Jan 14, 2009
When you start writing a blog you have to make a few key decisions very early on. The most important one is who will you let know about your blog. It’s a battle between losing readers and losing material. I can’t very well write about how “so and so” does “such and such” that drives me bonkers when I know that they read my blog. The printed word is much more dangerous than the spoken word. Many of the social cues that soften things are missing from the written word, like body language. I have learned this the hard way with a few e-mails I wish I never would have sent.
I opted for readership over material. For me blogging is not just a journaling exercise. If it were I would just buy one of those pretty books with blank pages and start writing. Blogging is a way for me to throw things out into the world… to say “Hey, this is me and my experience.” My blog is public and searchable. I have told everybody and their brother about my blog with the exception of people at work. Being an HR manager I have to maintain a certain mystique. It makes it easier to do some of the tough things I have to do.
If you make your blog public then you have to decide how much of your personal information you will reveal. First names, places and events written about in your blog can all easily lead someone to figure out exactly who you are. I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m not stupid about what I reveal but I’m not paranoid either. I figure I’m not really stalker worthy.
Building a good profile is also important. Recently I have been struggling with whether to replace my clever little avatar with a real picture of myself in my profile. I’m not sure why I keep going back and forth on it. Part of it is that I love my avatar. She’s got attitude and makes a statement for me. “Yeah, I got curlers in my hair. You want to make something of it?” It’s how I like to think of myself… I don’t really care what you think. But then when I change to my real picture I am faced with the reality that I really do care. Then I think… OMG you are over-thinking this. Nobody really cares or gives it a second thought except you. Man it’s tough to be me sometimes.
You have to be careful about stories where friends and family play a leading role. It's important to get their permission before hand. My daughter recently told me about something she was upset about. We talked about it and at the end of our conversation I joked that I was going to blog about it. She emailed me the next day to ask if I had been serious. I assured her that I hadn’t been serious. After that I realized I need to be a little less flippant about using real life situations as material for my blog.
I have learned from my blogging experience, both reading and writing, that there is so much more that connects people than separates them. That leads me to believe my philosophy of “the more the merrier” is a good one, at least for me.