blogging gobbledygook and such

I try and keep myself a little distant online, if only because I don’t want to put too much of myself out there… I think it’s important that every blog be you, your voice, but it’s that balance between sharing yourself and privacy that’s so hard to find and it’s probably different for every blog (and blogger).


This comment by cjwriter made self wonder if you should keep your personal details separate from what you blog so that ideas put forth would not be coloured by your experience. The idea matters, not from how it came about.

To self, background is really important. That’s why whenever visit a blog, the first place check out is the about page. Feel that can understand the blogger and thus the ideas better with some knowledge about the blogger as a person. For sure, your perspective of the blogger will be coloured with this knowledge, but it makes you feel more connected to the blogger as a result.

Anonymity has its appeal in which nothing else but the idea matters. However, there is that impersonal feeling when reading such blogs. There is only so much to go by the words chosen and ideas discussed. You feel connected by the appeal of the ideas, but you don’t feel as much for the blogger.

To self, this makes a difference in establishing self as a loyal reader. That’s not to say am not interested in anonymous blogs, it’s just that the connection is not as close as reading a blog with a good balance of personal details and ideas with thought-worthy appeal.

But perhaps the question is what exactly are our intentions for reading blogs. Are we seeking like-minded people for friendship? Or are we seeking like-minded people to discuss ideas without having to relate on a social level? Then we can have an idea of how much of ourselves to reveal in our blogs.

Comments on: "How much of yourself should you reveal in your blog?" (11)

  1. So I’m looking for ideas, questions, thoughts and learning. But then, included in that is people. I like to learn about the variety of people. It’s partly my goal when making friends in the real world. I don’t like to see people as opportunities for personal gain, but I do like to gain new perspectives.

    As far as my own anonymity, I only barely maintain it. I try not to be too specific and make sure that nobody searching for me could find me unless they knew my online handle. But then, it’s easy enough to work out, and my e-mail address is my real name, so anywhere I comment I am revealed (partly) to the blog owner. So security isn’t exactly tight.

    I’m big on honesty though. So I tend to spill pretty much everything. This has actually led to me doing the same in real life, which can be awkward, scary and painful, but I think leads to more chance of being happy. If you’re open about who you are then you are more free to be you than if you conceal yourself behind some kind of lie.

    Plus it’s kinda less work. Though yeah, it can be dangerous. The truth often hurts and all that, and it’s not exactly ideal for self defence.

    Oh, and I try to maintain quite a lot of privacy with regard to people I’m in contact with in real life. False names and misdirection to ensure nobody ends up getting hurt by my truths, or have things revealed that they didn’t want to be so. So I steer clear of my relationships with people (mostly) and try to be careful.

    Problem is that anyone who did no me could almost certainly work out who I’m talking about on a couple of occasions….hopefully I’ll never end up in hot water, but I guess we’ll see.

    sulz: what you’re doing to maintain and reveal your privacy is pretty much what am doing now too. so far, so good (for the both of us)! 😉 if we’re so busy keeping up some sort of wall on our blogs as self-defence, then we might lose a part of who we are and paint a different picture of ourselves, and it shows in the way we write. as it is, this whole first-person-pronoun-avoidant thing am doing sounds weird and is not exactly a true representation of self, in self’s opinion!

    may have to rethink this blogging quirk now…

    oh, you’d be quoted in the next post, by the way. 😉

  2. It would be funny to read a first person pronoun in here. Maybe you could make an special blog post where you talk like this and see how you feel with it.

    hmm, I guess I don’t try to cover much of my privacy in my blog. I occasionally make posts based on general ideas, but honestly, it’s mostly me all self-obsessed talking about my thoughts.

    But I guess this one of the many blog styles out there. My blog is too personal and might not get many comments because I don’t talk about broader subjects and I don’t seem to leave much room for replying; but it keeps me sane, it’s my place to vent, to monitor my moods, to organize my ideas, to practice English, … And from time to time, someone relates to something I say and it makes me happy.

    But I’m not all that adventurous. I’m still kind of an anonymous blogger, because even though I don’t hide my name, my pictures or my thoughts, I still have my blog completely separated from my real life, and my defense is mainly based on blogging on a different language than the people I know, and using a screename for everything. People would have to know about the name “crazyasuka” to find my blog, and most people I know have no idea. Now they might find it, but they won’t understand it. Haha.

    sulz: have quite some posts where do use the first person pronoun, except that it’s blockquoted. don’t forget the password-protected one. 😉

    agree about the different blogging styles. there shouldn’t be a standard then, we should put as much or as little personal details as we please! 🙂 after all, at the end of the day we’re responsible for our words, online as we do offline.

    sulz is a handle only recognised by people like you – that is, having known self through this blog. with friends and family in real life use a different handle. so far, so good. *cross fingers*

    am considering telling some close friends about this blog though, hmm…

  3. I blog anonymously mostly for plausible deniability 🙂

    Like Alabaster, I know a sufficiently determined stalker could probably figure out who I am, but so far no one has. If my boss stumbles over the blog (and notices about half the posts are dated during office hours), it isn’t obviously me.

