Blogdentity Crisis

Yesterday I wrote over at Indiebloggers, asking bloggers about their specific situation with respect to their blogging and how they deal with the real world: who knows about their blogs, who cares, and if they wear their blog badge proudly outside their own comortable blog community.

I responded to my own post (the first sign of egotism?), saying that "In my own case, I periodically allude to the blog, but don’t give out the address if I’m not asked. In social settings, it’s much the same way. My family doesn’t seem to care much, which doesn’t bother me much (though I would be lying if I said that them knowing about it didn’t affect the way I write.)"

But it actually goes a little further than that. I've been noticing a little self censorship lately, especially when it comes to work. I periodically write about politics, but that doesn't seem such a safe bet these days, given certain nine-to-five realities. Yeah, I know, this isn't Russia (Chevy Chase as Ty Webb: "You don't have to go to college. This isn't Russia. Is this Russia? This isn't Russia.") but still I opt to not talk about some of the things I feel well-versed in. The real rub is that the reason I'm well versed in these things is because my nine-to-five is chock full of the stuff.

In another occupation-related issue, I opted to not write about something that happened locally, even though I'm certain it would be an entertaining read for outsiders, because I may come off as being intolerant or politically incorrect. Again with the self censorship.

Maybe I'm having a blogdentity crisis. I wonder if I'm being a little too careful about my choice of topics, resulting in an overly sanitized blog -- which I admit, might be taking things a little too far (heck, I barely curse here). I guess I try to make my topics hit the mark on at least one of the following:

- humourous
- relevant to parenting
- interesting
- educational
- generally inoffensive

So what happens when you have perfectly good material to post about, but you think you might not fit so well with any of your established criteria, or might go beyond the bounds of what you deem "safe"? You let it fall by the wayside until you either get the hell over it or it irritates you so much that you break down and write about it (or your neuroses finally meet you half way and you write about not being able to write about it).

Another thing I'll admit is that I don't really have a specific target audience. I suppose that's why I like the idea of indiebloggers: it's a collection of people who might not otherwise fit in what's becoming a very segregated establishment: the mommybloggers, the political bloggers, the humourists, et cetera. Through my eclectic interests (or possibly my lack of specialty), I've become a life-blogger, thankfully stopping short of reporting my daily activities.

By no means do I think I'm alone in this; How many bloggers out there keep multiple blogs, based on varying interests and varying levels of privacy? Why else would Vox have such a niche market, and why would the new Blogger allow authors to share with specific recipients? And yet I continue to struggle with not having a proper identity here, a proper target audience.

But I continue to click the little orange "Publish" button, for better or for worse. Maybe I'll evolve into something, but for now, I think I'll try to revel in my self-labelled indieblogger status.

Posted bythemikestand at 9:01 AM  

6 stepped up to the mike:

SRH said... 10:54 AM, December 21, 2006  

The blogosphere does seem to get more and more cliquish, which reminds me, not so happily, of high school. I did not belong to any of the cool groups there either.

Anyway, I self censor a bunch as well. There are some down right funny things that happen in my life that I cannot blog about. I tend to stay away from politics, and I stay away from rants about work for fear of doocement.

I have been tending towards the dabby blog and life blog model, but I insert some absurd in there occassionally. I think there are more of "us" out there than we know because we do not have a defined "blog support structure" like others.

canadian sadie said... 11:59 AM, December 21, 2006  

I'm all about the life-blog. I have nothing to say otherwise. And really? Not like anybody would care, even if I DID have something to say. I enjoy READING targetted posts, but can't be bothered to invest the time and energy that I feel is necessary for me to go about WRITING one.

That said? I have found myself self-censoring madly of late. And it's because I'm meeting more and more of my bloggy-acquaintances in RL (that most-dreaded of all places) and I find myself actually caring what they think. Which somewhat defeats the purpose of a 'safe' and 'anonymous' place to rant. But, meh. Such is life!

Jurgen Nation said... 8:38 PM, December 21, 2006  

I'm so glad you're at IB. I don't like the terms life blogger or personal blogger. The words themselves are fine I guess; it just seems so redundant to me. If you have a blog that isn't for anyone but yourself (corporation wise), it's a personal blog. A foodie has a personal blog, I have a personal blog. I can't find any solid identity in that term. Same with life blogger. It's a bit different, but still. It doesn't have the specificity I want. It seems like checking "other" somewhere. Nothing fits, so you just check the box that shoves you to the side. Meh. That's why I like us. We're fine with being un categorizable. Leaves us more time to socialize and write our arses off, no?

Christine said... 9:53 PM, December 22, 2006  

I guess I never realized until a certain point that there were "popular" blogs and "not popular" blogs, and that it wasn't "in" to blog about one's life or lack of it.

First and foremost, my blog is for me. Although I would be lying if I did not admit a certain self-censorship when I suspect a family member of reading, or when I have something nasty to write about someone who reads my blog. I often wade into "activities of daily" living, which I hate, but I think for me it provides a certain back drop to what I rant about and have issue with along my journey.

I hate, too, that I am funniest when angry; but that I get too many negative comments when I am angry. If I did not struggle with the world around me, I would not blog.

Guess what: I'm rambling.

Oh.. but I really enjoy your blog. Don't change it.

Anonymous said... 8:03 AM, December 23, 2006  

Freaking School board idiots!

mike said... 3:25 PM, December 23, 2006  

haha, anonymous, is that some attempt at exposing those things you don't allow yourself to blog about?

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