Friday, March 26, 2010

OPSEC Revisited

When I wrote my post yesterday, I had no idea it would generate the feedback I received. I started to respond to your comments, but my draft was so long that I decided to devote another post to the topic.


First of all, please don’t think I am so na├»ve as to believe that withholding a profile picture and my full name would protect me in a bubble of total anonymity. You all are absolutely right that that's impossible, and if I expected that, I wouldn’t have started a blog and I wouldn’t opt to attend a blogging conference. If someone had the time and inclination to find out who I am, I have no doubt that they could. But I don’t possess the hubris to believe that what I have to say is earth-shattering enough to warrant that kind of research.


Moving on to other issues mentioned that I've thought about before too…Do I censor myself? Yes, but primarily by refraining from disclosing information that would compromise my husband’s career. Unfortunately, by not sharing that information, it means I am unable to share exactly how that information affects me. Basically, I don’t post anything I wouldn’t want my husband’s commanding officer or my daddy to read.  And I think most bloggers censor themselves in a way.

Do I feel that my censorship chips away at who I really am? I hope not. I still write about my life in general as a military spouse without revealing anything that jeopardizes OPSEC.

Do I understand why some people chose not to blog anonymously?  Absolutely.  It's about personal preference as well as the nature of your blog.  For example, if you are an aspiring or published writer trying to get your name out there, blogging is the perfect platform.

Why do I like being anonymous? Partly because I write about my family, and they didn’t choose to be part of a blog, I did. My anonymity protects theirs. And partly because I’d like to think that what I have to say has enough universal appeal to military spouses, mothers, writers, etc. that I don’t need to reveal who I am. I’m simply someone with whom you can identify on some level, regardless of what I look like, where I live, or who my husband is.

Will I ever shed my anonymity?  It's not outside my realm of possibilities.  We'll see how it goes.  I've only been blogging for about 3 months, so in a way I'm still new at this.


I also don’t want you to think that I have an opinion one way or the other about how you choose to present yourself.  I agree with many of your comments that it's whatever you’re comfortable with.  There are so many blogs I love to read, whether they share their names or not.  A lot of times I don't even notice their names...I'm just enjoying what they have to say. 


Your comments made me wonder just how easy it would be for someone to discover my true identity (great, now I sound like Batman). So I Googled myself. It took sifting through several pages of people who were not me (one of which was eerily an obituary) to find a hit that was indeed me. I was shocked to see a comment I had posted on a discussion board in one of my blogging groups. I realized I had falsely assumed that the information I provided to join the group, including my full name and the city in which I live, would not be publicly displayed. Oops.  (That has now been remedied, and if you are a member of that group and took notice of it, then you can get a hearty laugh at my assertion that no one knows that information.)


In light of some of the comments I received yesterday, I now have new questions.  Do you feel you can identify more with bloggers who have a name versus those who don't?  Do you feel less inclined to share with anonymous bloggers because you feel they don’t share all of themselves with you? 

These are things that never occurred to me until I read your comments.  This is one of the reasons I LOVE blogging.  How boring life would be without varying perspectives.  It almost makes me want to write about something really controversial just to read your comments! 


I appreciate the time you took to share your responses!!!

10 comments:

  1. I don't think any differently about those who choose to blog anonymously and those who dont. I feel like everyone chooses what info they give for a reason and it's my job as a reader to respect it. :)

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  2. Hey, its me, anonymous, again, lol.
    Just wanted to clarify. I posted anonymously cause I could- if your blog didn't allow for anonymous comments, I probably would have still posted, but I would have worded what I said differently. I tend to be more snarky (and honest) when my name's not attached. The girl I was referring to pitched an absolutely hissy fit when someone dared tell her the rug in her living room was ugly- I couldn't imagine the wrath if she knew who I was and I said, oh by the way, totally know who you are, the town you live in, the law firm you work for, etc. Like I said, have no interest in being called a stalker when I know I'm not, and just don't need the drama. Anyways, back on topic- honestly, I'm confused by your post today. Now you are talking about honesty in blogging, blog content, and PERSEC- I thought in your other post you were speaking stricting in terms of OPSEC. That's what my comment was directed at. In other words, yes, it bothers me when people post when their husbands units are coming home, but think its okay because they are blogging "anonymously". That is all. Beyond that, I could care less how much personal information they share. People can write really good (and bad) blogs without sharing personal information. That seems obvious.

