I started blogging when I was a single missionary girl in Romania in 2005 and continued blogging regularly till around the time I got pregnant with our little guy. For the first year and a half of Bug's life I very rarely blogged, but this year started up with at least semi-regular blogging once again.
In my pre-baby posts I did occasionally mention last names and the names of nieces and nephews. Once we moved into our house (just before Bug was born) I even had a pic of our house as the header pic on my blog (with the house number and the license plate of our car blacked out). I don't mention our street name or usually even our town name (simply saying it's in the DFW metroplex or the Fort Worth area).
I'm not one of those people that believes there's a pedophile hanging out behind every bush and I know that the crime rate is actually down from what it was when I was growing up in the 80's. I am aware that the media tends to overplay the cases involving children to the point that parents are freaking out about kids being out of their sight and am all for being free-range when my kids are old enough to not drown themselves in the lake or go off with strangers, etc.
BUT I have decided that it is probably a good thing to not broadcast our last names and to refer to kids who are underage by nicknames or aliases...not only for safety, but to protect them from teasing when they are older should someone try googling their names and then teasing them about their potty-training or their special stuffed animal they couldn't sleep without as a little one, etc. So I have decided to go back and change last names and the names of minor children to nicknames or aliases.
I was just wondering if those of you who blog and who mention their children...how many of you use their real names and how many use nicknames/aliases? Also, what are some that you use and how did you come up with them? Reason I was wondering that is because while I have a nickname for my little guy (Bug)...I need to come up with nicknames for all my nieces and nephews (as well as one sibling who is still underage)...and I can't use initials for them (as there are three J's, three L's, and three M's...besides the B, C, D, E, and R).
I have a friend who uses all three initials for her kids when she talks about them in her blog like NOR, DTR, etc. She even goes by an alias. I think that is an okay way of dealing with the issue of safety.
I blog and make no attempt to disguise my name, identity, or location, or that of my son. I realize that people may have a problem with this or think differently and I totally respect that. I know of many famous mommy bloggers who make no attempt to disguise anything and I've never heard of anyone having a problem. When I do hear about terrible and evil things happening (which in itself is very rare), it's usually because someone was followed home from the bank, or carjacked, or something like that, not because they had a blog. I hate thinking about things like that, but for some reason blogging about my life, posting pictures of my son, and using his real name doesn't worry me. I know that anything can happen, but I'm much more afraid of car accidents and illness, both of which are statistically much more likely. Of course, we do have a family rule that we don't post on Facebook that we are going to be out of town.
Like I said, it's not like I'm scared for their safety. It's more a matter of the fact that it is inevitable that these kiddos are growing up in a completely digital age...in a world where mommy bloggers lay it all out there...struggles with potty training, funny stories of random things kids do that they might be embarrassed about when they are older (painting the wall with the contents of their diaper, anyone?), etc. We also know that once things are out there on the net, it's out there forever!!
So my reason for using aliases for the kidlets is more for a protection from teasing from other kids googling them and then teasing them about stuff their mama or aunt has posted about them once upon a time.
I am all about letting kids be free range and not hovering over them and biting my nails that a perv is gonna jump out from any random bush...it's just so highly unlikely. My concern isn't protecting the kidlets in my life from the big, bad boogeyman...more about protecting them as much as it's in me to do from the inevitable schoolyard bullying.
For your nieces and nephews, I wonder about using middle names? Not very google-able, but easy enough for you to remember and for their parents to see, etc. I know what you mean about not wanting to put things "out there" that may violate the privacy of the kids as they get older.
I don't put my last name on my blog but I use my kids' first names. I do have a nickname for the oldest.
I have to admit, I live in France and my blog is in English. So I figure that narrows things down a bit (a perv who's fluent in English, here, unlikely). But I don't live in a big place and we are already very visable.
If I live in NYC or whatever, perhaps I'd be more skiddish.
What I do do is I have removed my blog from the directory on the site. So the blog itself is not secure. You don't need a password but you'd need the full address. I give it to people I know and tell them to type it in.
I did see that the name of the blog was google-able but interestingly, the way I wrote it down, it ends up on mixed in with wine lover sites (I'm from and live in places that produce whites). No reference to anything parent-related (so I'd recommend not putting "A mom..." or "Raising kids..." as the title) but if there was a perv, who liked white wine, I might be in trouble...
I blog and use my son's actual name and the town where we live. My online name is different from my legal one, so I don't think a weirdo can find me anyway.