life. But I can't imagine finally getting our SA done and not posting about it! Probably no way out of that one other than some sort of restriction.
Anyway, I would appreciate any perspective you all have on the subject.