And speaking of privacy…

(Edit: Please scroll to the bottom of this post to read my additional clarifications, as well as read my responses to the comments.)

So I was going through my search terms and found this:

“what guild is madrana in skywall”

Not cool, guys.

Is that my bad? Maybe. I mentioned the server names to differentiate between the Hyjal and Skywall guilds I applied to. It doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together, but my issue with this is that I deliberately went out of my way to prevent mentioning the guilds. I didn’t do it just for kicks, I did it because I have respect for the two guilds.

To have someone googling to find out what guild I’m in is a sign of disrespect to me and to my guild. It deliberately goes against my wishes to keep my guild tag relatively anonymous.

So knock it off.

If you already know my guild name, I ask you to please respect my privacy. Please respect my decisions to leave out bits of information like the name of my guild. Please don’t mention them here. Please don’t make me pay $10 for a name change. Please don’t contact me in-game because I WILL tell you to stop and if it continues, I WILL report your ass. I have no problems with that.

If you don’t already know my guild name, I will respectfully ask you to let it go and not go looking for it. If you like my blog, my writing, my thoughts, my holy paladin tips and tricks, you will respect my wishes in this matter.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have to think a bit about posting anything else that’s at all related to guild stuff and my personal raiding experiences. And let me tell you something — that’s not cool. To have to think about censoring myself on my own blog because some creepers out there just HAVE to know what guild I’m in? Definitely not something I ever wanted to experience.

Edit, June 25th

Okay, I’ll admit it was unsettling to see a Google search term so very dedicated to finding me in WoW. I may have overstated my discomfort because I was definitely unsettled.

I also made a few mistakes.

1) In my previous guild, my character’s name was not Madrana. Some tool already had “my” name on that server. So I added a letter to it. As such, I tried hard to refer to myself as “Madrana”. This obviously allowed people to find me much more easily once I transferred, because I reclaimed “my” name. Had I been smart, I’d have used a whole other name entirely, but I was SO GLAD to get “my” name back that I didn’t really think about how many times I’ve used “Madrana” on this blog.

2) Apparently, I misjudged this thing called “popularity”. When I did realize that I was using the same name in-game as I was using to identify my paladin on the blog, I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. Who the hell wants to track me down? I’m just some outspoken, opinionated holy paladin. You’d think that looking at my traffic stats would help me realize that I actually speak to a lot of people every time I post. But no, apparently 5131 visits and 9551 pageviews in the last month means absolutely nothing to me. :P

3) I posted about my discomfort. It was a natural instinct. A reaction of “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!” and then a decision to write about it to the very people who were reading the blog and subsequently searching for me.

Doing so probably only exacerbated the issue — and this edit probably will, too.

So what am I going to do about this?

Well, the first thing I’ve already done is poured myself a great big cup of “CALM THE FUCK DOWN” and chugged that. :P

The second thing I’m doing is editing this post to reflect my thoughts on the matter now that I’m calmer, and I’ll be responding to comments as well.

The third thing I’m doing is this: explaining, in greater detail, why it unsettled me and why I would appreciate it if you didn’t look me up.

I go to what I feel are pretty great lengths to protect the identities of the people I talk about in my blog. I rename everyone, except pretty much Majik, because he’s just a DK and they’re all noobs. ;) (Thank you for that search term, whoever you are.)

If you were from my former guild, you would know who I was talking about when I said the main tank, the raid leader, the other holy paladin. But the general public wouldn’t know without a LOT of homework and digging. To me, that was acceptable. That showed my former guildies (if they ever came across it) that I wasn’t out to share insider information about the guild or anything like that. By masking my identity, to an extent, and by doing what I could to rename everyone else, I was, in my mind, creating a safe place for me to talk about the trials and tribulations involved in raiding, without ruining anyone’s reputation, without calling people out behind their backs, without all that drama.

It was about me complaining about X person or Y situation and it wasn’t detailed enough to draw identities from it, in my opinion.

The situation suddenly, overnight, became “crap. How do I protect my current guild from identification the way I did my old guild?”

