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What to blog, what not to blog...

... that is the question.

The Grand Canton's recent rant got me thinking. There's been no shortage of people losing jobs, destroying friendships and even being threatened because of what they put on their blogs.

On the other hand, I've had it drilled into my head on numerous occasions that the only truly effective writing, is that in which the writer is being completely honest. The most compelling blog posts I've read are unique because of the author's perspective, and honesty seems like a pre-requisite, or at least essential, to be able to do that.

But what is the cost of that honesty?

What the point of a blog is, even what constitutes a blog vs. a news/opinion website
is a pretty complicated issue, so I'll skip that. But let's assume that most personal blogs are used to communicate personal opinions and experiences. I've often heard the analogy made that a blog post is a one-way conversation, or a speech. Now, that to me is extremely dangerous, because this analogy assumes that
  • you know your audience well
  • you're speaking just to that audience
  • your audience cares about what you say
That's a terrible analogy. I think a blog post is a public conversation you're having ridiculously loudly in a crowded bar. Anyone can hear it, you never know who'll hear it and you have no idea how they'll judge you for it; and you need to be comfortable with that. Sarcasm gets mistaken for meanness, humor mistaken for stupidity, a particular interest for elitism; we humans are really good at using data to support any conclusions we're hoping to reach, and our own biases make us susceptible to go one way or the other.

Right now reading the paragraph up above,
  • Some of you decided I'm trying to make insightful statements I'm not smart enough to make
  • (Hopefully) some decided that I was thinking about something interesting
  • Others decided I really should shut up

The WSJ had an article about how recruiters now use personal blogs: and how they can both help and hurt. Yikes...

So what's my point? As with most of my conversations I don't really have one :)

I think, like any unguarded comment you make, a blog a can make you seem more entertaining and more interesting to some people, and even more annoying to others. I don't know how to strike that balance, or even if its worth trying. I have my own reasons for starting to blog again, but is it better to be diplomatic on your blog vs. controversial, polite vs. honest; if you start censoring yourself too much should you bother blogging at all? Is it better to let people to just suspect you're a nutjob, versus providing them evidence confirming that, that is indeed the case....

questions, questions....


Josekin said…
Damn you, now you have me 1. thinking about my post and 2. featured again, doubling the chance that some random dude will forward the post to McKinsey.

Oh well, that's how life goes, eh!?

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