Saturday, June 21, 2008

Whose line is it anyway? (plus copious link-lurve)

I did something I’m really not proud of the other day.

No, not that.

Not that either, I do have some morals.

Thing is, as a blogger I felt an automatic instinct to post about it. It might be therapeutic in some way. If I wrote about it half as well as it sounds in my head then it would be a great post and people would be interested. It might improve my hit count. It might put new flags on my Feedjit thing. People might link to it. If I was very fortunate someone might even nominate it for post of the month.

But I would have given away a little part of me that I might otherwise only share with those who really know me best. It would essentially be out of context.

Where does the line of what’s appropriate for a blog begin and end? There are many bloggers out there who I read that reveal a huge amount about themselves through their words and pictures. These include my real life friends Darren and Liz, along with the likes of Darragh and Annie. I admire what they do and their courage in doing it but it’s not for me. I have already abandoned my ‘no pictures of me’ policy by putting a little one beside my profile. It’s small and relatively unclear but I’m already unsure as to whether I should leave it there. I’d rather if there was a way it could only appear to those who actually click on my profile.

A lot of the blogs I like are done more or less entirely anonymously, such as Bock, Twenty, Arseblog, Shadows at Sunset, raptureponies and Positive Boredom. I’m sure those who know them in the real world could work them out easily enough but they ain’t giving too much away.

I seem to be veering into the middle ground occupied by folks such as Mulley, Sinead (Gleeson and Cochrane), Rosie and Grandad. You get a very good sense of who they are through their work, but not many personal pictures or anecdotes. Some things are definitely held back, or at least it seems that way.
So I think I’ve just learned where my line is. Funnily enough, my story wouldn’t make for great reading on either Postsecret or The Lives of Others, but it’s still too much for me to share. At least right now.

21 comment(s):

Bock the Robber said...

It isn't easy staying anonymous. I find it very time-consuming having to kill people who figure out my identity.

Darren said...

I trust I'll be hearing the full story at some point?

Lottie said...

This is a shameful post. You can't dangle juicy gossip in front of us and then remove the post.

Tut tut!

Andrew said...

Yes I can!

Sinéad said...

I never wanted my blog to be too personal, and yet I've posted a couple of very personal posts. It was always meant to be an arts and culture blog, not a personal one. Many of my favourite blogs ARE personal narratives, but it's not something I feel I could do.

Lottie said...

I don't think I have ever put anything particularly personal on my blog apart from a few pictures.

I am wary of the fact that the Blog is in my name and I am considering getting a new URL. i wouldn't feel comfortable with colleagues and clients reading it.

Andrew said...

Sinéad, I'm with you on that (and Ive just discovered how to put a fada over your e, I'm very proud). It's inevitable though that the content will get alittle more personal than you intended from time to time.

Lottie, I hadn't put you in that category in any kind of pejorative way so I hope you don't mind. I guess it was using your full name as the url that made me think it was fairly publicly you, but when i think about it your content isn't much more personal than mine really.

Lottie said...

@ Andrew - "pejorative" - Who had a thesaurus for breakfast then?

Andrew said...

It leaves you very verbose but with nasty paper-cuts on your tongue.

Lottie said...

@ Andrew - nice. thanks for that image. Blah!

Annie Rhiannon said...

*shrugs*

It's just life.

You have some fun, you get dumped, you have an idea, you get a new job, you go out, you stay in, you write about it. I don't really get the point of anonymynity, however its spelt. All we're doing is chatting about what we had for breakfast. The only reason I can see for hiding who you are is if you want to slag your friends off behind their backs. And I don't ever want to do that.

Looks like I'll be meeting you this week anyway, courtesy of rick O'Shea. So, hello!

raptureponies said...

I've very much not posted things, because of people learning too much about me.

Some of my favourites are the personal ones, but I just amn't able for that kind of tell all-ness.

But you should post your story.. just in a day or two and say it happened to a friend of a friend... :D

Andrew said...

My story may or may not involve a cetain level of bending the law so given my profession its definitely best not to put my story up. Or, rather, my friend's story.

Annie, the pleasure will be all mine. i certainly have no intention of slagging off any friends here, but protecting my own neck is occasionally necessary.

Raptureponies, i'm with you completely on that one.

Bock the Robber said...

What's this thesaurus talk, Lottie?

Pejorative is the right word
(unless you can think of a better one).

Andrew said...

Cheers Bock, I cetainly couldn't think of a better one.

Lottie said...

@ Bock and Andrew - disparaging, belittling, debasing, demeaning, derogatory, disparaging, irreverent, negative, slighting, depreciative, detractive, uncomplimentary?

Just saying. ;#

Bock the Robber said...

Nah. Pejorative is the right word. Who's been at the dictionary now?

Lottie said...

@ Bock - Meeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Sinéad said...

Sorry I'm late to the conversation... but I can definitely relate to this post.

I originally started out my blog as a mixture of technology related posts and as a chronicle of my graduation from college and step into the real world, hence the name and the many posts about how google never hired me. But then my actual career never took off and I stopped blogging, it was too depressing.

When I eventually went back to blogging I wrote less about my personal life because I thought that it would have meant for very boring reading and started writing just about technology. It was when I was nominated for best personal blog at the blog awards that I realised that my blog WAS personal and not to hold back too much. It was then that I started writing about college again and by letting my voice and personality come through in my usually technology/college related posts I've found a happy medium and get far more comments and reader interaction. Which I adore far more than moaning about life.

But I do sometimes think about deleting all my past blog posts, to reflect the direction my blog has now taken.

There's no right or wrong way to blog. But you're right to be cautious. I'd suggest that if you do feel that you have a story to tell that might be out of character to your current blog, maybe post it to The Lives of Others. That's what I'd do.

Rosie said...

what Annie said, more or less, except that i don't blog under my own name. but i do try not to write things that i wouldn't blurt out anyway in company.

B said...

it's fairly easy to figure out who I am, what with me linking to my last.fm and all.
Plus my location narrows it down a lot.

The facts it's largely fiction makes it easy I suppose.