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Blogging Confidential

He sent me a long, detailed email explaining his situation, naming names, giving financial information about all parties – keep in mind these are all local to my market – and asked for advice. … That he made this request at the end was gratifying – it demonstrated the already-established trust that the blog had conveyed – but it made me put myself in his and others’ shoes.

He sent me a long, detailed email explaining his situation, naming names, giving financial information about all parties - keep in mind these are all local to my market - and asked for advice. ... That he made this request at the end was gratifying - it demonstrated the already-established trust that the blog had conveyed - but it made me put myself in his and others' shoes.

Confidentiality.jpg

(photo courtesy)


Just a suggestion – as part of the disclaimer/disclosure/about page I’m sure all of you have – consider adding a confidentiality clause/disclaimer page. Nota bene – I’m not an attorney, don’t play one on tv and don’t plan to do either.

Consumers are looking to blogs more and more, because of the bloggers’ transparency and demonstrated knowledge, expertise and character. If your experience is anything like mine, you likely get emails from consumers requesting help, advice, information and the occasional second opinion. Agency questions/conflicts aside – if the reader doesn’t feel comfortable asking, we won’t be able to help or learn.

Are we journalists who might legitimately hide behind the shield of the free press, or are we Realtors? I will continue to argue that many of us (one size absolutely does not fit all) are both.

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As the author, the confidentiality is understood and implied, but an email from a reader a few months ago highlighted the confidentiality quandary. This is certainly not the first such email I have received but it is the one that triggered the shift in my (blog’s) behavior. He sent me a long, detailed email explaining his situation, naming names, giving financial information about all parties – keep in mind these are all local to my market – and asked for advice.

At the end of the email, he requested confidentiality. That he made this request at the end was gratifying – it demonstrated the already-established trust that the blog had conveyed – but it made me put myself in his and others’ shoes.

Of course all emails to me are confidential; but my knowledge of this was not sufficient, do do I want for my readers – and clients – to have to make this assumption.

So now I am clear on my ever-evolving privacy page (y’all have one of these, right?)

I’m sure that there are better ways to proclaim confidentiality and privacy – what are the best examples you’ve seen or used?

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Written By

Dad, Husband, Charlottesville Realtor, real estate Blogger, occasional speaker - Inman Connects, NAR Conferences - based in Charlottesville, Virginia. A native Virginian, I graduated from VMI in 1998, am a third generation Realtor (since 2001) and have been "publishing" as a real estate blogger since January 2005. I've chosen to get involved in Realtor Associations on the local, state & national levels, having served on the NAR's RPR & MLS groups. Find me in Charlottesville, Crozet and Twitter.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Mark Eibner

    January 27, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    we’re at it again Blogging Confidential: He sent me a long, detailed email explaining his situa.. https://tinyurl.com/ab8v9j

  2. Marvin Jensen

    January 27, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Jim,

    Great idea! Never had that happen to me yet, but it is good to add something like this to my blog.

  3. Paula Henry

    January 29, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Jim – I have seen some great privacy statements and pages (like yours). I guess I need to get busy and prepare my own. Readers should not have to guess whether their emails are confidential, we should make it known.

  4. Phil Wolff

    February 20, 2009 at 1:32 am

    What’s your Piracy Policy? Arrrgh, matey!

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