Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blogging about Blogging

I like blogging. A LOT. And I could list a hundred reasons why. Maybe someday I will (uh, yeah, don't hold your breath for that one), but what's actually spinning through my head today are some of the complexities bloggers face, and maybe finding out how you handle them.

One of the tricky parts of blogging - at least for me- is how to tell a story about people I know without making anyone look really stupid or bad. Well, except me. I'm resigned to the fact that I will look stupid in fully half of what I write... Which is probably more realistic anyway. But if I write a post and someone else comes out looking really dumb ( I mean, you know, unless it's someone that IS really dumb) I usually feel bad and I don't publish it.

Being "real" is a continual reality check for me. Too whiny and I think people begin to tune out. Too perfect, and you lose readers even faster. Be judgmental and people yell at you anonymously in the comments. Not that I really care what mental anonymous commenters think, but I am trying to curb my judgmentalness streak.
Where's the balance there? Do you really want to get to know a blogger? Or bottom line-- do you just want to be entertained? (Mostly by being able to think "Schwoo - glad that's not me!")

Also, how much information to share? Mimi asked me the other day why I don't blog about some of the funny things she does. GIRL! Do you not remember the yelling fit the last time I blogged about you???? She didn't. Fortunately, Lizzie did. So at least they can't label me the crazy one this time. Again.

I know other people struggle with this. C'mon. What are your thoughts?
Short AND long comments completely welcome for this one. (you know, as always)

26 comments:

Emmy said...

It is hard.. I know I mostly shy away from entries about other people if they are bad or negative... unless that person is some random stranger that did something mean/weird and who I will probably never see again.. then I might write about it ;)
But I do like to be honest about what is happening with me. I think overall I try and write mostly the good positive things, as that is how I function in life.. I try to look for the good, as otherwise life would suck. But life is life and I want to be real.
There are some blogs that I definitely read just to be entertained, but there are others were I feel like I have gotten to know and become friends with the person and so with them I want to hear it all. So some readers may just want to be entertained and others will want to know you.
So well good luck.. I guess and just write what you want :)

Barbaloot said...

Of that people that know me in "real" life, only my family and a handful of close friends know I have a blog. So, technically I could write anything I wanted...but I don't share much with my family...I'm tend to be kind of closed off. So, that limits what I really can blog about. I think you should be able to blog about whoever/whatever you want. If someone ends up looking dumb, unless it was with malicious intent, you shouldn't be too worried.

I like to read blogs that are both amusing and personal. You're right about the whiney and the perfect...but knowing about your real life is still enjoyable:)

goddessdivine said...

Ah, the bloggerflection thing.....when you're evaluating your purpose, your image, your on-line self. I have these moments from time to time; well, maybe more often than I think.

Every blogger is unique, and that's what makes blogging exciting. We all blog what's in our comfort zone. I like blogs with personality and spunk, humor and satire, and/or those who aren't afraid to speak their minds (intelligently). Of course, I tend to return to those sites that fall in line with my thinking because why would I waste time reading stuff that to me is outta wack? I tend to think of mine as some sort of outlet, and unfortunately I've learned the hard way that some people just don't understand that at the end of the day, THIS IS JUST A BLOG!!

It definitely is a hard thing of knowing when to draw the line with what's appropriate or not, or what could be perceived as over the top. It's funny because every reader is different, too. We all vary in our levels of tolerance. While we can do what we can to curb our mean streak or frankness, I've decided that someone somewhere will always be offended. We can't please everyone all of the time.

I come here because I love what you have to say and I often times hear myself in your words. You have wit and humor, and good sense! So keep on keepin' on!

goddessdivine said...

(Yeah, did you love my essay? Holy crap!)

Tay said...

I'm TOTALLY not thinking that your posts are out of control or lame. I love them. You say what you're gonna say and that's what blogging is all about.

JustRandi said...

Gdivine- Yes, I loved your essay! Esp that last part!
;)

Seriously, though, you're right. I HAVE been evaluating my online self and my purpose. I really am interested in hearing what people think in general. And if you want to say what you think of me, well throw that in, too. I can probably take it. (As long as it doesn't come from "anonymous".)

Dave said...

hey, you had a comment on here a while ago from a "phantom blog" or something. i went there and it was like a place anyone could submit an anonymous story and get it published. I'll try to find it again, but it was an interesting concept.

i mean, if you have a family member that is acting irresponsibly, and you want to talk about it, you can't. cause they might read it and be upset.

it's like a catch 42

mormonhermitmom said...

Oh the stuff I WANTED to write a post on, but couldn't because it was about family/friends/someone that knew who I was and where I blog. I think and rethink before deciding to post something. I don't want to humiliate anyone over something recent when it still hurts. I say wait until we can all say, "wasn't that funny when....". And if it's never funny no matter how long it's been, then I do my best to forget it.

Sarah said...

I think there is blog karma - if I blog about something stupid someone else did, it's going to come back and bite me. They're going to read about it, hear about it, etc so I try to only stick to the dumb things I do. And the silly things my kids do when I know they are laugh with, not laugh at.
My blog doesn't get a lot of traffic, maybe a handful of hits a day or so (tops) but I recently had someone leave an anonymous comment on a post about daughter that really creeped me out. I took that post down and I made it so I am not searchable.
Opening up your blog is opening the door, for good or bad, to your life and that is a very hard line to walk. I think for both blogging about others and ourselves it is better to err on the side of caution.

Dave said...

hey i found it.

http://www.the-phantoms-anonymous-blog.blogspot.com/

it looks like the perfect place to put some of those stories you want to tell but can't

Cherie said...

