As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!
     

There Are Things I Will Not Write About

This article was written by in Administration. 15 comments.


It’s no secret that I share a lot of personal information on Consumerism Commentary, including very detailed balance sheets and income/expense reports. Most of that publishing bravery is based on the fact very few of my readers know my real name. My biggest concern with this anonymity is the ability for people to research my real identity online and not come across Consumerism Commentary. So far, I have succeeded.

To ensure a small amount of privacy, there are a few things that will not be directly discussed here.

* My name. As I mentioned above, some of my readers know my true identity. Almost all who do have that information knew me before I was writing Consumerism Commentary. A few people I’ve communicated with since beginning the site now know me on a more personal level, but we have never met. If I had known when starting Consumerism Commentary that I would be interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and other excellent publications, I would have chosen a pen name somewhat more professional than “Flexo.”

* My past, present and future employers. The last thing I need is a co-worker or former co-worker discovering this blog. My current co-workers know I have an “outside endeavor” related to internet publishing and pertaining to finance, but I keep the details discreet. I have written about my company’s policies before, and a commenter once indicated after reading a policy-related post that he believed he works for the same company as I do.

* Certain charities and organizations to which I contribute money and time. I am often inclined to provide specifics when writing about finance-related organizations worthy of charitable contribution. For example, I strongly supported the pfblogs.org Financial Literacy Challenge. However, my main “philanthropic” interest is in arts and music education, and those circles are a bit smaller. I’ve written about one particular organization I’ve volunteered for, but I intend on keeping everything else private.

* The nature of some expenses. I keep some expenses, but nothing significant, in different categories for my online reporting. The primary purpose is to not ruin surprises for people in my life who may also read Consumerism Commentary. That doesn’t affect the legitimacy of my monthly reports, which are still taken directly from my working copy of Quicken.

I will also not write about my sex life. For anyone interested in reading about the jucier details, look for my anonymous sex blog, Copulation Commentary.

Published or updated December 26, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

Email Email Print Print
avatar
Points: ♦127,495
Rank: Platinum
About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Bobby

You should keep track of how many people googled “Copulation Commentary” after you posted this.

Reply to this comment

avatar Amanda

I googled it haha. Hey, just curious ;)

Reply to this comment

avatar Mrs. Micah

Dude. I really really want to google that now. Just wait until I start blogging there under “Flexo” (tee hee).

I understand the desire for privacy. My mom found out and she kinda called my entire extended family and told them. I barely managed to get it out of the Christmas letter! (She was very proud of me.)

Reply to this comment

avatar rateladder

You should buy that domain… no need to give anyone an idea like that and leave the domain open.

Reply to this comment

avatar Nicole

Is that an ANONYMOUS sex blog or an anonymous SEX blog?

Reply to this comment

avatar Mrs. Micah

Shh…rateladder! Hush now!

Reply to this comment

avatar MoneyChangesThings

Since a lot of folks are writing about philanthropy this time of year, I am wondering if any bloggers you know of put up their charitable giving – which causes, how much, what percent of their net worth, along with the kind of detail you disclose. (My husband nixed the idea for our family, but I like the idea.)

Reply to this comment

avatar Bobby

It could be worse…you could have flipped your screen name around. OxElf has a nice ring to it, although I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know what an ox elf does.

Reply to this comment

avatar TBH

I’m glad you’ve been successful in keeping your blog separate from your real identity. It’s hard to do, and I’ve had a few slip-ups.

At this point, 3 offline friends of mine read my blog, that I know about anyway.

One found it after I told her I wrote an anonymous PF blog (now I occasionally tell people I write an anonymous blog but don’t tell them what it’s about). One wheedled it out of me and I still regret telling her about it because I don’t think the comments she leaves are relevant or useful, and because her financial habits are very different from mine and it has made things akward for her to know how much $$ I earn, spend and save. And I told one friend outright.

I do worry about my family finding it, so I try to keep my comments about my family reasonably polite. I also think it would be too bad if an employer found it.

I have no idea what your real name is, but I do know your approximate age (same as mine), your profession, or at least what you did for work when you were in grad school, and the town you live in. I’m sure you know about the same number of random facts about me.

Weird, these online identities. It’s almost like having a split personality.

Reply to this comment

avatar TBH

MoneyChangesThings, I wrote a post in 2006 called,

Tithing: Creating a giving plan

It lists some of the organizations I donate to, but you’re probably not as much of a crazy leftist as I am so you may not be interested in the groups I support.

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,495 (Platinum)

Nicole: Both? Either way, I hope it is a daily report.

Reply to this comment

avatar mbhunter

OK I checked CopComm and Flexo did actually register that one. HAH!

Reply to this comment

avatar MoneyChangesThings

TBH, My son also has a list of all the places he donated to in 2006. What I am curious about is if anyone puts their actual amounts up. Here’s my son’s list, fyi – he’s pretty lefty too!
http://divinityisinthedetails.blogspot.com/search?q=temple+tithes

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,495 (Platinum)

MCT: Thanks for sharing that link. It’s very interesting to see what organizations people support. I’d list mine, but as I mentioned, my organizations have tended to be small and I’d rather stay unidentifyable. I will probably list some details but not name the specific organizations.

Reply to this comment

avatar jim

Copulation commentary… hahaha, the most boring blog ever. :)

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Connect with Facebook

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: