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Blogged and Burned : Conversation question • Page 5 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Blogged and Burned

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
R.C.
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RE: Blogged and Burned

Postby R.C. » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:20 am

I think blogs are a burden the future has prematurely set upon our front doorstep. Blogs are great for just posting a comment or informing, in this case, other writers on the ups and downs of writing in general. They are something we can all learn from. It still remains that private thoughts are being posted in a public forum, and if you are going to write about someone or something that is real, you must expect that your thoughts will make it back to the person or subject. I once had a email reply I wrote to an editorial posted on a blog. The person who wrote it tried to rail me and get my email filled with some venomous spam. That person got in some trouble and lost their blog. I made some friends and enemies. Thats part of the road. Not everyone will agree with you.

www.penburn.blogspot.com

You have to be careful what you post, and who you post about. I started my blog today. Woop dee doo!!!!! I know, whatever, but I started my blog to get my book out where people can see it. Yes, I will post about my writing and where I am in the publishing process, but my blog is mostly for me. It's a way to vent and just say something that I need to get off my chest.

And if someone can offer advice or get help or just get a laugh from what I wrote there, then my job there is done for the day, and tomorrow I will post some other inane comment. After all, my wife doesn't want to hear it anymore.

R.C.

Capitalist_Pig
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RE: Blogged and Burned

Postby Capitalist_Pig » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:35 am


camper
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RE: Blogged and Burned

Postby camper » Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:00 am


The true danger about blogs, and one that people rarely consider, is that they will post things there that they would never say or write anywhere else.  For some people, that could result in losing their jobs, their spouses, and their friends. 

Blogging really and truly is (or at the very least, can be) the electronic equivalent of putting a secrect on a piece of paper, tearing it up, letting the wind take it away and then the beginning the impossible task of collecting every single tiny scrap of paper to make the secret 'secret' again.

The main problem with them, is that once you blog something it's out there forever.  Most people don't take that into consideration.  Whereas you can say something on a radio program you might regret, getting the audio clip of that would be a bit harder to come by (if people even remembered it) then typing in "author + portion of regrettable comment" in google. 


I know people who have unlisted phone numbers, and then post their phone number on a blog that's for their friends only.  They discuss their family (number & age of thier kids) and sometimes their favorite restaraunts.  That information alone, is enough to give someone who had the inclination, to find you.  Come knocking on your door, and maybe try and relieve you of that brand new Plasma TV you're bragging about on your blog.  Yeah, it does sound paranoid - I know.  But sometimes being a little paranoid is a worthwhile thing.

That's why you have to do a little risk management to see if the information you're giving:

1) Can be added to other tidbits given that equal information you wouldn't give to your closest friend
2) Is something you want the whole world to know
3) Is not something that you *might* regret saying in the future
4) Could potentially put you or your family in harms way (showing pictures of your cute little toddler and then mentioning how you and your husband/wife are going away for the weekend, and 16 year old Betty next door will be staying in the house with him)
5) Would get you in trouble with you friends, family, or job.  (Like a 23 year old high school teacher talking about how 'hot' one of his students is, and what he'd like to do to them)


The biggest irony, is that blogs advertise themselves as a diary you can share with your friends, and then people write things in there that they wouldn't show their friends if they had an true, actual diary.  Then again, we are a society that tends to breed 'attention whores' ;)

Blogs are perfect for the facilitation of discussion, and discussing things general terms like your book, your take on a specific world event (if you are inclined to be held to the fire for those opinions) or some other generally benign topic.

Blogs aren't the devil, but the devil certainly reads them.

Consider this - If you wouldn't share the information on your blog with your next-door neighbor (whether you know them or not) then why are you sharing that information with telemarkers,  people who are looking for identity theft victims, or child predators?  You'd be a fool to think that they don't read blogs.

Remember, blogs are diaries that anybody can read.  Not everyone is a fine upstanding citizen, are they?

~camper


Capitalist_Pig
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RE: Blogged and Burned

Postby Capitalist_Pig » Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:17 am


cranberry
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RE: Blogged and Burned

Postby cranberry » Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:59 am

I just deleted my blog yesterday. It had no real personal information offered; it was more about languages and linguistics and I was trying to create a forum to discuss why we feel the way we do about language.

In the end, however, I decided to let it go. For one thing, it took more time and energy than I really have available right now. Second, promoting it was also very time consuming, especially since I am somewhat new to the technology. I wasn't getting many comments, even though I was posting questions and invitations for people to respond. The conversation was falling flat and I know that could very well be a result of my writing as well as promotion.

I had thought about using the blog as a marketing tool of sorts as well, since I have a background in linguistics and would like to write more about it professionally. It was good "practice." But at the same time, I didn't feel I was producing the quality posts I wanted and didn't want that "out there" for the world (and prospective editors) to see. I need more development in that area. So better to not be public about it.

That said, I do enjoy reading blogs and have a number of them set up from RSS feeds. I comment from time to time. But I feel a huge wave of relief that I am no longer writing a blog myself.

ctaylorjr
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Blogged and Burned

Postby ctaylorjr » Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:27 pm

Why are people wasting time responding to frivolous blog-chatter? If bloggers aren't saying anything responsibly important or worthwhile-why draw attention to them? We who make mountains out of molehills, makes me wonder about our quality of life-are we bored? Sometimes the best reaction is not to react.

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Susan
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RE: Blogged and Burned

Postby Susan » Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:13 pm

Chris:

Is this a response to by Brian, one of the administrator's at the site?  I'm not even sure what your question really is.


Emichaels
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RE: Blogged and Burned

Postby Emichaels » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:46 am

To be honest, I started a blog solely FOR my writing. It's mostly for me, but if someone else reads it and responds, I don't mind. Some people can be very helpful. It's good for brainstorming.

Mind you, I don't write about my VERY personal life on there. :)

RhiannonCirce
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RE: Blogged and Burned

Postby RhiannonCirce » Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:48 pm


JA Konrath
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RE: Blogged and Burned

Postby JA Konrath » Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:45 am


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