We need to talk, about your privacy. I’m posting this, because I kind of have to. There are any number of government agencies around the world, who don’t think you should be responsible for your own actions. In fact, they want to make me responsible for any data you might share on Entertaining Stories. There is an exchange of data here, and I’m going to tell you about it, but first some information I deem as being important.
I do not have a “website” per se, and I don’t want one. Entertaining Stories is a WordPress blog, a free one at that. I also do not maintain a newsletter, and don’t want one of those either. I’m not collecting addresses so I can send you stuff. I don’t even sell books. I provide links to Amazon, who sells books, mine included.
I offer some promotional services to my fellow authors, and one of my Lisa Burton Interviews will require an email exchange between us. The same thing applies if you want to send me something to host for your new release. You have to get it to me somehow. So, yeah, under those circumstances, I will have your email address. Unless you become a friend of mine, (Don’t laugh, it has happened), I’m not going to use your address for any other purpose. I don’t sell email addresses either.
If you send me something under these circumstances, it’s a conscious act on your part. You willingly provided me with your email address so we could put together your promo. Seems logical, right? This means I didn’t sneak out under the cover of night, grab your email address and help promote your book without your permission.
WordPress, on the other hand, does collect some data. If you hit the “like” button, or leave a comment, they will collect your Gravitar information. This could include your IP address, email address, the words in your comment, and more. I have no idea what they do with it, or where they even store this shit. Think of this data like the DNA stuff the mystery writers have to find with a black light.
You have control of how cookies work at your end. You’ll have to check your browser’s settings to figure this out. If they worry you, it’s up to you to disable them.
I also have to tell you that if you want me to purge any data you may have left here, I have to do it. Of course, I don’t even know what this shit is, or where WordPress stores it, so it will be a whole new adventure for me. WordPress is one of the biggest internet companies in the world, so I can imagine it will be tons of fun to even reach them. All because some government types think whatever you leave here is my responsibility.
This is almost funny in a way, because it creates a kind of infinity mirror. If you ask me to purge your data, you have to contact me somehow… dumping even more data via that contact.
Because this is a free WordPress blog, they will occasionally place some advertising here. It’s the trade off for a free site. I have no idea what ads they place, and no power over when or what they might involve. Those advertisements may also include cookies and some form of data collection. If you click on one of them, you become the advertiser’s problem, and you can go read their ravings about Internet privacy.
This same process is in place if you click any link on my site. If you go to Amazon, you become Amazon’s problem. If you discover a cool new author and want to follow them on Facebook… you guessed it, Facebook’s problem. Maybe that’s why they call it the World Wide Web, everything connects to everything else eventually.
You can lurk here anonymously in relative safety, but what fun is that? Comments and interaction make the world go ’round. It’s what WordPress is all about.
There are some nefarious bastards out there who spam sites like this, but I use a spam filter to keep you from seeing it. I regularly go to the spam toilet and give it a good flush. Everywhere on the Internet is subject to hacking, and I’m not immune to it here. I don’t know what that means for you, but since we’re talking about this stuff I felt like I should mention it. If anything ever goes wrong on this front, I’ll post about it on this site, since I don’t know how to contact you anyway.
Think of the Internet like a huge virtual amusement park. Millions of people use it every hour, and everyone has a good time. Then some dumbass fails to keep his head and hands inside the ride and you get brains and blood all over the place. It’s the same thing with your wallet being lifted at an actual amusement park. Keep a tight rein on your financial info, and I’ll never ask you for credit card information. I don’t sell anything here, remember.
I’m doing the best I can to keep an honest, clean, and safe environment for everyone. You have to do your part too. If you’re worried about cookies, having your IP address stored, and other such things, maybe the Internet isn’t for you. My blog isn’t the only place that works this way.
Everything comes with some risk, even getting out of bed in the morning. I’ve made you aware of the possibilities at Entertaining Stories. If you choose to accept this level of risk, I’d love to have you participate in the comments and maybe even guest write something one day.
Be brave, join the discussion. I always answer back, because I’m that kind of guy.