Hey I think I've seen that picture somewhere before

I wanna be on the cover of…

Hey I think I've seen that picture somewhere before

…Millionaire Magazine? No. No, I don’t. Not on its pages either. So imagine my surprise when I found a family photograph of mine had been stolen and used to promote a lame holiday-photo competition of a glossy, nationally-distributed for-profit magazine. A letter to the editor demanding proper attribution produced a bland apology and a request to overlook the mistake since the magazine existed only as an act of charity to “help the bumiputra”! And only Malaysians know how many mistakes they are expected to forgive with that excuse…

It’s frustrating. Perhaps I’ve just been lucky to share my life online for over eight years now without getting burned. Quite the opposite. This website has enabled me to meet wonderful people I never would have otherwise, to make serendipitous connections that would seem miraculous in the pre-internet world. And yet now having that boundary crossed… it really stings. My wife, who has a much more public-facing job than I do, was especially mortified. I’ve read a hundred times about the dangers of putting family information online, but I thought my site was too small or my intentions sincere or … I guess I just should have known better.

The upshot is Bin Gregory Productions will be less personal in the future. I’ve restricted most of my Flickr stream, I’ve started pulling out child names and such from my archives, and I’ll be much more careful and particular about family-related stories in the future. I can live with embarrassing myself, but embarrassing my family is a serious dereliction of duty.