    And lastly, I love the freedom to say *exactly* what I’m thinking, without bothering to be nice. This, of course, bounces back on me and upsets me when people call me names. But when I write it, I feel free.

    sulz: yes, definitely makes for good insurance. 😉 absolutely, people are more honest (or deluded, depending on the situation) when they are behind a different identity. for sure, the persona have on this blog is very different in some aspects from the person am in real life!

  4. i miss being totally anonymous. one of the reasons my personal blog didn’t take off is that it can never be personal enough. it’s hard to say personal stuff in blogosphere, bcos it is a public domain. the only way i could speak out my mind is anonymously, cos i wouldn’t want the people i know to know those deep revealing personal thoughts of mine.

    as for reading anonymous blogs, i can be a loyal reader anytime! it would be like connecting to a fictional character maybe! and damn, i dote on fictional characters! 😀

    sulz: well, loyalty also depends on how appealing the character is. 😉 too bad you won’t keep up your personal blog, would love to know more about your life!

  5. I believe that if it is a personal blog, a little bit of background is necessary. I believe that you should have an “about” page which is dynamic i.e. keeps changing as you change. Of course you should not reveal everything such as your address or phone number in there. That’d be silly.

    Otherwise however, I think anonymous blogging isn’t as much fun as personal blogging.

    sulz: oh that’s a given not to give numbers and such!

    true, how can anything be more indulgent and fulfilling and bitching or ranting? :mrgreen:

  6. I’m torn on the idea of privacy online. I think it’s important that we all have privacy, but isn’t the whole idea of writing a blog to share a part of yourself with your audience? Whether that’s the details of your life or your thoughts and ideas, it’s still you, your voice; even an anonymous blogger still has a voice of some kind. So just by blogging we’re relinquishing some of our privacy, and sometimes people don’t realize that when they start.

    I wouldn’t say anonymous blogs turn me off, but I like to get some kind of an idea of what a blog or blogger is about. I’m much more likely to connect with something that has a history or philosophy behind it than something which is blander. But in the end it’s really up to the blogger how much of themselves they want to put into their blog; there’s not necessarily one right or wrong answer, as long as you don’t have anything too personal. My balance has been to treat my blog as kind of a tinted window; I use it to be honest and open with my thoughts and opinions, but I’ll rarely talk about a personal experience. It means I can be personal with one aspect and have it be recognizable as my voice, but also not let it be too personal in a way that makes me uncomfortable or dangerous.

    Away from the blog, I go to greater lengths to maintain my privacy. Some sites ask you to sign up with your address before you can use them, and unless they’re something like Amazon I’ll often use the address of a hotel instead; they don’t need my address and frankly they’re risking making me go away by asking! Again I think it’s about choice; what I allow myself to reveal in one place, a controlled environment, is different to what I want every site I use to know about me.

    Thanks for the link love, sulz! Much appreciated. And I’ve been thinking about privacy online a lot lately as well, so you brought it up at a good time. Makes for good blog fodder, doesn’t it? 🙂

    sulz: thanks for your thoughts on this, adds a better perspective about how much of ourselves we should put out there. 🙂 it’s chocolate for blog fodder!

  7. We all expose as much of ourselves as we feel comfortable with. Though every time we post we expose insights that help others define us.

    sulz: hmm, true to an extent… it doesn’t only help others to define us, but also ourselves, however, those insights shouldn’t be used to define us indefinitely because as we grow, we may change our perspectives. what we say today may not hold true tomorrow!

  8. Oh, and I should also add that online, I look remarkably like Xena, Warrior Princess. Really!
    Complete with the round killing thingy!

    sulz: 😆

  9. I am still in two minds about this. The interesting thing about blogging is that we only have words to go on. That allows us to meet a wide variety of folk who presumably share at least some of our thought processes. Too much personal info might cause people to *position* someone in their minds by reopening an old prejudice. I like what I do / say to stand / fall on its own without being considered in any kind of personal context.

    sulz: hmm, are you referring to something else going on at the moment? you sound like you’re leaning towards being impersonal, so don’t think you have two minds about it… there are its advantages to being as anonymous as possible, of course! 🙂

  10. Something else going on at the moment? Sounds mysterious.

  11. […] well, right?  Well, yes, always.  However my eyes were opened recently after reading a comment on Sulz’s blog about online friendships.  I realized that over the past months, I’m becoming […]

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