As someone who blogs under her own name, on her own website and without a pseudonym, I am aware that employers, friends, potential employers, and loved ones will probably read my blog. This means that when I blog, I really ought to re-read every entry with a critical, fresh eye to see what sorts of implications folks might read into it. I can’t go around posting drunk or slapping something up while I’m still all emotional, and then mutter to myself, “well, it doesn’t matter how people interpret it, nobody knows it’s me, after all.”
Most of the time I don’t sweat it – after all, 99% of my posts are link collections, ramblings about semi-esoteric/harmless matters, and general geekiness. But that remaining 1% creep over the edge into potential TMI territory or worse, the realm of politics/religion/sociology. I’m not always good about re-reading that 1% to see how it might affect people, and while I have yet to get dooced, I have had people misunderstand things.
I don’t want to quit blogging about that 1% – these are things I think ought to be out there for various reasons, or I wouldn’t be tempted to post about them in the first place. I also don’t want to start a new blog under a pseudonym – that always feels vaguely skeezy to me, and I would worry endlessly about blowing my cover. So really, the answer is to re-read things. I’m tempted to put a postit on all my computers saying, “reread before posting” to remind me.
However, I do want to ask the handful of folks who read my blog a favor: if you read a post of mine and go “whoa! Did Ealasaid really just write that?!” or “Hey, that’s mean!” or whatever, post a comment asking me a question or discussing your reponse. Chances are that if you think I’m being mean, I didn’t express myself clearly, and I could use the heads-up. Ditto if you think I’m posting something outrageous. Call me an idealist, but I’d like to think that blogs can be used for discussion and exchange of information.
If, on the other hand, you read a post and go, “Ack! TMI!!!”, I’d be interested in hearing what you have to say – that’s what comments are for. But knee-jerk responses like “EW! TMI!” aren’t what I’m looking for – I’d be interested in hearing why you think that particular post went too far. Again, maybe I’m being idealistic, but I figure discussion is good, right?
In short: do me a favor and comment if you’re surprised/worried/offended by something I’ve written and let me know how you feel and why. I love tthe internet as a tool for discussion, and am all for people calling me out on stuff I’ve wrtten that’s unclear or strikes them as going too far.