When I say that the GM is an amazing healer, I mean it. When I say that I absolutely adore one of the raid leaders (and still quite like the other), I mean it. But what happens if I were to comment on something else that isn’t quite so awesome?

I was free to do that in the previous guild situation. I felt that 95% of people didn’t know my toon/server/guild name. (Don’t disabuse me of that notion if that’s not the case, please. :P) Now, not only do I actually have guildies reading, which is a whole new dimension for me to deal with, but now some people, probably about 40% (again, don’t disillusion me) of people reading know what guild I’m in. Probably by my complaining about that or asking you NOT to look it up, that number has grown.

Someone who commented on this post yesterday noted that the publish button is called “Publish” for a reason. And it’s true. A lot of bloggers forget that once it’s out there, IT IS OUT THERE. And there’s no real taking it back.

I’m not going to go back and edit out my name or the name of my server. I’m not going to go back and erase this post. I’m not going to do that. Because even if I did, it’s still out there. People have still learned the information.

So it’s less about me being creeped out by being contacted by a random creeper (although please don’t do so. :P) and more about protecting the people I’m playing with. I LIKE these people, you know.

I’m comfortable with my guild identity being a relatively open secret. But that’s the kicker — secret. Any references by others to the name of the guild or any members of the guild will either be edited or deleted, depending on how patient I’m feeling. Let us all ascribe to the rather unlikely concept that I’m in a guild that no one knows anything about. :P

Oh, and possibly what annoyed me the most is that someone GOOGLED that shit. Guys. Really. Google? That’s what the armory is for. Use the armory for your stalking purposes. It doesn’t leave any search engine terms for me to gape at and your curiosity is satisfied and I’m much less creeped out. :P I’m a regular armory stalker and have much less issue being armory stalked by people than someone specifically googling to find out my guild name.

So, once again:

If you already know my guild name, I ask you to please respect my privacy. Please respect my decisions to leave out bits of information like the name of my guild. Please don’t mention them here.

If you don’t already know my guild name, I will respectfully ask you to let it go and not go looking for it.

If you want to know what my character’s gear is, down to gems and enchants, ask me. I’ll tell you. If you want to know what my glyphs are, ask me. I’ll tell you. If you want to know any of my character’s stats, ask me. I’ll tell you.

Let’s just leave my guild out of it, all right? <3

21 Replies to “And speaking of privacy…”

  1. Don’t bother paying for a name change if someone finds you – if they friend you, it will auto change in their friends list.


  2. I looked you up 2 days ago to check your glyphs and spec and it took all of 20 seconds. I think you’re exaggerating, and also that googling for that string is very silly. You made your character name public, after all. I understand you not wanting people to care about your personal WoW life, but I don’t understand the surprise.

    I do hope no one is creepy enough to actually make a character there to annoy you. Seriously, get a life people.

  3. can’t really see why you’d get all upset you put yourself out there don’t be shocked when people look you up.

  4. This could just be out of curiousity.

    Although i come here and read only what you want me to know (and im content with just that), there could be others who would like to know more about you, your guild, your progress, your parses, etc.

  5. “To have someone googling to find out what guild I’m in is a sign of disrespect to me and to my guild. It deliberately goes against my wishes to keep my guild tag relatively anonymous.”

    Once a blogger puts enough information in their blog to identify them, well, they can expect to be looked up. Especially if they imply that they are an expert of any sort. If someone wants to be anonymous, then they shouldn’t publish the information.

    Just like with Real ID, if you don’t want your personal information to be public: don’t put your personal information in a public space.

    Blogging, especially within WoW is a VERY public domain. There is a button called “publish” at the bottom of the “New Post” page; it’s called “publish” for a reason.

    By the way, if someone creates a character and says “hi” to you, there’s not a gosh darned thing you can report them for.

    I think considering how much information you publish in your blog is a very good thing. I know that I’ve thought long and hard about what to include and what to keep private.

    Best of luck.

  6. Hrm, I’m sorry that you’re feeling freaked out by this, but you did make it really easy to find you. There’s only one level 80 character with your character name, so even if you didn’t mention your server, people would still be able to find you.

