Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Who is this babyB character then?

When Jenny and I wanted to let our friends know that we were expecting a baby, I set up a blog using iWeb. It was a fairly handy way of letting the world know what was going on. I was kind of new to blogs and thought that a native application for creating & updating would be best. I realise now that this was not the wisest move on the planet.

However, you can imaging that I wanted to share with everyone once our wee girl was born. Beth Ann Weir. The announcement is here. That was 18 months ago. At the same time as we were adjusting life to being a family of three, I was learning more about the social (and sociological) nature of online interaction and reminded that "one it's online, it's always online.

One of the people that I've learned most from over the piece was Mitch Joel. Some time last year, his "significant other" (I can't find out if Mitch is married or not) delivered a baby. He doesn't really talk about the baby - at first I found this really odd. Especially when one of his co-participants (and another person sharing great ideas on new media), CC-Chapman shares so much about his family online (including helping his daughter put together an online video series.

When asked on his regular podcast why he didn't talk much about his family - it was through choice. It was all about letting his family choose how much they were online and hoe much they weren't. This baby had little influence over what would be shared online - but you can be sure that in 15 years time, they would have something to say about their toddler-days being on Flickr for the world to see.

Hearing this (and Jenny being a little concerned that *anyone* could see photos of Beth (or us) online made me think. How much do we want to share? How much do we want to keep private and what does that mean.

So, when I started using the babyB handle when talking about our wee girl. I talk about Mrs theWeir as "theWeir" is my twitter, friendfeed, identi.ca and bebo handle. We only let friends & family view picture on Flickr & Facebook. Pictures of babyB do not end up on Posterous. This can be restrictive when there's something very cute I might want to share (and I'm sure I'll come up with a way to make it work in the future), but for now it's working alright.

I do share tons of other photos on Flickr, Facebook and Posterous, but just not of babyB.

And that's why I use those abbreviations. It's not to be better than anyone else, just the way we're working it for now. All these self-publishing platforms are new ground and making informed, wise decisions is what it's all about for me.

What do you think? Do you share your family & photos with everyone?

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