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.