    I do feel your pain about having random people hunt you down and send you tells. There’s one rather annoying guy who does that to me and it drives me up the wall. LOL You might want to consider petitioning for a name change due to harrassment, as I think those are still free, and not give it out. That way you won’t have to worry at all. (And I totally only armoried you to see just how much of a problem it would be for others, I adore you too much to stalk you! LOL)

  7. I’ll admit to having looked you up on the armory a couple of times to check your spec and glyphs, like Jen. One of those times was in the past few days, so I definitely saw the guild name, but I only registered it mildly in the back of my mind.

    I mean, if I ever get my pally or my priest raid ready, I might look them up to see if they’re recruiting, but it’s because your descriptions of them portrays a group that I would actually have fun with (I don’t have the temperament for proper “hard-core” raiding), and not because ZOMG KURN IS IN THAT GUILD. …Is that creepy? I mean, I would personally see it as similar to someone I meet saying how much they love their (to pick a random example) writing group, and me remembering that later on when I’m looking for a writing group, but when you’re not just “some person” but a relatively known entity, I guess it could come across (however unintentionally) as a little stalkery.

    That said, if someone’s trying to find out what guild you’re in so they can pester you or stalk you or what-have-you, that is EPICLY uncool. I hope that doesn’t happen. :<

  8. I wouldn’t freak out just yet.

    I do a lot of googling sort-of like this, but for different reasons. For example… if someone is new to a blog, and you’re talking about past events, referring to something in the blog-history that I missed, I might google it, so I know what’s going on. So you may be purposely omitting the guild name, and someone reading may assume that he completely fails at reading carefully and missed it.

    Or maybe, like Apple said, it’s a reader who has heard you raving about the new guild (omg the GM is awesomehealersauce) and would like to check it out and potentially put in an app. It wouldn’t be the first time someone found a guild through the blogsphere.

    Or it could just be a creeper. But until you get a creepy tell or keep seeing these search terms popping up, I wouldn’t go for a name change quite yet.

  9. I agree, that’s just weird.

    And despite how easy it is to figure this stuff out on your own, I’m not sure Kurn would appreciate you guys pointing out how you could make it easier. Just sayin’, but admittedly, I probably shouldn’t be speaking for her.

  10. I’m not surprised by this.

    …you play wow,
    …you play wow well,
    …and you’re a GIRL!


    WoW+12year old boys+Girl = Stalking
    (RDruids Patented Theory of Nerdativity)

    On a more serious note, you’re toon(s) on BB is bored and told me he misses you greatly.

  11. Adgamorix – Yeah, I was thinking about doing it right off the bat when I realized how not-anonymous I was anymore, but decided against it because SCREW EVERYONE, this is MY name. ;)

    Jen – See, it’s not terribly hard, and I recognize that. If you want to check my glyphs/spec/etc, that’s “cool” (I’d prefer someone ask me rather than look me up, but anyways) but the fact they were looking specifically for my *guild* is what freaked me out. Anyways, see the edits above. :)

    tiggs4e – Please use these things called capitals and punctuation when commenting on my blog. :P As to the shock, it’s more the search for the guild than for me that unsettled me.

    Devynity – It could be people being curious, absolutely, and I’m hoping that’s all it is. And thanks for respecting my limits of comfort. :)

    SlikRX – Thank you for your comment. You’re right on a number of points. Although if someone persists through ignores, that’s in-game harrassment and grounds for reporting.

    I’ve always considered how much information I publish very carefully, although, as I detail in the edits above, I didn’t think how the knowledge of my toon name/server name would necessitate a shift in attitude about various things. Thanks again for your comment, though, it was greatly appreciated.

    Codi – I have yet to be harrassed, but I’ve also not spent a lot of time on the pally in the last day or so.If it happens, and I hope it doesn’t (but I’m prepared for the possibility), then I’ll petition for a name change if I need to. As I said above, it was really that someone GOOGLED for my GUILD that creeped me the fuck out. I expect smart people to armory me, but don’t expect anyone to google for my guild name. :)

    Apple – No, see, I don’t find that creepy. And if I’m saying good stuff about my guild, then I should have anticipated some interest, I guess. I just feel that my guild should be off-limits if I shouldn’t be? And I hope the stalkery stuff doesn’t happen either. ;)

    zelmaru – Thanks for this. It helped me in drinking that big ol’ mug of “calm the fuck down”. :)

    X – Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks it’s “weird”. I thought about editing people’s comments, but whatever. It’s out there. Nothing I can really do. I do appreciate your saying that I might not appreciate pointing out how easy it is, because that’s definitely the case, but it’s out there and once it’s out, I can’t recapture it.

