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Sara Hinkle, a 24-year-old new mother and freelance illustrator in Bloomington, Ind., said the seemingly simple act of taking pictures with friends and talking about her day now goes through self-editing.

“If they don’t know about the blog, I don’t ever put their names in it,” she said.

But for Brittany Birnel, a 30-year-old mom of three in the Denver suburbs, personal blogs are so common in her social circle that she’s not concerned when she shares photos of friends or their children. All of them have their own blogs and post photos and other personal information there, so the permission is assumed, she said.

Mrs. Birnel, who writes the parenting blog Tangled and True, posts photos of her two daughters, Lily and Stella, and son Finn. She said she recognized the risk of using their real names online, but skirting around identifying her children was a futile attempt at deterring anyone determined to get that information.

“In all honesty, if someone wants to find your kid and take your kid, they can find your kid and take your kid,” she said.

Mrs. Etheridge, who recently posted photos on her blog of her son on vacation in Jamaica, acknowledged there could be dangers online but said she tries to thwart unwanted interest by leaving out revealing photos, such as ones of him in a diaper or in the bathtub.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of pedophiles out there,” she said. “If they want to get off on Chase, they can do so with his [swim] trunk pictures or his fully clothed pictures.”

As with any proud parent, Mrs. Petersik takes hundreds of photos of Clara but says that because of her blog and Facebook, she works extra hard to be mindful of her daughter’s privacy.

“I think there’s like 10 or 15 percent more of an effort because of this layer on top,” Mrs. Petersik said.

It may be extra work, but for Mrs. Etheridge, Mrs. Birnel and Mrs. Hickle, who all started their online journals to keep family in the loop but found a broader audience, it’s their personal lives that keeps readers coming back.

“I definitely think that the more candid and honest you are as a blogger, the more people connect with you,” Mrs. Etheridge said. “I do find that I get more comments on a post that I wrote from a heartfelt place.”

The Petersiks, who have let thousands of blog readers into their home, their bedroom, and even their bathroom, say they still value their privacy.

“We feel like something has to be sacred. If you share everything with everyone, what is there left?” Mrs. Petersik said. “If strangers knew about every aspect of our life, [more] than our friends and family, then there’s something depressing about that.”