Posted by: DD | July 10, 2006

No. 228 – Blogging Etiquette

The blogging phenomena seems to be centered around the idea of reciprocating. If one of the half dozen blogs I was reading in my blogging infancy provided a link to another blog directing support for someone facing a failing pregnancy; a BFN after an IVF; or even citing a great post, I went to check it out. I would add them to my growing list of favorites. In that course of time, I not only picked up several infertility blogs, but some wonderfully cooterless blogs as well.

Once I started getting into a groove, as it were, and felt brave enough to add a comment, I found in many instances that either the site owner would acknowledge me by replying in an email or by visiting my site. If they felt sorry enough for my pathetic attempts at writing, they would start to hang out regularly. Sometimes I would read someone’s comment and link back to them and find myself another blog to read. We’ve all done it. But that’s the whole point of blogging. It’s finding someone who writes about something we can find relevant. Someone who "gets it". And sometimes, it can provide a springboard to a separate post (or as I call it, "hitch-hiking").

Recently that happened to me after reading a post by Schmutzie over at milkmoney or not, here I come. She referred to Tony Pierce’s post on How to Blog. It started my own brain juice a’cookin’, but I never got further than just thinking about it (#15 in the How To), especially not as any more than just a filler (aka foo-foo) piece since I seem to be just treading water here at TKO, trying to find my rhythm.

But then, something happened. Now, I’m not really too surprised, and quite frankly, I’m to blame. I gave out my site address a year ago to friends and family because I really wanted to know someone, anyone, was reading. I also did it because I figured it wouldn’t matter 12 months down the road. I foolishly thought I was going be one of those women who would get pregnant after the first IUI with a boy/girl set of twins and deliver them without incident in February. I actually thought it was a damn shame to set up a blog only to never write in it.

Now you would think after I fucked up the first time (see Tony’s How To # 5), and had to move to a new URL, you’d think I’d know better. But I let the stress of the infertility treatments really get to me and the daily retelling to my co-workers of how my clinic visits went wore me down. So I gave my site address to a couple of those people and hoped that would help keep everyone abreast of any of the potentially good (but eventually bad) news.

By the time my 2nd IVF officially hit the crapper, I honestly thought no one In Real Life (IRL) was still reading. I assumed that the daily dose of woe and misery was getting to them as well because my stats did not indicate anyone from Small Town was reading. I didn’t give it a second thought and instead of checking my stats hourly like I use to in the beginning, I stopped checking them at all. I had my niche and I enjoyed my little corner of the blogging community and felt at ease with those who routinely stopped by to offer support, suggestions and rude comments about how much younger they were than me. And that’s my point exactly. You who don’t know me from the crazy bitch who ran their shopping cart into the back of your leg at the grocery store, know me well enough that you can write those comments knowing I will take it in the spirit it was intended. You know me through my blog, and that’s it. That’s pretty goddamn powerful.

No matter where we go with our blogging (whether we write or read), there’s just some unwritten understanding that we acknowledge each other’s accomplishments, losses, brilliance and even their ignorance. No where would I expect that more than in my real life. That’s why when I found out that the people I work with were reading my blog, I was initially aghast. There was not one inkling. Not one word was breathed…to me. Instead I find that the things I have written are discussed and reviewed out of earshot.

Sure my blog is out there for the world to read, but because it’s by virtual strangers I’ve let our inhibitions fall the wayside so I can express those demons that can eat us alive. But when someone you know finds it without your knowledge, it’s as if you left your diary out. Leaving that diary is not an open invitation. And it certainly isn’t a vehicle to use to to approach other people with the information that is read here.

I guess I wouldn’t be as concerned if the people reading were doing so because they were facing infertility (or even just difficulty in conceiving); or had suffered through a miscarriage; or even looking for a reference on how NOT to raise a preschooler, but it just doesn’t seem to have that purpose for these people. It’s an act of voyeurism. One that I would appreciate if it was discontinued. If that’s not possible, then I just ask you remain respectful to what I write here. It’s private. It’s from my gut. It’s from my heart. Getting upset about what you read is OK, just bring it to my attention and we can discuss it further.

