What seems to happen is that given an plain text area, I'm able to be pretty relaxed about what I reveal about myself. However, presented with a checkbox saying "Hide information x from the general public" I almost always seem to choose the most paranoid setting I can possibly put it on. The only thing I can ascribe it to is a lifetime of checking the "Do not send me fucking junk mail or send my info to other people who might want to" box on every form I fill in - the legacy of being the daughter of a cynical advertising exec. In the cold light of day though, the whole thing seems inconsistent, so I'm going to overcome my nerves (what the hell does it matter if anyone knows my birthday anyway!) I've decided to mark it all as public. It's possible that this will result in a flood of support requests over IM/email for me, but I am the master of the polite brush-off :)
Another thing I've been thinking about is putting some more concrete contact details online but here I'm not going to rush in here. If you don't know me in real life, you could, given a stalker-like determination, get in contact with me IRL but the dividing line between contact in meat space and contact online is pretty clearly drawn at the minute, although there are a few of you who blur it on occasion. I've seen a lot of people put contact information in friends only or filtered posts, but I don't really quite feel comfortable with either. I don't necessarily want everyone who's entries I want to read to be able to ring me up, but I think I'd find the choices in creating a custom filter for that pretty tricky. In the end, I think I want to control any transition from online to real world relationships at least to a certain extent and there's a certain element of need-to-know. There's not a lot of point in just randomly giving out my phone number - most of you will never want or need to phone me. So I guess this is something I'm going to put on a need to know basis. I'm not saying I won't give it out - I just won't be sticking it up for everyone to see.
Also, I was in the process of trying to sign up to AIM (with the intention of attempting to communicate with my first manatee *waves*) but I discovered that tinyjo is already taken as a screen name! Damn them! So, I present a poll - what should my screen name be?