I spend a bit of time surfing Word Press (you didn’t really think I was going to say the waves did you?) for guidelines on writing and reaching out to blog readers.
I won’t bore you with linking to the actual article but I read one yesterday called “Drawing boundaries and how to keep your blog from complicating your life”. It dealt with the issue of the blog you versus the you you and how much you should share. The following three sections are where you should hold back on the how much personal information you should share. It’s a fine line between connecting with your reader and baring too many details which can result in unexpected complications.
- Family and friends
- Personal safety
So I decided to take a critical look at what information I had cast out into the huge world that is the internet and see how it crosses from one circle to another. I have only posted two blogs about my work life. I ran the first one by my husband before I posted to ensure that I had left it generic enough not to jeopardize patient confidentiality and not offend any actual colleagues. It went mini viral and at this point it has had over 10,000 hits, plenty of shares and over 20 comments which is all a bit mind blowing. That happened about ten days after I wrote it and following all that activity I wrote a review of it and my intentions. I have had no negative feedback in my place of employment. Rule number one broken. I can’t provide an outside link to the blog as I am inside the blog and perhaps that makes no sense to you but that’s how it works. If you haven’t read it or want to review it in light of this post go on the right hand side of the page to Top Posts and then you can click on RANT and it will take you through to it.
- Family often star in my blog and as a rule I use their first names. Our last name is not super unusual and I don’t know how Googleable (so is this really a word I ask?) any of us are. Our daughter has a very personal blog about her feelings so I guess if she shares those I can share funny stories about her. I have no idea about our son’s feelings about staring in the show but he has many times over the years and has never mentioned it. Granted they are both adults now and were when I started so perhaps that changes how much you can share as compared to if they are very young. My husband has a fairly high profile job on campus and his name pops up from time to time here. He knows that as I often read him stuff I write on this blog. He’s the resident carpenter and jack of all trades in our first blog about our old house. I have also highlighted friends over the past year, usually on their birthday or a special occasion. I am, as a rule, careful about last names but I do use their real first names. I don’t believe I have complicated any of their lives or compromised them in any way. Now am I just being naive here or trustingly Canadian? I was once in Montreal with a colleague on a work conference and it turns out I shouldn’t stand at the front of the intersection waiting for the light to change because it isn’t safe and someone could stab me. Really? Also you shouldn’t talk to strangers because you don’t know if they are serial killers (yes seriously she said that) and will follow you. What? I’m Canadian and I can talk hockey or weather with anyone anywhere in my own country without feeling scared. And the blog is like my front room so if you find your way into my virtual room then I will share info with you just like I would on a street corner. Later remind me to tell you the awesome Canadian Tire hockey story. Oh and the camping one from our trip to Australia a zillion years ago. And the wrong number call my mom received a few years ago. But I digress with fodder for another post idea here so should return to how I have disregarded tip/rule number two.
- The issue of personal safety dealt with not sharing your actual itinerary and location. I so knocked this one reversely totally out of the park! Our first blog is about the land we bought and the house we moved to lovingly restore in the new location. We started that blog (which you can link to from the top of this page where it says 1918 Eaton’s Eager) so we could share our crazy insane adventure with family and friends who were too far away to come visit regularly. I have posted an aerial view of the location as friends have trouble figuring out our land boundaries. Every family and friend who had come to help has been featured here. It’s all out there so to speak but I’ve never felt unsafe because of it. Retrospectively I can’t pull it all back so I guess it is a good thing I am firmly rooted in the camp of believe in the best of people. It also stated not to talk about your travels until you are home and I do usually subscribe to this only because I often don’t blog in a timely fashion what’s up in my life. My travel ones are more like a throw back Thursday feature. We also don’t leave our house unattended because we have animals so I guess at least we are doing something correctly and haven’t blanketly asked you to come and rob us while we are away. Oh and if you have followed my blog in the last week you know I’m at my mother’s house but my man is home so don’t get any crazy ideas!
So I/We (my husband and I jointly host the house blog although I am the primary writer as I am a word smith and he is the tin basher) have disregarded the tips on blogging.
With this new blog and my desire to write daily I think it safe to say that the random ramblings usually follow the tips of sharing appropriate levels of information as it is the inside my head aspects. The category travel and the page about the 1918 Eaton’s House certainly could jeopardize our life. I have been known, from time to time, in my real life to piss people off with things I say so I guess it is conceivable that I might do that here but I never actually set out to do so. The personal sharing of information on our children, friends and family is perhaps generically inoffensive enough that I haven’t had to lose any sleep over it. In fact I think I will try not to lose any sleep over any of it which is incredibly ironic as I have had a bout of insomnia tonight and have written this during the night. I won’t post it till later as I want to link a couple of items up like the Rant and I just can’t seem to figure that out in to iPhone as the dashboard isn’t big enough to have the view of the controls that I need. So for what it’s worth those are my random rambling thoughts on internet safety and blogging. If you are still reading this and haven’t gotten bored with this post you deserve a round of applause so thanks for sticking with me and all without a single photo! . Perhaps you could even be so kind as to leave a comment about how I have or haven’t offended you!