Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

You might have noticed the pace has slowed a bit. That will likely continue for a while. As I don't have the luxury of taking the summer off, I picked up some extra work and that will take a considerable amount of my time. I also got back to a manuscript that I'd put on the back burner a while ago, and have been in the process of writing, re-organizing, and revising quite a bit of text. That also will keep me occupied. In the process of getting back to that book project, I started thinking about another book idea (a book on genocide aimed at a lay audience of advocates, activists, and fellow travelers involved in genocide prevention) - I'm sure I'll be mining some of the material from this blog for that project. It'll be interesting to find out if there would actually be a market for such a book. Then, of course, there's been the ongoing process of removing all traces of the previous blog location, as well as my old personal website, from the internet toobz necessitated by a cyberstalker who began to get just a bit too personal for my comfort. Let's just say that I didn't exactly appreciate someone outing information about me that was really intended only to be privvy to family, students, and co-workers. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Oddly enough, all the talk about outing pseudonymous bloggers has attracted my attention. Recently publius was outed by Ed Whelan. Since I blog semi-pseudonymously, I have some stake in cases where someone is outed. An Alaskan politician did something similar to AK Muckraker of Mudflats earlier this spring. My take on outing someone who blogs or writes under a psuedonym is that one should tread very carefully before doing so. The only circumstance I could ever think of where outing person using a pseudonym would be warranted would be if the person in question were making threats of violence or inciting others to commit violence, and the person doing the outing was one of the targets of those threats. If that isn't your particular situation, then you are highly unlikely to have any reason to out that person.

My stalker, for example, operates under a psuedonym. By an odd and unexpected coincidence I stumbled upon that person's identity; when your stats counter from the old blog keeps recording a bunch of hits from the same IP address at the same location, it gets kind of hard to ignore (word to the wise for would-be stalkers - if you're planning on downloading someone's blog template to your hard drive and then planning on opening that file on a web browser, make sure that you download it to an account on that hard drive that does not contain your real name; the stats counter might still be active). I've refrained from outing that individual publicly, and in all likelihood since that individual has turned out to be little more than a minor nuissance than a tangible threat, I probably will have no need to do so. Of course I have informed some close friends and family members of that person's identifying information on the very off chance that I were harmed as a consequence of this individual's behavior, they would have the information needed to contact the appropriate authorities regarding a possible "person of interest". Beyond that, silence is golden.

In the process, I've learned a bit about how to prevent search engines from storing caches of blog information, how to block IP addresses or ranges or IP addresses, among other things to prevent (hopefully) future incidents of creepiness.

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