Personally, I never wanted to make my blog private.
I love perusing blogs (when I have the time) and finding interesting people, inspiring messages, and uplifting stories. I love finding connections with people I've never met, seeing the world though their eyes, and almost always learning something new through another's blog posting.
I like having that influence as well, and feel that my blog is a way to express myself through writing while keeping a history of our family and our collective and individual experiences. However, with all the wonderful things a blog can become, it also carries it's risks and I've realized that the risks are now outweighing the positives, and thus I'm locking it down to only those readers whom I know and trust.
It saddens me that I no longer have the power to make a new friend or make someone's day better by a quote or funny story I posted. Oh well, I still have my friends and family to keep close and I'm more than happy to send an invite to ANYONE who asks :-).