A Blog is Not an Online Diary

  • Comments: 0
  • Written on: July 18th, 2008

In my second BlogHer 08 session one of the attendees asked a pretty complex question.

The session was about public parenting and privacy. A younger woman stood up, took the microphone and asked how she can blog about her life and her child’s life, tell other people about her blog, and attend conferences (she said “not hiding or wearing a mask out in public) yet have others respect her boundaries.

The question is complex, but the answer is simple. You can’t. There is no way to receive public recognition for your blog without the accompanying public exposure. You can’t market yourself, and not market yourself at the same time.

One of the threads I have noticed throughout the first two sessions here is that mommy bloggers need to decide WHY they are blogging before they start. Some blog to vent, others blog to share tips and ideas, while others blog to make money or gain recognition by monetizing their content in various ways.

The “pure” bloggers are there to vent, abhor those who make money with a blog. The only way you can retain your anonymity in the blogosphere is to never reveal who you are. You need to have a private domain registration (or use a freebie hosting service like WordPress.com), never post a picture of yourself or your family, and not disclose your location.

The problem becomes how can you possibly share much with your audience if you remove the “who” and “where” from the who, what, when, where, and why? You can’t, so few “pure” bloggers are truely anonymous.

The woman asking the question clearly wanted to be recognized for the hard work she puts into her blog. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But the only tool you have as a blogger to defend your boundaries is your own decision on what to write and what not to write. even the best bloggers on the web have off-limits topics.

Of course, I am just the man in the back recording the session, but I wish I could have taken a microphone and asked the woman (very kindly of course) what exactly do you write on your blog that you don’t want your readers to read and remember?

A blog is not a private diary.

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