Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Good luck finding those entries, though...

Here's one way I've been lucky with my blog: I've been able to keep the vast majority of my entries open. Completely public. LiveJournal (as well as other blogging platforms like DreamWidth) allow you to "friends-lock" entries you don't want to be as public. My hunch, from early on in this blog, was that I should avoid posting them. TV writer John Rogers has a good guideline (paraphrased): "Never write anything online you wouldn't write on the back of a postcard."

A lot of my friends I've known through LJ haven't been as lucky as me. For many reasons, often maddening and unfair ones, many of them have had to keep their blogs locked down so that only friends may read entries: this cuts down on the chance of harassers finding and harassing them. It sucks, and it shouldn't have happened. So I know it's a privilege that I haven't feared my blog entries would be used against me in those ways that my friends have dealt with.

Knowing this, I've long done my best to have few Friends-Locked entries. They've comprised a fraction of a fraction of my output. In fact, every once in a while I'd go through the blog and unlock entries, keeping that fraction small. At some point, I likely had more Private entries — posts no friends or family of mine can see — than Friends-Locked entries.

Today I finished unlocking almost every Friends-Locked entry I still had. I'm down to one. I have my reasons for limiting that entry only to my friends.

I adjusted some entries in other ways. One Locked post referred to a difficult situation a friend of mine had had following their divorce; while making that entry public, I edited it to remove my friend's name. Other entries, where I gave updates on other friends who were sorting out difficult and/or complicated situations, I set to Private. For archival purposes, they're still there, but with a slight extra layer of protection.

Ideally, I will never write a Friends-Locked blog entry again. It's still a good idea to avoid writing them.

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