Wednesday, January 17, 2007

THE BURDEN OF BLOGS




My personal blog is back in action!

Since I've been so involved with this, my personal blog has been neglected. Sob. Yes, I know you are all upset too... but don't be! I've posted once again.

www.meghan-mccarthy.com/firesidechat.html

What, perhaps, you are wondering does this have to do with THIS blog. Well, not much. Or does it? I was thinking the other day about blogs. They are still new…and growing fast! In the past, publishers sent F&Gs and galleys to magazines, etc., for review. What are they starting to do now? Send proofs to the important bloggers. This is new! And amazing! Now anyone can have a voice and I think it's great. Just look at the Cybils--important stuff folks!

However, there can be some tricky things to think about. Just look at what happened with the Rosie vs. Trump feud--it started with a comment she made on her blog. Blogs can be very personal. After all, they're usually written within the confines of a comfortable setting. My blog writing is my alone time. I feel as though I'm writing to myself sometimes. I forget about the people who read it. This can be good and bad. Sometimes I forget to watch what I say. Maybe we should all be watching what we say. What will our publishers think? Do they like that we talk about our book work? Do they hate it? Would they rather we not say certain things? And what about editors--what do their bosses think? Are they revealing too much?

There's a fine line and sometimes I admit that I cross it. Other people cross it too. But you know what? That's what makes blogs exciting and great! No one would read them if they were too carefully constructed and thought out. No one would read them if there were spin-doctors at work.

That's all I have to say for today. Do you think blogs are getting out of control? Do you like them the way they are? Speak up!

Meghan

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, just last night I accidentally hurt my mother's feelings with my blog. It's just a Xanga journal that I mostly write for myself, but a few friends and my boyfriend read it. I sent my mom a link to my blog because I had posted some pictures from Christmas and I was too lazy to e-mail them to her separately.

She loved the pictures, but then read the next five entries on the page and was very hurt when I mentioned how grouchy and tired my mom was... several times.

I feel really bad about it and I made a full apology to her. However, sort of in my defense, on those days she was grouchy and I mentioned it on my blog, I had already said to her, "Wow you seem tired," or, "I guess this isn't a good time, since you seem grouchy," or we'd have an argument that would lead her to admitting she was in a bad mood. We are very close and frank with each other, so I didn't think anything of it. Since I had been open with her about it, I didn't feel I had gone behind her back.

Of course, now I am wondering how little I should say about the people in my life who might happen to read my blog. I try to be discreet, and I thought I had, but now I'm rethinking everything--maybe I shouldn't even be making this comment!

-Annalisa

Blue Rose Girls said...

I hear ya! I wanted to write a little family history and my mom said NO. I also put a few photos up and some people were mad at me about that. Now I tell them when I'm going to use something. I say "If you make that crazy expression and ask me to take a picture, you know where it'll end up."

Libby Koponen said...

So when are you going to post Part 2? (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, read the latest Fireside Chat with Meghan). I really am curious!

Blue Rose Girls said...

Ha! Soon. But Libby, you know what happens. I'll think of something else to write about too so it's not boring for those in the know.

Libby Koponen said...

I won't be bored even if you don't add anything else-- THE WAY YOU TELL IT is what I want to read! I know you will include details I don't know and I want to read it as a whole story.

alvina said...

This is what I worry about my blog--that it's the first item that comes up when you google my name, even though as far as I can recall, I don't mention my full name ANYwhere on it. I need to figure out how to change that. Not that it REALLY matters, but it makes me uncomfortable. I could meet somebody once, or not at all, they google my name, and all of a sudden it's right on top, and they know so much about me. Whether it's a business associate, an author, an agent, a personal contact, etc. But I guess that's what I get from having a blog, I suppose. I put myself out there.

Nancy said...

Alvina, I just started a new job, where I am managing about 30 people. On my 3rd day we had a welcome-bagels-event and one of my staff said, "So, you're a poet?" Someone (haven't figured out who) found my blog before I even started. I'm so glad I was careful not to say anything about work or anything I'd be embarrassed by in the blog.

Anonymous said...

Alvina and Nancy hit the nail on the head in terms of what I worry about. Googling is too easy.

To resolve this, I've limited my blog only to topics I'd feel comfortable discussing in person--in public--with anyone. That's pretty narrow compared to what I'd write in my journal. (But still leaves room for lots of fun.)

The other day, an old high school friend googled and found my blog. As a friendly way of saying hi, she commented, "It's good to know some things never change."

Suddenly it hit me: the way I've filtered my blog means I sound exactly the same online as I used to sound, in person, fifteen years ago. If a person only knew me then, and then saw this, that's a pretty one-dimensional portrait.

Contrary to the friend's intent, this made me feel bad.

--

stacy said...

I agree that it's a very touchy thing. When I first started commenting on blogs and LJs, I was using an LJ link that was clearly very personal--one that I haven't ever had googleable (and then there's Technorati! It doesn't ignore the "no-search" terms for the spiders the way that Google does).

I realized I really didn't want just anyone reading my personal--very personal--ramblings that until that point only a few close friends knew the address of, and on which I'd always been careful not to put my real name. Of course, I wasn't ever terribly careful, come to think of it, because I thought no one would want to pop by there anyway.

My solution was to maintain two blogs--a quiet private one I hope only personal friends visit (and which I friends-lock quite a few entries on, and am considering friends-locking the whole thing, though that means that my family without LJs wouldn't be able to read it), and a professional one, which is the one I link to now when making comments like this.

It's still a challenge on the professional LJ, being sure that I only talk about stuff that's publicly available, due to the rules at my work, and that I talk more about the industry and generalities and oh, I don't know, my cats, than "this is what happened at work today" stuff. I think there's a lot that can be shared and learned from without speaking in specifics about things that wouldn't be appropriate to mention. And I agree with anonymous above, that limiting the blog to only topics that you'd feel comfortable discussing in public with anyone is a very good rule.

Though I don't know if I'd feel comfortable discussing my cats in public with anyone, come to think of it. Am I becoming known as the cat lady?? ;)