Wednesday, May 21, 2003

how personal should your blog get? [ref: Dating a blogger, reading all about it]

First of all I am unsure if 'should' is the right word. How personal may your blog get. No, that's too authoritarian. I'll stick with 'should' for now. My blog posts have been a mix of impersonal posts, detached link clusters, personal ups and downs, but never have they hit that point in the narrative where one may picture an emotional sink tending to maudlin (extreme cases of sob-sob). Extreme joy, sure. Posting gripes about stuff is one thing. Whining is another. The Internet is teeming with different species of readers, some detached, some understanding, some cynical, some rude, some dumb, some clearly on the wrong boat. By making your blog personal (well, too personal), you could end up with one or more of the following results:

* Increased traffic, since a lot of people will empathize with your situation (hi, I know what you are going through...). These posts can go from being predictable yet welcome to perhaps, encouraging (I had a case of the latter, when I posted about my house being broken into last summer)

* Frequent readers clicking away, because the post went from being 'potentially interesting' to 'yet another senti- trip'

* A different relevance in the blogosphere: very little importance is afforded to aggregating blogs (which merely cluster content from elsewhere). What makes a blog interesting/important is the chord it strikes among the people who visit it again (obligation to visit a friend's blog; interesting content; interesting points of view; like interests; long-lost friends; new friends; staying in touch). This point can actually justify the extent to which your blog can get personal. People who know you would knowingly nod as they read your outpourings (or their jaws could drop at your newfound sensitivity!).

Clearly, I need to organise my thoughts better to make this post even remotely interesting. Hit the 'X' now. Close the window. Spare yourself.

And there's always the question what if you built a blog and no one came?

And just in case you were really wondering why NYTimes articles don't show up in Google searches (CS junta and Internet App Developers may skip the click)

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