    R – OMG ITS A GIRL ITS A GIRL GIRL OMG I HAVE A BIG PENIS. Hahaha. As to BB, maybe I’ll pop on at some point, randomly.

  12. For the record, I think if anyone has a problem with you freaking out a little over this, they need a boot to the head. Preferably a really stompy plate-mail boot. I would be equally creeped out, I think, though since I don’t raid or talk about my guild very much, I’m totally not shy about declaring what guild I’m in. (Now, if I were to actually start raiding and app to a guild as a raider, that would definitely change, even though I’m not popular in the blogosphere like you.) But if I were trying to keep it on the DL, then I would… be really unsettled.

    And I’m glad my potentially short-listing your new guild isn’t creepy. ^^;; They just sound like a good bunch of people, and I really don’t… KNOW any good guilds, or raiders who can point me to good guilds, so getting a good word from a blogger that I like is the next best thing, in my book.

  13. From now on, I’m going to quote Kurn as saying “OMG ITS A GIRL ITS A GIRL GIRL OMG I HAVE A BIG PENIS.”

    Just sayin’.

  14. >.>


    I only looked you up on the armory cause I wanted to see what kind of phat lootz you had.


    But, yes I'll keep that information to myself.

  15. I looked you up because of how much you exalted that resto shaman GM a few posts back – I wanted to check THEM out to see if I could possibly change some gems, enchants, etc. to improve my own resto shaman.

    And, of course, I followed your guides to the letter for my own very-new-to-holy paladin, so I wanted to check your stuff out as well. :-) But I have not rolled a toon on your server, spoken to any of your former or current guildmates, or sold your name to the highest bidders on my own server who were looking for uber holy paladin tips. I promise!

  16. Apple – The best thing to do is to keep your options open, IMHO. I put out some feelers by posting on the official recruitment forums, told people I wasn’t sure if I’d leave my guild, etc, etc. I got in touch with some really awesome people, including the GM of my current guild. That’s how I find my guilds — I look around, I take my time, I research them. All except for my last guild, since my RL friend the resto druid had been with them for four years. I knew what to expect going in and I would probably still be with them if I hadn’t been asked to do healing and to raid without my friend for two months.

    Apart from that, the recruitment forums are an amazing place for you to describe what you want, when you can raid, etc. I love it.

    X – you would, wouldn’t you? :P

    Osephala – all you (and any old guildies, Apotheosis or from Bronzebeard) need to do is ask, you sillyhead. :P

    D – thanks for not being too creepy. ;) And I hope my holy pally stuff is helpful!

    Agnostique – ahahaha, thanks. :D (FYI, Majik is one of my dearest friends in-game and he and I have this whole “I hate you” thing which is really our way of expressing to each other how much we care, so no need to take him or our comments to each other seriously. But he IS just a DK and he IS just a noob. ;D)

  17. And by the way, in the About Kurn’s Corner box, I’ve now put in a link so all you lookie-loos can stalk me more easily. ;)

  18. I figured as much. Just thought I’d give you some fodder for your next search terms post.

    And I have two DKs, and they are noobs. ;^)

  19. Ah – the ‘name’ – this is actually why I always post as Adgamorix. It was the original name of my Paladin, but my toon hasn’t had that name in a year.

  20. I totally want to make a toon just to send you random tells of “OMG ITS A GIRL ITS A GIRL GIRL OMG I HAVE A BIG PENIS.” because that is hilarious.

    I always armory stalk. Especially douchers from random dungeons who think they’re OMGSOAWSUMZ and really aren’t. Heh. I’m probably just creepy, but you know this.

Comments are closed.