There's been some discussion on Ravelry recently about posting photos of children on one's blog. Queasy stories about folks grabbing those pictures, altering them to have the appearance of child pornography, and posting or trading them. And the threat (although I don't know of any actual instances) of pedophiles tracking down your kids in real life after finding them on your blog.
I know a lot of parent-bloggers give their children blog-nicknames in order to avoid posting their real names (presumably for fear of child predators knowing too much about them). Some of those bloggers do post pictures of their kids; others refrain from doing so.
The range of opinion seems to be "you can't do too much to keep kids safe" on the one hand, to "you can't stop information about your kids getting out of your control, pretending you can promotes a false sense of security, and kids are actually safer today than they've ever been" on the other.
Obviously I use my children's names on this blog, and I post occasional pictures. I'm a proud parent, my kids are one of my primary topics, and I never bothered to change my original real-name practices from years ago when I started the old blog. But every time I read a blog that masks the identity of family members mentioned in the text, I wonder whether I should change my ways.
On the flip side, I don't want to hide my own identity on the blog. I tend to agree with Jeff Atwood that writing that's attributed to an identifiable person has a credibility advantage. I want to be associated with what I write, and I want what I write to be associated with me. And I want people who know me in real life to be able to find my blog, and those who know me through the blog to be able to find out more about my work. If I'm going to use my own real name, how anonymous are my children really going to be?
I'd like to hear your opinions about this, readers and friends. If you have a family, what's your practice about discussing them online, and why? If you're a reader of blogs with different strategies for addressing this situation, what do you think is most reasonable, readable, appealing, and appropriately security-conscious?