Thursday, September 07, 2006

Would you like some paranoia with that?

There has been quite a bit of banter on blogs recently about being careful what one says about themselves in such a public forum. This has gotten me thinking (…always a commendable practice).

We’re very well aware of a small handful of people reading our blog on various days, and this is only because they leave comments. But with the little counters on our pages we are able to realise that many tens or hundreds of people pass by our blogs each day. Some read our rants and thoughts and goings-on, get lost, and move on. Others enjoy our way of thinking or narrating and return again and again.

Recently, from one blogger’s banter and various passing comments in the “real” world, I was able to work out who she “really” was. And this was with out an ounce of effort. This makes me wonder how many people who read my blog anonymously have worked out my “real” identity, but have yet to admit it to me. Afterall, how many uber-hot chicks with a lust for champagne and the constant topic of AIDS on their minds are there running about in Jozi?

Imagine if some anonymous reader actually put concerted effort into finding who you, the blogger, were. And imagine if the reasons for doing so was not because of some friendly “seems we run in the same circles” reasons but because of his psychopathic inclinations. In this forum he is able to determine where your regular hang outs are, what your loves and hates are, how you think on a daily basis etc. and perhaps even work out what you look like.

This person is then able to stalk you and “randomly meet you” in one of your blog-mentioned settings. He is able to know just what to say to you, how to say it, and you can become putty in his hands. And who knows from there….

Could make for an excellent cheesy blockbusting Thriller, I reckon.

To all Hollywood Producers reading this blog: Yes, I am willing and able to give up my current career and become a top-class movie script-writer. And yes, yes, I am available to fly over to LA at your earliest convenience….


Revolving Credit said...

This is a definite business opportunity. I think I'll write 2 books:

1. Blogger Stalking in 21 days - The On-line Ambush Guide.

2. Anonimity for Dummies - Digital False Trails and Phantom Personas.

Time to revive the Revolvo Brand.
'New from Revolvo Media: On-line Etiquette made Easy'

Itsnopicknick said...

You're so right...good thing I've been lying a lot about the things I do!!!

Champagne Heathen said...

Ha! You'll be a millionaire...and then I'll sue you for stealing my idea, and so we'll share the wealth. Brilliant! But when I do sue you, try to back down fairly early otherwise we'll spend all the money on lawyer fees.

I actually reckon that there is a major space in the market for Blog books...and stalking books for that matter!

Spoon - yes, these here are lies! All lies! I live in Ohio, with my scottish terrior, and Gilbert-Grape-size wife and 9 kids. I'm the guy in the 22nd trailer on the right...(Excellent, they've been diverted)

Peas on Toast said...

Champs - it's so relevant what you have written today.

Since the unravelling of my blog, I get people coming up to me at almost every social occasion to say they know who I am, or "am I mushy peas." I'm not freaked out in that many of these people know me through friends of freinds, etc. However, last weekend something happened that seriously freaked me out, and I haven't written about it for obvious reasons.

I know people know who I am most of the time, but I'm not completely comfortbale with it unless I know them or know of them. Mainly because I never know what to say in reponse:
Them: Hi, I hear you're mushy peas. I read your site.
Me: Um hello!

When I'm not up for it, I just say "huh? I think you have the wrong person..."
But usually people are cagey about coming up to me as well, or pretend they've met me elsewhere when meanwhile I know it's because of my blog. I don't mind when people approach me, as I've said, especially if read their blogs too, or I know them through someone else.

But it's a strange place to be in, the Internet.

Anonymous said...

Luckily no one in my office knows I blog. That's useful. I have had one or two embarrassing situations in which someone has said something about my blog and I've then had to confess it was me.

Champagne Heathen said...

Yes, Peas, your recent blogged-about experiences or people's comments on your blog played a part in inspiring today's posting. Look after & out for yourself, ok! And I am sure many of us bloggers will also be doing so (looking out & after you). You shouldn't be hurt because you are an open creative person and provide an entertaining element to our work days.

I was also inspired by my paranoid dad, who I was telling about the whole blogging thing. He said it sounds like fun (but do us kids ever work in the office anymore!?) but becareful because...

