Sunday, October 05, 2008

This is hard stuff, this regular public blogging! What do I talk about? How long do I make my post? What tone should I take? Oh, the questions, they make my head hurt.

In the interest of full disclosure, there is a twinge of crankiness about the fact that I am starting a remedial blog here in late 2008. (I had a hard time choosing my word there but I think crankiness fits. I axed "resentment" and "bitterness" as being too strong because, come on, it's just a blog. But there's definitely a feeling there, and it's not a great one, so cranky it is.)

The backstory to my crankiness is that I have a blog elsewhere, on another online blogging site, that I started in 2000. And I update it frequently, usually daily. But when Snake Hips came out, I had some local unpleasantness around some posts I'd made on that blog, so I locked it down to where only folks I "friended" could see my posts. At last count I had over 400 people on my friends list, so it's not private-private but it's not public by a long shot, either.

The "friends only" blog is a strange animal. It lulls you into a sense of complacency because you feel like you have an intimacy with your readers -- and you do, to an extent. My friends know my slang, my "cast of characters," my pet peeves and my politics. I can speak my mind and only occasionally will someone storm off in a huff. I feel relatively okay posting family pictures, potty-training anecdotes and stuff that would be too personal for a public blog because who reads it? My friends. But if I look at my friends list in the harsh light of reality, I don't know all four hundred and thirty of my friends as well I tell myself that I do.

So what do you do when your private blog starts to feel not so private? I have friends on that site who have snuck off and made secret blogs under new names with only their nearest and dearest on their friends lists. I started to do that once, but I couldn't bear to pare down my list. A friend is a friend, virtual or otherwise, and even if I've only exchanged a few words with my blog friends, I feel like they're a part of the little party I'm throwing and I can't imagine bouncing them for no reason.

I have other friends who use filters that allow one group of friends to see certain posts, and closer friends to see others, and so on and so forth. I don't have the patience for that and I'd probably screw it up besides.

So my solution, because I do everything backwards, is to start a 100% public blog, open to everyone, no filters, no friends list, no cover. Come on in, everybody. Make yourselves at home. Drinks are over there. Hope you like the music.


meadow said...

i read this and i feel the same way. i've had my blogger acct forever and can't ever decide what to do with it. do i want a more public view of my life? or do i keep slogging it along with my other one?

but i read this and felt like it was my voice in my head. :)

Heather said...

I really like what you said about LJ. I feel the same way. Except with much fewer than 400 friends. :)

David Lasky, Esq. said...

I have various blogs and social networking sites, and it's hard to know what to do with them all. It's even harder when someone asks me "Do you have a website?" I have a few that show my comics and illustrations, but someone else designed them for me & I don't have the ability to post new stuff, etc. So I tend to direct people to livejournal, or flickr, or blogspot, but I can't decide which one is really "my site"...

Hey that blue-ish photo with the red lipstick is really cool! Especially the gorgeous pair of glasses you've got on. Those are definitely the specs of a blogstar.