Monday, August 20, 2012

Some questions for you blog readers...

Okay, now that I know I have some readers and followers, some questions keep coming to mind. My blog, as of right now, is pretty "private." You know that I'm a mother of two kids, a boy and a girl, you know I am married and work full-time (maybe somewhere in there I mentioned my job as well). You know my first name, but you don't know the first names of my husband or my children. You don't know my location... Basically, I'm trying to be "out there" without being "out there."

Do you find yourself drawn to blogs where people are more real? Meaning, you know their name, their location, you see many pictures of them and their surroundings (friends, family, favorite places to go, etc.)? Do you think it's possible for a blogger to be "anonymous" and still be relatable? Or in the anonymity is something lost?


I feel like in my quest to remain anonymous, I am not opening myself up to who I truly am. I'm letting in little peeks and glimpses, but not as much as I could if I were just entirely "out there." At the same time, I'm just not sure how I feel about plastering my children's names and faces, our family triumphs and struggles, etc. out there in cyberspace for all to see.

I'd love any thoughts at all that you might have on this topic... It's one I've thought about a lot lately.


9 comments:

  1. I think that if your end goal is to build a following of fans and in turn, build your "brand" whatever that may be (mine, for instance is my name as an author), the more open you are, the better. As a reader, I want to feel like I know you. Otherwise, you're just another nameless face online, and I don't feel invested in your life. Which means, that I won't care to read about it. Does that make sense?

    Someone I can reference who is a perfect example of this, is Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. She is totally transparent and let's you right into her life and thoughts, and in turn, you fall in love with her and WANT to follow along in her ups and downs. http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/

    Now, with that being said, there is always a fine line between being open and honest, and sharing more than is safe. The bottom line is that this IS the internet, and you DO have to be careful. You also have to figure out what's best for your comfort level. But, I think that with time and a little patience, you will find YOUR happy medium, and the people who read your blog will love you for it.

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    1. Thank you for your input! I really do appreciate it!

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  2. I'm kind of halfway between being totally transparent and totally anonymous. I don't use my highly-searchable last name and I don't mention my town but if you know that my husband is a Lutheran pastor and you know our denomination, you can probably triangulate who I am from that.

    I am, however, pretty transparent on my life and what I deal with on a daily basis. Writing is my catharsis and having people who are willing to hang with me through the tough times is how I make it.

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    1. You've found the balance I'm striving for. Thanks!

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  3. Like Jen, I'm also transparently anonymous :) I don't share my last name or where exactly I live or where I work, but if someone REALLLLY took the time to read my tweets and blog posts, you might be able to figure it out. I don't know for sure though. For awhile I wasn't using names for the hubs or me, but then I thought "the hell with it, we both have common first names so it's not really that big of a deal." I'm also a little freaked out about someone at work finding my blog. Yes, because I've posted things about my employer and workplace in aggravation (which could be seen as inappropriate) but also because I have shared personal things on there that are not anyone's business. I want to share more, but I don't necessarily want a girl on the other side of the office to know my stuff. Odd, right? Strangers and people I've never met but have "talked with" via social media can know stuff, but a coworker can't? Well, maybe it's because it's work, I see her every day and also because I haven't really talked with her in the 2 years she's been here. To me, that makes sense.

    I find it better when people are a little more transparent. This morning, I was asked to take a survey on another blog that I read, and I did tell the author that I like how she's very up front about a recent change in her life. Husband's new job, cross country move, etc. What always annoys me is when a blogger alludes to things but doesn't expand on them, or has set up their life in a certain way that isn't easy for most people to do, yet won't really delve into specifics on how they came to live that way. Saying how you ditched Corporate America for XYZ job is great...but you didn't just wake up one morning and go for it. You probably had to make a plan, and work on it...unless you won the lottery or something.

    You might get more open as you go...I think most bloggers are a little shy at first...you'll get there, I'm sure! I'm still finding my voice as a blogger (since I write about the most random crap) and trying to find time to POST, for Pete's sake! :P

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    1. I love the idea of "transparently anonymous." I think with your blog it's challenging for me especially because I KNOW all of you.

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  4. There is definitely a process when figuring out what you want out of your blog. I have my name on my blog, so that people can identify me, but I don't have my childrens' names on the blog, or my husbands, either. I don't have my location or other searchable information out there because that is creepy. BUT, when it comes to content, anything and everything is game, within the parameters my husband and I have set up with respect to his privacy. As for reaching out and growing your blog and meeting bloggers, you have to put yourself out there a bit if this is something you want to do.

    I've been blogging for about a year and a half, and there are definitely trends in blogging on ways to grow your blog, but if you are true to yourself, and post regularly, your readership will grow.

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    1. Thanks for your input. Do you consult with your husband on a regular basis about what he's comfortable with you putting out there and not? Or was it more of an initial conversation to set guidelines? Does he read your blog?

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  5. I struggle with this too. I love Grace Patton's blog www.camppatton.com & I wish I had the courage to be more out there like her.

    On my blog, I use my first name & my husband's first name. For the kids, I use nicknames. For example, I refer to my daughter as Miss Never Stops Talking. When I'm telling a long story about her though, I think it gets annoying & distracts from my writing.

    I think successful writers are more open. It is the only way to create intimacy with your readers. There is just no replicating it. Eventually, I hope to be more open, but I figure it's a process & takes time. I'm getting there & I'm sure you will find your balance eventually too.

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