90% of bloggers approach this new medium with the right attitude, but there are always that 10% who will abuse it and/or approach it in a childish or evil manner. As the trend grows we need to recognise and be wary of this, even though this then takes away from the original joys of blogging.

It's also one reason why I followed your lead in taking away links to my previous posts. I'd hate to think someone went back to those thoughts then to profile me.

And yes, you know I will say a decent hello to you when I next recognise you. Seemed very random to go say hi to you that last time.

Champagne Heathen said...

Jam, was it friends or at least people in your social circle then? I have yet to have anyone from my real world mention my blog...*sob* oh the rejection!

Peas on Toast said...

Tis true Champs. After this weekend, I am more weary. Anyway, I'm getting used to it more and more. And yes please, you must say hi next time mkay. )

The funniest thing that happens to me now is: when I get together with a guy, and he knows about my blog, he always asks if I'm going to write about it the next day.
And since Smalls, I don't go into details about my hook ups for obvious reasons. So it's like, "No, don't worry, I may mention I snogged someone, but you're not going to get more publicity than that!"

I suppose it comes with the territory. Sanitisation when people know who you are.

Daedalus said...

Well not all that new … there are some pretty phucked-up people out there. I had 2 stalkers since joining the web back in 1995.

The first one was from the club I worked in 1997, since the club had a website with a forum that I maintained (before blogs). She used to make comments on the forum, stating the she stood right next to me and my GF at the time smelling her shampoo… was rather freaky since I did not know who this individual was.

The second one was quite recently via my blog. She commented on the blog and then one day out of the blue phoned me on my work number. So, yes, if they really want to they will find you. ;)

Peas on Toast said...

Yip, the scenario sounds familiar to me Daedalus. I suppose one has to become aware that your life in a public domain may just become real.

Champagne Heathen said...

It's a bugger as we the readers now miss out on some of your thrilling bloggable goings-on.

Daedelus, and perhaps to both of you... *spine shiver*... that and those people are useless!! Freaky.

Perhaps that explains the recent 'private number' phoning me and then hanging up as soon as I speak...but really, they're not even offering heavy panting, let alone lewd comments!

Revolving Credit said...

Feels like I'm hobnobbing with celebrities - can I have an autograph.

I know that most of my posts are based on my twisted sense of humour interspersed with occassional ramblings but I think I'm going to attempt a more serious post based on this topic.
Need time to think it through though.

In the interim, I think I may need to do research for the books, so Champs I think I'll pseudo-stalk you...unfortunately my workload is a bit heavy so we may have to delay this task till about April 2007.(enough time to plan your anti-stalk strategy - I'll need your feedback for the 2nd book)...LOL
Seriously, it's like paying a hacker to test your IT stuff and report back, so as to protect from future hacking...more like a treasure hunt than stalking.

In the meantime, what I will do is ask anyone I see, when in JHB, who happens to be wearing read shoes, if they're you.

(not sure if thats stalking or just psychotic

Champagne Heathen said...

Ah Rev, it'd be my honour to have you trenchcoated-up following me from a distance, going through my trash, spying into my apartment from across the road!

April works for me. Though I am also available a bit earlier, from about end of Feb.

So will you give me warning as to the exact day this starts? Or should I just be alert from April onwards?

I think the red shoe question is more 'psycotic' in order to stalk I'd think you'd need to have identified your stalkee already?!? And please record yourself asking random Jo'burg strangers, cause when you finally find me, I'll laugh my head off at that footage!

Revolving Credit said...

Hmm...April Fool's Day is as good a day as any to start.

I'll start the shoe thing right at the airport.
I'll go the public address system and request the following message:
(from kindergarden days)
'Red shoe, red shoe, change your foot'

Then look round to see who's doing a bit of a dance shuffle.

I could try this in pubs, clubs, public libraries, as a trailer in cinemas, after the anthems at the rugby Baldric..
'I have a cunning plan'

Shortypam said...

