When writing this blog previously, I struggled with disclosure. What is appropriate to share in a personal blog? There are those who believe that no personal or identifying information should be shared on the internet. One could even go so far as to say that an opinion written on a blog could be sharing too much information. But what would be the entertainment and the fun in keeping all of the interesting material to oneself? I think a good rule to live by is to only share the things that you would be willing to share with a stranger. Something that you would share with a best friend might be something to be kept private. Would you care if your enemy had their hands on this information? No, then you are probably ok. Due to the rights and feelings of others, one’s personal life should not be shared on the internet when it relates to other people. It can be very difficult to tell what they would agree to share in a public arena. So, rule of thumb: only share things you are comfortable with having everyone know about you.
Now that I know what information to share or not to share, it is still difficult to decide what topics to write about and how to write them. It is one thing to write a journal to oneself, a letter to a single person, or even a blog that you know only a few close friends and family will be reading. And it seems pretty apparent the kinds of topics one should write for a very public blog, say a newspaper or other source for important information. But what about blog whose focus is on friends and family but might be read by complete strangers? How do you write to an unknown audience when sharing information about yourself? Normally, when telling stories or sharing personal information, one is able to know the audience beforehand and to gauge their reaction during the course of the telling. But how does one weave a story or address audiences that are unknown? I guess this is the struggle that a very private writer would have to make when moving into the public sphere. So, who knows, maybe this will be good for me.
This is my first blog post ever and yet I have more questions than I do solutions. What is a first blog post supposed to be, anyway? Does anyone actually read them? I imagine that unless a friend of yours sends you a link to a blog he or she has just started, you probably start reading long after the first post was written. If you are like me, you find new blogs through other blogs. Someone has to be reading that blog before you find it, it seems impossible that you would catch it while the first post is still on the homepage. After the blog has been running for a while, is there anyone that is dedicated enough to read that far back?
I can’t imagine that first blog posts are all that interesting anyway. Do most people give a short biography of information that seems relevant? Or do they outline what their blog may be about? Or do they just write something so they can say they have taken that clichéd first step? Or do they write that they hope they can find enough interesting material to write daily? Three-times weekly? Weekly? Monthly? Just occasionally? Or whatever their goal may be? There must be millions of bloggers out there. How many of those only ever put up a first post? Did it end before it began like a new years resolution to lose weight? Or is it like the xkcd comic where every post is an apology for not having anything to say?
And say someone does make it. He or she writes consistently for years. Writing skills have been honed and a ‘voice’ has been found. I can only imagine how uninteresting and undeveloped this first blog post must be in comparison and how many rules and conventions of blogging were unknowingly broken. So is a first blog post just a throw-away post? Just something to get out of the way before the real work can be done? Is losing your blog virginity always destined to be bad just like real life?
I know the answers to none of these things. But I can say, I will write about myself. I will write when I feel like it. I may write about the past and I may write about the present. And I may never have more readers than just my close friends. So, if you are reading this first blog post after the fact, how does it look from the future?
A special thanks goes to my friend Professor Chaos for inventing the blog name.