Thursday, May 5, 2011

ON BLOGGING ~ Personally Speaking...

BlogAnon: Joy of Confession

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Welcome to our weekly BlogAnon meeting where we confess a particular blogging sin and turn to you for support, suggestions and that blogging bond so we know we're not all alone. Don't be shy. Read along and let us know if you identify with us this week.

For a private person, it is a challenge to walk the personal tightrope in the blogosphere. On the one hand, I like to keep things close to the vest. As I've mentioned before, I am not comfortable in sharing certain personal details and images of ourselves, family or friends on our blog. I do not know at any given moment who might read or view what is posted here and I have no control over what they do with the information. It isn't paranoia or a skeptical nature. It is just a comfort zone that I am happy with.

However, posts that get personal are the ones that I enjoy reading and also sharing. Letting readers see the person behind the blog is far more interesting than a generic informative post without personality. So I share stories from our lives. With filtered details. Enough to give you a taste of who we are without actually telling you who we are.

I'm of the mindset that sharing personal experiences can help build relationships, give others comfort in knowing they aren't the only ones to feel a certain way or have gone through the same situation, and of course, garner trust. But I also subscribe to the school of thought that there is such a thing as Too Much Information. Use that filter, people! Not everyone is your BFF.

It is hard to decide what to share and what to keep to yourself. But the beautiful thing about the blogosphere is that unlike in real life, you can do just that. You can set your own boundaries. But you can still add a personal touch. For example, I have a post up on the group book blog, Quirky Girls Read, that is a tour of my bookshelves. There is a photo from things in our home and some insight into how certain books relate to my life. Personal background without giving away too much of my private life.

It is something I struggle with often. What to keep to myself because it is no one's business, what to keep to myself because it may not be all that interesting to the rest of the world, and what to share because it adds value.

How do you get personal while staying private?


Matty said...

I've been around this blogging thing long enough to see all kinds of styles. People who reveal next to nothing about themselves, and at the other end of the spectrum, those who's life is an open book. Everyone has their own comfort level.

I'm rather careful about my identity, my home and family, and certain things about my life. But that's what I choose for my comfort zone. I'm also careful about who I trust with giving out more information in private than what I provide on my blog. I tend to be a good judge of character, and so far, those who know my real name and occupation haven't broken that trust. As you said Molly, part of building relationships and trust with people is revealing yourself to them.

Bernadette said...

I am at the more private end of the spectrum - partly due to work reasons and partly 'cos that's just how I feel comfortable. I think people who read my blog (which is all about books) for a little while will get a sense of me but they won't know too many personal details. If they don't like that I don't mind - there are plenty of other blogs for them to go to and I don't plan to start sharing my private business with the world - my blog is a hobby, it has to be fun and something I am happy with - not something where I worry about whether or not I am sharing too much or too little.

Beth F said...

It's a difficult path to walk, but I too don't like sharing too many personal details.

Unknown said...

I agree, I think it is very difficult. I'm willing to share about my hobbies, but try to stay off work and family.

Cheryl Ann said...

I don't post where I live and I haven't posted much about my family. But, I do know some bloggers who completely open up...I'm just not comfortable with that. Great post!

kayerj said...

After reading your post I spent some time browsing through my blog to try to get a glimpse of how much information about myself I let out.

I try to be careful--but I do let information slip through. I worry about endangering my little ones, I hear horror stories all the time about pictures of little ones being snatched and used for advertisements or porn. So I try to be careful but I find it hard not to blog without a little bit of who I am and what I do slipping in from time to time.

I do prefer reading blogs that a little of the personality of the person comes through. I like feeling like I have friends, and how can you be friends if you don't know a little bit about each other?

So . . . how much information is too much information?

Little Ms Blogger said...

Initially, I didn't reveal a thing about me because I'm job searching and didn't want my blog to come up in a background check and be held against me.

Three years later, I'm still looking, but have several posts where I've shared more about me (there is actually one post that I tell people a lot about me and was told I should link to my profile, but haven't a clue how to do that, but would).

I do share more in personal emails with other bloggers I've gotten to know. But, I'm not sure how much I'd share even if I had a job. I'm not sure everyone wants to hear what I'm experiencing at this point in my life. However, I do have a couple pics I hope to share, if Mr. Woodchuck and Mr. Bunny leave my garden alone. I want to do an outdoor dinner party and want to share those pics, but it all depends how the garden holds up.

Tami said...

I agree - it's a fine line. When I started blogging I shared very little except a general area where we lived and what industries we worked in. Over time, I've become more open - have even posted pictures of my family (none of myself, but that's not for privacy reasons). :) I've even posted pictures of our house - without any location details - but I certainly wouldn't post pics of my diamonds and other valuables (if I had any) and mention where I keep them.

I also have some readers that know me personally so I monitor who/what I write about to avoid divulging anyone else's secrets or starting a fued.

I recently ran across a blog that shared no first name and no location - not even to narrow it down to a country. I thought it made the blog seem a little cold. I've also read some that were way over the TMI line. (Does your husband really want his sperm count online for the world to see?)

Janet said...

I'm a private person who shares details others might consider too personal. Like my fight with cancer, specific problems I've had in regard to cancer treatment, etc. I do that in the hope it may help another who has to fight the disease.

Sandy Nawrot said...

For better or worse, I'm pretty much an open book. That is the way I am in real life too. Because my husband got concerned about putting stuff about my kids online, I don't post many pictures of them anymore, but other than that, I share alot. Please feel free to tell me if you ever think it is too much!

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Well, in my 3+ years of blogging the most personal posts are my Sundays with Gage. I could just post them to Facebook for my family and friends, but in all honesty they are much more likely to be 'abused' there than they are on my blog. Jason doesn't read them all, but he read the one when Gage turned 6 months and he was surprised at how honest it was. So, I guess by putting it out there every week I have become more comfortable with it, for better or worse.
I think your blog is great even without the personal photos or details. I fell like I know you.

Wanda said...

In creating a blog, I wanted to focus on books and my love of reading. I'm not big on posting personal stories or details but readers of my blog will learn little things through my reviwes or responses to their posts. I've never posted a picture of myself or my family, I've thought about it but decided to keep it about my reading life, not my personal life. I worry sometimes that this creates a disconnet on my blog but I also know that there are a handful of bloggers out there that I consider friends, true book-blogging buddies. Whether it's because we share a similar taste in books or more personal emails back and forth, those bloggers know who they are (at least I hope they do) by the amount of time I spend on their blog or by the thought and care I put into a response.

Susan said...

LOL! I think I fall into the category of TMI! Especially when I'm giving helpful hints...wink wink! I do it in the name of public service. And, as it turns out, I did help at least one other person with the same problem, so there. I'm willing to suffer a little self-imposed humiliation for the common good. :)

Jenny Girl said...

Definitely a fine line. I have never posted a pic of myself on my book blog but maybe my other I did. Either way it doesn't bother me.
I do blog some personal info but nothing that is I think TMI./ I get excited about my sports, vacations, and TV. Other things I put out there didn't seem too personal, and some I try to be informative. I would never put my hubby or anything about him because he likes to stay private and respect that.
I discuss certain realms of personal issues, but I try to filter the most personal items.

Your posts always make me ramble??