So, I will not be going password protected. My initial knee-jerk reaction was to do so. But then once I thought about it and your comments echoed my sentiments, I realized that there are many more readers who appreciate, or at least understand, what it is that I am trying to do with this blog than those who don’t. Ideally, I would like EVERYONE to be happy, but that will realistically never happen. That’s why my main concern is me. I guess if I’m the one paying the bill on this blog, it might as well be what I want to write. Right?

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Responses

  1. Right.

  2. it defeats the whole purpose to blog for you… if you can’t , BLOG FOR YOU. you know? i hate it when people get “forced” to censor themselves. sucks and makes me sade because it’s never why anyone started to blog in the first place- to NOT be able to write what they wanted….
    i read almost daily- but don’t comment much. but i’m still here. 🙂

  3. Only one person IRL knows about my blog and reads it. ONE. It’s not my husband, either. And I’ve found that even that puts constraints on my writing. It’s so important to have your own space; I hope that the people from work can respect that.

  4. I agree. You have to blog for you. I went PWP as my in-laws would have used every word against me, and I have no desire to have to deal with them. I needed my safe place and PWP was the only way I felt safe.

  5. Only one IRL person reads my blog and I love the fact that he does. But I still tend to not write about family members for fear that down the road they might find the blog. If I really had something to bitch about I would write about them, but I haven’t.

  6. I agree. If you start censoring yourself than what is the point? I’m glad you’re not going PWP.

  7. I agree with you.
    This is life, uncensored.
    Your life.
    Your thoughts, feelings, fears.
    Your business that you happen to choose to share with we who understand.
    And we thank you.

  8. I accidentally outed myself on my blog last year. I just don’t post specifics about work or family and friends. It hasn’t changed anything else about the way I post or express myself but my blog isn’t about my cooter pipes or even any of my feelings besides irritability.

  9. DD – It is so crap that you have to go through this…

    An interesting post though.. Like ,really interesting. I have let my blog slip to way more people than I meant to. But at the same time, I make it pretty clear that I’m not prepared to talk about what i write in it.

    For me, it’s an exercise in learning how not to give a shit what other people think. I refuse to be ashamed of anything I write just becasue it might make someone uncomfortable. If it does, it’s probably becasue it IS uncomfortable.

    I admire those few bloggers who come right out. You know?

  10. It’s good that you’re doing this. I’ve only told a couple of people IRL about my blog, and they’re all IF friends. But I still sometimes find myself censoring what I write. After I realized that, I realized there was no way I could ever tell my family about it.

    I’m glad you’re not going PWP. Hopefully they will take this post to heart and stop reading, or at least discussing.

  11. Hey, sweetie, always look out for number one. If you don’t take care of you, who will? I have never given my blog address to any IRL people just because I want to write whatever I want without worry. I have enough problems maintaining relationships IRL with this mouth of mine – they don’t need to read the rest of what I think!

    Oh – and just what did Mr. DD have to say about adoption?

  12. I agree that it is your blog and you should be free to use it how you wish!

    Take care and I wish you didn’t have to go through this.

  13. Well, I have a few people IRL who know about my blog because I MET them through blogging. And of course, the hubby knows. And his mom. But aside from that, no family. No coworkers (that I know of).

    But the worst thing is his exes – one of whom would always show back up on his blog or in his email anytime we were having hard times. Lovely.

  14. Wow… miss a little, miss a lot. I’ve been behind because the husband took up all my time while he took time off work.

    The OPK frustrates me to no end as well. The line gets almost as dark, and then fades away — but never “as dark or darker.” I haven’t had the chutzpah to bring up adoption again. We don’t have the money, first of all. I’m worried about how much I’ll resent a poor reaction from him, second of all. And a poor reaction is what I expect. So how was the look on his face? After the look, did any conversation come of it?

    My husband knows about my site, but doesn’t read it. He doesn’t know the address or anything, just that I have one. He has expressed no interest in reading it. The only other IRL who knows is a cousin. She and I have a special connection, and she is the only IRLer who I trust to see it.

    I would hate for anyone else to see it. I would hate feeling like I have to censor myself. It’s the one place I DON’T censor myself. I’m glad you’ve decided to keep on keepin’ on. This is your house. You do what you want.

  15. No one IRL knows about my blog. Not even my husband. I like having my privacy to write what I want without worrying about how someone else feels about it, or who they’re talking to about it.

    I’m sorry that you’re in that position, but I’m glad you’re still writing.

