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What Would People Think?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Self Interest Gets The Better of Ego

I'm not exactly the most tech-savvy guy in the world. So I don't know if this will work. But nevertheless, I have decided to remove my last name from my blog.

(Except that it still appears at the end of all my old blog posts.)

(And it still appears in the "About Me" section on the right. Anybody know how I can get rid of that?)

The reason? Well, Meredith recently lost a job interview because they read what she said about their job descriptions. That's enough to freak me out and make me seek anonymity. I don't want the wrong people Googling my name and finding this. I was flattered before. Now I'm freaked out. Anybody that I want to know about this blog and read it already does.

So I'm removing the last name.

It's probably too little too late, isn't it?

[Update:] Never mind about the name on the right. Guess it just took a moment.


  • As of now, the blog still pops up when I google your name. However, it probably has something to do with how web pages are archived or something. It might go away eventually.

    My blog has never had my last name directly on it for this exact reason, but it still pops up when my name is googled. The simple solution is: rarely talk about anything explicitly personal and be completely willing to stand behind everything you post.

    By Blogger Mike, at 3/30/2006 6:03 PM  

  • Um yeah....and I use this blog to talk about my personal life and my random thoughts which I may not agree with myself 2 days later.

    By Blogger Ben, at 3/30/2006 6:07 PM  

  • If you're serious about it, you should tell people who link to you (like me) to remove your last name from our links. It's not foolproof -- archives of sites will still contain a record of the old link -- but it will eventually make it so you're less Googlable.

    If you really want to be sure, transfer your content to a new site and start over, telling your friends not to link by name.

    By Anonymous Jacob, at 3/30/2006 6:25 PM  

  • Do I not want people to link by my full name or by any name at all? In other words would links with the name "Ben" still be ok?

    By Blogger Ben, at 3/30/2006 6:28 PM  

  • Random thoughts you may not agree with 2 days later are okay. If an employer asks, you could simply say, "I felt that way at the time, but after further thought I concluded..." and go from there. They can tell when you're being honest if they're worth their salt. That and I doubt you could lie for shit.

    The personal life things you talk about aren't incriminating. It's usually the "woohoo I'm engaged, suck it everyone" posts or the occasional "how to use my Christian values to better the world" post, and one or two "hmm, I wonder about my job" posts which are now defunct since you will soon be officially employed.

    Basically, don't bitch about work-related stuff and you'll be fine.

    By Blogger Mike, at 3/30/2006 7:12 PM  

  • I've always contemplated the whole "getting dooced" problem (see, for example www.dooce.com). I've decided that for now at least, I'm just gonna not write about any job I might have, and I'm committed to standing behind what I write. Since usually in my more serious posts I'm seeking actual feedback and trying to develop my thinking further, I try to make it clear that I'm still thinking through the issues. But the problem still scares me, and if I find I need to go anonymous once I get a job, then I'll just start a new blog from scratch. I mean, heck, my name is in the blogger page I've got, so I'd need to start from scratch anyways.

    By Blogger Matthew B. Novak, at 3/30/2006 8:06 PM  

  • i didn't have my last name associated with my blog. somehow, it still would pop up (through several search methods, not just my name), perhaps through archiving.

    i see no point in making mine totally anonymous. After all, if someone doesn't like what's on my blog, they probably won't like the slant stuff that comes up when they google me (and several of you...).

    By Blogger g, at 3/31/2006 12:11 PM  

  • You know, I think I came off kind of bad in my last comment... I didn't mean it to be that way. I guess I was just thinking about if I got in trouble for what I wrote, and that had me feeling all defensive... Anywho, sorry if I sounded like a prick.

    By Blogger Matthew B. Novak, at 3/31/2006 8:25 PM  

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