Monday, June 23, 2008

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Mirror

My girlfriend Earl had a bit of a brew-ha-ha over the weekend concerning a friend seeing a somewhat less than complimentary blog post of his that was centered around this person. He ended up having to take the post down in an effort to douse the flames.

This incident got me thinking about the concept of what we all say or do here on these blogwaves, and the pros and cons of being an anonymous blogger.

Earl and I have spoken numerous times about the differences about our blogs. Mostly the talks just revolve around the mutually agreed upon fact that my blog rocks while his blog sucks, but there is actually more to it than that.

In a nutshell, Earl prefers to keep his blog semi-anonymous, while I’m pretty much letting it all hang out there. Both methods of blogging come with its share of plusses and minuses.

From my perspective, when I started this blog, it was merely going to be little more than a place on the web where I could put up some family pictures so relatives around the country could check them out. I never really intended anyone except my family from visiting here, so I didn’t see any reason to make myself unknown to the interweb at large.

But slowly, what I wanted to do with the site changed and grew. I started posting stories (again mostly just intended for family), but after a year or so, I noticed that people who I didn’t know were starting to find me on the web, and were becoming regular readers.

So, over time, I began to change this site from less of a scrapbook, to more and more of the wonderful blog that you are reading today. But, since this site was known to family and friends from before the transformation, there was no mystery as to who I was. I have many friends, family, even co-workers who come to this site regularly to check it out.

And that’s both good AND bad. I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of being totally open and free, and not having to be afraid to slap up a picture of my wonderful mug or give away too much info about myself, but that freedom comes with a price.

There are tons of things that I WISH I could write about here, but for a variety of reasons, I can’t, specifically for the fact that someone who comes here could be affected by it.

And that sucks.

It sucks so much that I have, believe it or not, thought more than once about creating a second site, COMPLETELY anonymous, with ZERO ties to this site, where I could post whatever kind of crazy shit I wanted to post about (and believe me, brothers and sisters, I could FILL a second site with that shit…).

But, as you all know, I’m pretty damn lazy. I barely have the energy to post HERE 2-3 times a week. The energy it would take for me to post on TWO blogs is pretty much incomprehensible.

On the flip side, Earl is completely a mystery to the blog community. Earl is not even his real first name. He takes great pains in making sure his identity is not portrayed on the web. This curtails his writing in OTHER ways than mine. He can’t put up personal pictures, he has to edit some of his posts that might provide clues to his identity, etc. He has the anonymity, but he has to work at it to keep it.

One thing I HAVE learned from all my years of blogging, is that, for a blog to be effective, it HAS got to be either one way or another. You cannot keep your blog anonymous, but tell a select group of family friends about it, because, as what happened to Earl, eventually bad things will happen.

Likewise, if you are going to keep your identity open, you just CANNOT share certain things about yourself, or the aforementioned bad things I talked about above will also happen.

I really feel that there are no grey areas here.. it’s one way or another, or else your blogging days are numbered.

This site is pretty much predominantly read by other bloggers… what do you all think?

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