Thursday, February 10, 2005

I was recently sent a survey on Ethics in Blogging. The survey didn't really seem very applicable to this type of blog, but it did get me thinking about the content that I write and the people that read it. Along those lines,I have a question for you folks at the end of this post.

All my life I've been very conscious of the Mike that I present. Group A gets to see Mike A, and Group B gets to see Mike B. In reality there probably hasn't been that great of an observable difference between Mike A and Mike B, but in my mind there was always an important distinction. These days, now that I'm a husband, father, and marginally respectable member of society, there aren't very many distinct versions of me. They're all kind of rolled up into one big bland Mike casserole now. It's palatable, if you're into casseroles.

This blog, however, is a thing that I'm hesitant to share. I told my wife about it, and I've got a couple of good friends who read it, but that's it. Although I'm careful to not write anything that would cause great distress if it was read by the wrong people (and believe me, there are some people in my life who could fill a month of blog posts), I can't say that I'd be pleased if EVERYONE in my life started to read this. Although I'm loath to classify this blog as a secret, I am NOT interested in advertising its presence to the majority of people in my life.

I've tried a few times in my life to keep a diary. I never wrote more than a few entries without becoming disgusted with it. The entries always seemed so forced and I had a hard time writing something that was 100% just for me. I wrestled with the concept of audience with every sentence I wrote.

Blogging freed me from that fight. The idea of writing for myself AND anonymous strangers was just about perfect. I think I'm more comfortable with comedy, self-analysis, and life-documentation that has an audience, than I am with just writing for myself. All the other writing/entertainment I absorb in my life has an audience, so it just seems more natural to write knowing that someone is probably reading this. Hello!

So, here's my question for all of you out there who also write blogs. Who is your audience? Is your blog truly for yourself? Do you share it with your family? Friends? Coworkers?

I'm curious to know.

12 comments:

amy said...

i started my blog on oct. 20th after getting dumped by a guy i now refer as UTOPIA GUY. i did it for me to release my thoughts and really told no one about it. then people started commenting. then i started to meet cool bloggers who have since become great friends. no one in my immediate family knows about this or any of my childhood friends or friends outside of yankton. obviously you know my full time work knows about it cuz i can no longer blog about that place... but a handful of friends here in yankton know.. otherwise it's just people like you (who i consider my blog friend) and other friends i've met. i also keep it very very light as to what i say on here. with the exception of spilling some family secrets earlier this week but otherwise i keep it very general, goofy, fun, light hearted. i shall never write about my deepest thoughts or fears or desires. those are secret and i share only with close close friends who will also keep that in their own vaults. great questions. have an amazing weekend, amy

Badaunt said...

I started my blog when I was on vacation, and told my friends here I was not going to write emails, they'd have to read the blog to see what I was up to. Some of them did, some didn't. Most of those posts have now been deleted. (I didn't actually realize that anybody could read them, I was THAT IGNORANT.

The thing is, most of my friends are not 'internet types'. (Have you noticed that some people just aren't?) They don't read blogs, even mine. So I don't write for them anymore. I write for the anonymous strangers who actually read it. I discovered that I enjoyed it (which means I do it for me, too). It's FUN. But I'm very careful not to identify the people I write about. No names. Not even mine.

Mike said...

Inky, everytime you write the word "Yankton" I totally lose my chain of thought. I don't know why but that word just grabs me. Maybe it sounds like a sexual act, perhaps a finale to a rusty trombone.

Badaunt, perhaps it's been handy that your circle of friends aren't Internet types. Virtually everyone in my life is VERY connected to the Internet, although few of them read blogs. I agree that it's totally fun to write for strangers. Yay strangers!

tinyhands said...

I'm with Badaunt. My blog is the closest thing I'll ever get to 'open mike night' (not YOU Mike, though I hadn't thought about the stalker-implications of 'open Mike night' - *uncomfortable laugh*)

Mike said...

Tiny, oooh, what about Open Blog night. You and I, dressed in black turtlenecks and jaunty berets, reading our favorite blog posts. The audience would snap their approval. Hmmmm?

amy said...

and i will play the tamborine "softly" in the back ground as you kids read on and read to folks sitting around "indian style" on the floor mats with candles everywhere... ooh groovy.

okay mike, yankton.. funny... population 13,000. we call it "cranktown" because we are known as the largest drug county in the tri-state area... for crack and other popular drugs for the kids. :)

let's get back to the groovy shit shall we? snap snap goes my fingers

Mike said...

Inky, I can dig it! Next time we're all in Yankton, trying to score some crack, we'll make this happen. Could be sooner rather than later. I am totally out of crack.

Vivian to Some said...

Ya know, I started my blog as a way to keep in touch with my friends as I move to Hawaii. I included my sister in-law and it leaked to the rest of my family. Only hardly anybody I know in person reads the damn thing! I don't care though, because it has been extremely gratifying to say whatever I want and have other people DIG it. My self-censorship is dwindling though...

Colby said...

Are you kidding? The blog is easily one of my eight greatest tools to grow my ego. I practically demand that all associated with me visit my blog. That way, when they see all the critical things I've written about them, I'll know if they're for or against me right away! No awkward fruitless attempts at relationship building whatsoever!

By the way, I'm hiding right now in Tikrit.

Mike said...

Vivian (to me anyway), I think I speak for the blogosphere when I say that we look forward to your uncensored blog from the beaches of Hawaii.

Colby, you win top comment. I am, however, dying to know what the other 7 tool are. Fess up.

dolface said...

i started mine as a way to keep track of the stuff i was doing, because, while i am a virtual cornocopia of useless trivia on a host of obscure subjects, i can't remember what i did last wednesday.
and then i figured since i was writing the stuff down i could just point my family at it whenever they asked me how/what i was doing, and i wouldn't have to talk to them in the phone (i hate phones) or write 57 different emails to keep everyone in the loop.
and a few friends know about it too.
the thing is, my blog is BORING, it's almost literally a log of the stuff i do and not much else. i'm not even sure anyone reads it, which is fine.

Mike said...

Dolface, I hate phones too. All that talking. Ugh. I think we're cranky buddies. Maybe that's why I read your blog.