Social Networks - MySpace

Social networks are not always great to blog on, but they are fabulous for networking. These sites allow you to network with other people with similar interests and plenty of other bloggers. Consider signing up for one or more of these popular sites to help get the word out about your blog and build relationships on the net.

One of the popular social network, MySpace is the social hub for anyone from 16 to 60. Everyone seems to use MySpace. Some MySpace users are very into it and forget there is a whole world of Internet beyond its domain. Many, especially blogging purists and business professionals, have the account as a supplement to their blog or business, not as their primary hangout.

While a lot of negative attention is paid to MySpace, especially when it comes to predators and scam artists, signing up for MySpace can definitely be fun, as long as you maintain the same level of discretion and privacy. It can be a great boon for your blog and a way to get those who rarely venture away from MySpace to explore life beyond their Top 8.

Blog Communities and Networks

These blog communities and social networks are much larger then the blogs they contain. Some offer huge resources of link lists and forums, as well as member features that allow you to connect with other people like yourself. Becoming a member of these sites can grant you access to all of their members and sometimes their advertisers, as well as any other tools, contest, or opportunities their may offer.

Of the many blog communities and networks, some are exclusive or topic-specific, and some are more general. Most require registration in order for you to become a member or be listed on their blogrolls. This helps communities keep their sites spam-free. Here are a few examples:

BlogHer was created as an opportunity for all kinds of women bloggers to gain greater exposure, education, and community within the blogosphere. In its own words, BlogHer 'evangelizes blogging by, for and to women'. BlogHer also hosts a conference every year for BlogHer members, and nonmembers who are interested in joining, to commune and share ideas on panels and through social events.

ClubMom community was created with moms in mind. It has more than 40 blogs written by seasoned mommybloggers. Plus, you can find on the site an ask-a-mom feature, message boards, sweepstakes, and a library of over 20,000 articles written by moms for moms.

Common Sense

If in doubt, use your common sense with regards to what you unleash on the Internet. If you are the type who are generally not concerned about your identity being out there, by all means. But if you are like the majority, you can find a balance between full-on disclosure and keeping yourself under lock and key. Consider being careful when posting personal identifying details and photos.

Personal details
It is wise to protect the identity of not only yourself, but your entire family. Give them nick names too. If they are involved in your blog, you can even let them choose their own.
Do not discuss where you live in great detail. Many websites and some blog platforms allow you to use maps to place your exact location at times of posting or where you were when a certain photo was taken. While these features are cool, think for a moment if you really want the entire world to know that. And do you want to make that information accessible.
It is generally best to protect yourself as much as possible.

Sharing photos
It is important to protect your name, but your face needs protecting too. Many people choose to share their faces but not their names, you may still be recognized. Posting photos of children is more commonplace online these days, but use caution when choosing where to post them and which photos to post. There are a lot of dodgy creeps out there, so it is best to keep your photos in the family, or at least protected.


You can strengthen the protection of your online presence by requiring your blog readers to sign in with passwords, adjusting your blog's privacy settings, using a screen name or pseudonym, establishing an email account for your blog only, and registering your domain privately.

Password protection
If you are hosting your own blog with a hosting provider, you may choose to require users to read your blog by logging in with a global login and password. Some content management systems and blog platforms offer members features that let them grant access with their own login and password. If you use a hosted blogging service, adjust your privacy settings for the appropriate level should work just fine.

Privacy settings
If you are using a hosted blogging service, you can choose to remove your site from the search engine indexes by setting the preferences on your account. You may want to check your particular blog service's documentation for more information.

Screen names
Unless you are a public presence, it is probably better to avoid using your last name on your blog. If it is necessary, skipping it can help protect your identity, especially if you have a very unusual name. If you would prefer to avoid using your real name, consider choosing an alter-ego.

Anonymous email
Having a blog can generate not only a lot of comments, but also a lot of spam in your inbox, so you may want to have an email address which you do not mind getting picked up by the spam bots when they crawl your site. You also want to avoid using email addresses that include your real name or place of business. Sign up for a Gmail account or other free email service and choose an email address that you will use. Some bloggers choose to use an email address that is the same or similar to their blog name.

Private domain registration
When registering your domain name, consider adding private registration to your site. Private registration masks your personal information, such as name, contact number, and registrant mailing address from those who search for your domain in the WHOIS domain lookup.