    Although some of the nicknames are annoying- one non mil spouse blog I read, she referred to husband as Adonis. That always made me laugh. Then she blogged about getting a divorce. I'm still waiting to see if she re-names him, lol.

    Happy blogging to all- anonymous or not!

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  3. Welcome back Anonymous! To clear up some confusion, yesterday's post WAS about OPSEC. I don't know if you read the other comments, but several of the people who commented are not mil spouses who discussed their reasons for or against blogging anonymity in general. Because I wanted to respond to everyone, today's post addressed anonymity as it relates to all blogs (PERSEC), not just mil spouses (OPSEC).

    And BTW, I know exactly what blog you found me on, and I had totally forgotten that I listed myself in that category months ago. I have since sent an email requesting that my blog be removed. So thank you for the reminder!

    Thank you for the comments!

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  4. My husband is not in the Military. I have a blogging name and separate blogging email address. What I write about is what really happens in my life and the thoughts and feelings I write about are mine. Being anonymous to this degree is my choice - I choose not to use my real name as I feel that enables me to be very honest about things, even though so far I have not told any family or friends about my blogging! But that is just my choice and my way of doing things. I think everyone is entitled to choose how they blog - either anonymously or as their real life selves, either about their real life or about life that is not so much real but more their blogging persona. If their blog is about a fictitious lifestyle and/or persona though I think they need to be honest about that - most are but some are not and that's the only thing I don't like. If you or someone in your family is in the military or live with other circumstances that make revealing your true persona unwise then I completely understand why you would elect to be as anonymous as possible.

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  5. I don't think I even pay attention to the fact that some are anonymous and others aren't. It definitely doesn't impact the way I "treat" them. :)

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  6. Oh I just love a continuous conversation!

    What a great question. I don't know if I can identify more or less with bloggers who give their names. I think I relate more to what and how they write. I guess it all depends. I don't think giving full disclosure is really necessary in the blog world. Not for me anyway. I'm good with however someone wants to play it because in the end, it depends on what makes each blogger comfortable to enjoy this venue.

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  7. I do not blog anonymously. However, I do not write anything that I wouldn't want my DH's commander or my parents to see...all of whom read my blog. :) I also do not post pictures of other people or blog about them without their explicit permission...friends and family included.

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  8. I totally understand why you feel how you feel. I agree, it is a personal choice. And why should one judge another over a silly name or lack there of?! Anyway, I love you blog and I just gave you a happy 101 award over on mine.

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  9. I do not blog anonymously (as you may have noticed when you visited my blog).
    When I read a blog, I like seeing pictures & names.. to me, it makes the blogger seem more relateable.. and real. The reason I started a blog was to express my feelings, and hold nothing back.. As my self, not being hidden. I do not post my last name, nor do I post pictures of my husband in uniform with his last name or rank showing. Although, if you did a search, you could easily figure my last name out.. I follow OPSEC to the T, because it's something I believe is important.. whether you are an anonymous blogger or not. People have ways of putting together information (puzzle pieces) and getting the big picture. You can say what you want without violating OPSEC.
    I also model, and I want to use my blog as a way to express ideas and my upcoming shoots.. People are going to want to see the end results.. so pictures of me then would be a must.
    I just all depends on the direction you want to go with your blog. Do you feel more comfortable as being "Anonymous" or "You"?

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  10. I have to say that content more than identity drives me to revisit blogs I have found... I think that bloggers and everyone has the right to choose what they put out on their blog or into public and sometimes I wonder if we don't teach our children this lesson often enough... I look at some people's facebook pages or personal blogs and always wonder what a future employer or assessor would think if they found it... I don't hide my identity on my blog, personal choice... but I also don't over-share ... I hope, on any internet platform...

    I think you do what is comfortable for you, your family and your needs... and that should be respected...

    Interesting debate though...

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today btw

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