There's been a couple of occasions in recent weeks when I've had to remind people that blogs, newsgroups and mailing lists don't count as private conversations. Nor are they conversations-in-public that others might accidentally eavesdrop, like something overheard on a train journey. No, they're readily accessible and searchable, and stored for posterity. You can't really get more public, as conversations go.
In fact, email should probably come with the same kind of warning. It's so easily forwarded to the wrong people (and accessed by IT and management at work) that numerous mates have been stung by blowing-off-steam messages and bitchy one-liners getting sent to the people they're sniping at. I once had a brilliant dinner where people compared catastrophies having hit REPLY instead of FORWARD, or where things they'd emailed months ago suddenly being sent round the office.
So, a rule of thumb: these things get read, and they're likely to get read by the people you're talking about.
Still, I've been surprised by the numbers of people who mention this 'ere blog to me - either taking me to task for things they don't agree with, or wanting to know more about things I've mentioned fleetingly, or wanting to know why I even bother. Blimey, these things really do get read.
Oh, and incidentally: tough, patience, and not really sure yet.