Thats so wierd... i have been kinda worriewd that some crazed stalker would follow my tracks through my blog, but the clever thing iv learnt is not divulge too much info about urself and the places u go... but im sure there are peeps out there who like to be all psycho and what-not...

Champagne Heathen said...

Rev...hahahahaha. My foot is already tapping. I will have to muster up the willpower to not do so when I hear you singing, otherwise it would just be too easy!

Shorty - yes & those stalkers' names are "Rev"! Well, no, he is a pseudo-stalker, and it's all in the name of research so he and I can finally become ridiculously rich and famous!

Your stalker will just have to look at the most crazy public places to 'boof' and he'll probably find you there!

Anonymous said...

Hmm perhaps it's not as paranoid as one might think! Personally I am not too worried... a) not that many people stop by and b) nobody is all that interested :) But it would definitely make a better movie than "the net" so you totally have something there :)

Champagne Heathen said...

Hello MonkeyLover! Welcome to my blog! And great to know that when I get flown off to Cali to become movie famous I'll have someone to call on to go out partying with me...ya keen?!

But still, stalkers can stalk you anywhere. You don't need to be the most visited blog in the place. If you're posting, SOMEBODY's reading!

(Ooo there's a possible cheesy title already: SOMEBODY'S READING)

Anonymous said...

Champs - people in my social circle...who simply didn't know I was Jam!
I have met one or two bloggers - (kind of mutual stalking I think) who have both been lovely, non stalky, tolerable human beings! So good things can happen too in the blogosphere. It's not all stalkers out there.

Revolving Credit said...

Do you think that if we have a 'Stalker of the Year' contest, we can get all the stalker to 'out' themselves by entering the competition?

Champagne Heathen said...

Jam, definitely. I have met 1 or 2 gorgeous people through this blogosphere!

We just do have to be wary of the personal info we are posting and who is reading and gaining very indepth info while we don't even know they are there. Not paranoid, just wary.

Champagne Heathen said...

Or we invite all people who are being stalked to a "conference", and every 2nd person present, who we did not invite, we can assume is their stalker!

Revolving Credit said...

But then if one of the stalkees is also a stalker, then we may miss one.
Also a stalker may sign-up as a stalkee for the 'conference' so as to learn our stalk spotting techniques and secret handshake.

Devious little buggers these stalkers.

Champagne Heathen said...

Indeed! They seem to have us at far too many turns! But Rev, I am depending on you to crack the system & make the world for all celebs a more decadent no-over-the-shoulder-looking place!...and us get rich as a consequence!

But now, let me depart this office and brave the real world.
(Ok, did you read that my stalkers? You ready to go walking? I'll see around the next corner!)

Suavé said...

I dont know guys, personally I dont give a shit. Sure having an internet-stalker is a bit freaky but it's not as bad as you guys make it out to be. I'm lucky enough not to have anyone from my work know about my blog but I've had quite a number of people come up to me and say "Ey, Fluffy Dice right?" and I'm like "What..huh? Yeah. Wsup guy". Strangely enough though cause I had no idea how many people were checking my shit out. I didnt even know poeple gave a fuck. I am yet to meet anybody that's really weird though. Even if, I'll just have to treat them to a go old fashioned Knucke Sandwich if he tries anything funny.

I guess it's a bit trickier having a photo-diary though. But I've come to realise that what one needs to do is not frequent the same places too often. Oh and be VERY random about outings. There's a lesser chance of anyone expecting to see you anywhere.

But you raise a very interesting point Champsy

Champagne Heathen said...

Suave, I think what I was getting at originally was less of a stalker, and more of a full on psycho-SILENCE-OF-THE-LAMBS-HANNIBAL-path or just your run-of-the-mill kidnapper.

I am just full of interesting left-field random points Suave, so stay tuned!

m said...

I don't have to worry about that anymore. A very virulent front page article in the local paper (including my photo, full name, my husband's name and place of employment, and names of my two cats) took care of the mystery of montchan. Damn...

Champagne Heathen said...

Sht montchan! How are the consequences panning out for you??

And I hope you are feeling better today than yesterday (after reading your blog.)