  16. Bravo, DD. Right on.

  17. It sounds like you’re in a good place with this, relatively speaking. Speaking, that’s the key word. You still need to speak your mind here, whether you can/will is a different matter. You rarely blogged about work, so that’s a good thing. I would have trouble, though, facing those people every day. They know so much more about you than you them. That’s the nice thing about fellow bloggers, the reciprocal nature feels more equal and exposed. I hope your co-workers understand that capacity you have and I hope they can respect your privacy or at least participate in some meaningful way.

    BTW, did you read Manuela said she never got a positive on her ovulation meter this month and she’s pregnant?

  18. Hmm, no one I know IRL knows about my blog. Hell, there’s only about 7 people in the computer who know about my blog!!;)

    I’m glad you’re “keepin’ it real” and not going PWP. Or censoring yourself. You’re too smart & snarky & funny & just plain ol’ DD to try to put a lid on that. It just wouldn’t be the same.

  19. You are very right in your POV. People should respect you and your thoughts especially when they are so deep.

    Personally I do not write my blog under my real name. My husband doesn’t even know I blog. I do it as a release. A way to stream out anxiety, and philosophical thoughts that would be completely wasted on him. (He’s not a philosophical person whom I could debate grand issues with)

    Amazingly, my only IRL person that I know of to discover my blog is my “twin”. A long time long-distance friend whom I had lost touch with for a while. She found my blog and through details that only close people would know, realized it was me.

    I know I do not know you other than what I read in your blog and I do not try to make comments that would imply that I know you. I am an empathetic person and was drawn to your troubles out of curiousity and empathy. Carry on as you have been, I think it’s great that you are poring out your thoughts and feelings. It’s good to release these emotions else we one day explode from the pent up pressure!

  20. I’ve told too many people that I know about mine, too, but I’ve come to the same conclusion. Take it or leave it.

  21. Beautifully put. I hope that the people this was intended for respect your wishes.

  22. I had a public, and very popular (or so my site meter said) blog that was linked up on several IF blogs. I went password protected because I really wanted to bring a smaller group of people into my personal world. But sometimes, I really miss sharing my thought with anyone out there who will care to listen. You are listed on my blogroll, but you probably don’t even know me. I read everyday, but don’t necessarily comment. Well, if you want to visit me, e-mail me and I’ll give you the username and password. I welcome those who are in the IF world, but not to those who are IRL, that’s why I have my myspace page!

    Hugs!

    Crystal
    A Simple Kind of Life

  23. My worst fear is to have coworkers find my blog. I like having my life compartmentalized. I like to pick and choose what access people have or at least know about their access. I am glad that you are still available to us.

  24. I don’t know that coworkers have found my blog yet, but I can understand the fear if they did. I would hope that mine would be gutsy enough to say something to me, but probably wouldn’t. Anyways – this is your blog – write as you will. No one has to like everything you say 100% of the time and there’s always the adage if you don’t like it dont’ read it.

    I like it – I’m still reading. 🙂

  25. Co-workers, yeah that. Slightly drunk at function = idiotic. Oh well.

  26. Exactly. Do it for yourself first, or what’s the point, right?
    And don’t let the few idiots of the blog world get you down. I find there are so many more people out there who are kind and supportive, it makes up for the few morons.

  27. Kind of like the song:
    It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!
    So,
    It’s my blog and I’ll say what I like.

    Though, being a paranoid sort at times, I do feel like a “censor” myself a bit just in case someone I know IRL is reading and / or finds the blog in the future.

  28. Very well said. It is such a complicated issue–how much to reveal, I mean. I wish the people who found your space would have at least had the courtesy to tell you, you know?

  29. So well written, as always. I have considered letting people IRL know about my blog, but in the end have decided against it. Still, I am paranoid enough, that I refrain about bitching about certain ppl. who get on my last nerve lest they randomly find my blog! LOL.

  30. I had a similar situation where I found out that a co-worker had found my blog, although I had not given her the address. I went through a few weeks of censoring what I wrote and then I decided that I had a blog for all to read so I stopped. I don’t know if she still reads or not. If she does she doesn’t say anything to me about it.

  31. Couldn’t agree more. I have told one friend about this and no matter the temptation, I have told no one else where it is, although my husband knows that it exists. I’m so glad you decided to keep going.

  32. Atta girl. Stick with us, kid. We’ll beat up people who piss you off.


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