I like to just write what is real. I also like to read what is real.
I don't like to read a blog where someone is just whining or mad all the time but if someone is being real and once in awhile your blog reflects that your day was crap - well that's fine.
So my advice is simple - Just keep it real.

Rebecca is Thrilled by the Thought said...

I like to get to know the blogger- the good AND the bad. Entertainment is also a factor, so I guess that means that I only like getting to know entertaining people. =)

Jennifer said...

I think the fact that you are trying to be sensitive is a good sign you are one the right track. Comedy is only funny because it has some truth to it, and it isn't mean.(At least for me.) I think that makes it a lot like what you are talking about with blogging. I also should mention that I think the best blogs are about real life. And yours is the best! (I am not partial at all!!)

Loralee and the gang... said...

There's lots of things that percolate in my mind that could be blogged about, but shouldn't be. One of the reasons for that is a lot of our ward members, and people who know them, read my blog, and I have to be careful, because I am "the Bishop's wife". So as not to embarrass my hubby, I keep a lot of things to myself. So if my life looks "too perfect" on my blog (but I still don't think that it does - do you?) that would be the reason why. Not that we do bad things or think bad things about anyone or anything, particularily, but we just have to be wise about what we share...
:~D

"Q" said...

I love your blog and miss it when you are gone. And though I am a simpleton in the blogosphere I do know a good story when I hear one and you have had some great ones.

Corrine said...

such a tough situation to be in, what to say and how to say and well wonder who will read it and wondering if you might offend or portray wrong, but I say keep it real, and keep it true to you. Blog for you and those that know and love you will continue to read, and those who don't do you really want them reading anyway??? thats my feeling anyway.

Yvonne said...

Since my commenters are way down, I've given this a lot of thought. I KNOW people are not turned off by my blog because I'm perfect ; ) So, I guess I must be whining too much. I have a few funny stories once in a while, but I blog as a journal and if my life isn't all fun and games right now, it is what it is. I keep thinking of the talk Elder Bednar gave at the last CES fireside about being our real selves. I can't pretend to be something I'm not. I blog for me, but I have to admit, it does make me feel good when people comment. And, I don't think I'm alone or we'd all turn the comments off.

Jan said...

These are the true thoughts of most bloggers. I like Cherie's answer though. Real. It is all of our own thoughts.

I think we all have boundaries that are different too. Some could be comfortable sharing a dirty joke, and others would die posting about it but still be okay with the joke. Circumstances that are different. Blogging is a not one type fits all. That is what is most great about blogging. Everyone brings something different to the table and we can choose where we want to eat regularly, dine occasionally, pick here and there or leave if you don't feel comfortable or never even go in to partake of the blog.

But what do I know. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I have broken every rule probably and have heard it all in emails.

But I do love twitter :)

Anonymous said...

I love hearing the stories about your family, all of ya'll are so hilarious! Sorry for being a silent stalker for so long, but I just love reading what you write. Keep it up!

Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

OH yeah girl.. no way can I blog about extended family.. and I swear they are like a whole novel just waiting to come out.. but taboo is taboo.

Lee said...

I had a situation with a person that was supposed to be a dear friend. I was left frustrated and hurt. I use my blog as a family journal as well as a way to vent and keep in touch with my family. I started to blog about it and then I thought she would see it and escalate the issue. My concern for how she'd take it stopped me from getting out my frustrations because I wasn't going to be particularly nice.

Part of me doesn't think it's fair that I couldn't take MY blog and write on it as I wished. Then I thought it was probably better that I didn't. I thought about starting a new blog where I could really say what I really thought and so I did. I wrote the first one out and I came out like a truly horrible person. I didn't like it. So now I think I'm just a little bit grateful that I don't feel like I can say just anything because of who might be reading it. Helps keep me kinder.

In answer to one of your questions, if I don't know you in REAL life and can't name your children, then I mostly just want to be entertained. If anybody has a good story about a psychotic grocery checker, I'm in for a good read! Now that being said, I have discovered that through your blogs, I am always entertained and I DO want to know about your kids and such. Guess that comes with feeling like I'm getting to know you through your writing. Weird how that happens!

Lee said...

wow, I wrote you a book too!

Little GrumpyAngel said...

Hard question. I didn't know blogging is so complicated until I started a blog. I thought all I had to do is post about my life and my thoughts. But then it hit me that whatever I say is on the worldwide web. A blog is a journal, but not really. Writing can seem so intimate and sometimes I tend to express things in written form that I may think about more carefully before saying in a normal face to face conversation. On my blog I'm opening myself up to judgment not based on me as a whole but on what I wrote at a particular time while I'm feeling a particular emotion. I don't really know what the right balance is. Sorry I'm not much help. I've only been blogging for a year, and taking lots of blog breaks along the way.

The Simpsons said...

I have had these same thoughts and dilemnas. At first I was annoyed that I should have to curb my blogs for fear of what other people may think, because it's MY blog. But I realized that some things are too private to share with the world and some things would hurt other people's feeling and I would never intentionally want to do that. I ended up creating a second blog that is completely private. It allows me to vent and journal a little more authentically.
I like blogs that are entertaining but I also love the reality of life.
Love your blog. Thank you for sharing.

The Mom said...

That I why I write in my journal. I can write my true, deep feelings there and keep my blog more light.

Tori said...

I struggle with posting too much about my family- because really I don't use my blog as a journal. It's my narcisitic place and I blog about ME. lol I get bored with other people's blogs that are just pic after pic of their kids. So I don't bore people with mine.

I also struggle with commenting- lately. I used to be so good at it and now i suck. I blame that on Facebook...