Saturday, March 8, 2008

If You Blog - Questions from a Neophyte

Oddly, I do not think of myself as a blogger. This first person stuff is not anything I've ever done well, and I have no idea how these sentences keep pouring out of me. I feel like a runaway train. And I have so many questions that I thought I should ask real bloggers. Those of you who are, though, probably have no time or interest in taking a survey. Hey, I don't blame you. But I'm a teacher, so ask I must...

- If you blog, do you tell people in your family or at your job about your blog?
- If so, how does that impact your writing?
- Do you keep hard copies of your blogs?
- Do you ever not post comments you get?
- How do you balance writing versus reading?
- Do you think of it as a chore or a diversion?
- Do you use RSS to keep track of blogs, or what?
- Do you worry about what you write, or what readers will think?

Like I said, I do not even expect you to answer these questions! I'm just compelled to ask them.

8 comments:

kristenspina said...

I'll answer a few...
Yes, my family knows about my blog and some of my friends scattered about the globe, but I have not shared it with anyone local, anyone in my neighborhood, or anyone who attends my son's school.

I'm always conscious of what I write in that I want to protect and respect my son and anyone else I write about. I always ask myself, "how would he feel if he could read this?"

I used to keep hard copies, but it became so tedious to print, I stopped.

I use google reader to track the blogs I like, yours included!

MOM-NOS said...

These are great questions. I hope you get a lot of responses, because I’d love to see what other people have to say.

If you blog, do you tell people in your family or at your job about your blog?

I outed myself in phases. At first, I didn’t tell anyone about the blog, because I wasn’t sure whether or not I would keep it up, and I wasn’t sure about the nature of what I might write there. After a few months, I discovered that I was getting a lot of autism-related Google hits, and I decided to tell some of the people in my life who I thought might Google their way over and recognize me instantly. Then bit by bit, the circle grew wider. The next phase was deciding whether or not to share the link with people at Bud’s school. I’m glad that I did.

It’s only been recently – within the past year – that I’ve shared it with people at work. It was around Dierks Bentley time - too good a story not to tell, but impossible to tell without mentioning the blog (making the blog very easy to find by Googling "Dierks & autism" - I know, because lots of people did).

There was a point at which I recognized that the blog had truly grown beyond my control – people shared it with people who shared it with people. The turning point was when a colleague I know, but am not especially close to, stopped me and said “I just LOVE your blog.” At that point, I knew I was OUT, and it was much easier to embrace it than to fight it.

If so, how does that impact your writing?

I edit very carefully. I don’t post anything that I wouldn’t want someone – anyone, anywhere – to read. I should note that this is not especially difficult for me, as I am an introvert and am naturally inclined toward self-editing.

Do you keep hard copies of your blogs?

No, but I keep digital copies of posts elsewhere.

Do you ever not post comments you get?

I don’t moderate the comments, so they get posted immediately, but there have been a few rare instances when I’ve deleted comments. I use that power very sparingly – more about that here.

How do you balance writing versus reading?

I do each when I feel like it. I try not to view either as an obligation, because that would suck the fun out of it pretty quickly. I have no expectation that anyone will read every post I write, nor that they will comment on every post they read, so I assume that other bloggers afford me the same flexibility with their posts.

Do you think of it as a chore or a diversion?

The day it feels like a chore will be my last day as a blogger.

Do you use RSS to keep track of blogs, or what?

I use Bloglines. I have a few friends who have moved to private, password-protected sites and therefore don’t appear on Bloglines, and without the notification when there are new posts, I simply can’t keep up with remembering to check for them. I’m lucky I can remember to brush my teeth without a prompt these days.

Do you worry about what you write, or what readers will think?

I worry about everything, all the time. It’s how I’m wired.

Jen P said...

- If you blog, do you tell people in your family or at your job about your blog? Family, yes. Job, only if they are friends.

- If so, how does that impact your writing? I have to be careful about offending my sibs and parents because a lot of our issues come from them which is why I'm not posting this on my own blog.

- Do you keep hard copies of your blogs? No, but there is a publisher that will publish your blog. I should probably keep hard copies though since it is my journal. I'm not expecting Google to go anywhere though.

- Do you ever not post comments you get? No

- How do you balance writing versus reading? I tend to read more than write because I can access my Reader on my phone (Treo) and I catch up with folks while I'm out and about and have time. I do comment while I'm out but not often because it is a pain the butt on the little qwerty keyboard on my phone.

- Do you think of it as a chore or a diversion? Sometimes a diversion from working since I work at home, but I gain so much from it, I would never not do it.

- Do you use RSS to keep track of blogs, or what? Yes. I use Google Reader. It saves a lot of time.

- Do you worry about what you write, or what readers will think?
I used to, but learned that it doesn't matter because I am the one who has to live with my choices. I do like what other readers think because I do have an open mind, but I don't worry about it if I do or don't agree with them or if they do or don't agree with me. Catty isn't my style. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

goodfountain said...

- If you blog, do you tell people in your family or at your job about your blog?
- If so, how does that impact your writing?

Yes, I've shared the link with most members of my family. Some check it regularly, others never. When I started blogging I made a decision that I would never write anything I wouldn't want someone, even if it's just one person, to read. I will not air grievances or complain about someone unless I'm willing to talk to them about it myself. At some point I may share with the teachers at my daughter's school. When the occasion presents.

- Do you keep hard copies of your blogs?

No, but I want to do something to make sure it's never lost.
- Do you ever not post comments you get?
I've haven't had a need to do that yet, but I would if I someone wrote something that I deemed not appropriate. Haven't spent a lot of times thinking on what that might be.
- How do you balance writing versus reading?
I read more than I write, that's for sure. I try to comment regularly, but I fall miserably short there.

- Do you think of it as a chore or a diversion?
Blogging is by no means a chore, but I wouldn't call it a diversion either. It's something I enjoy doing and helps put my life and our stuff in perspective.
- Do you use RSS to keep track of blogs, or what?
I use Google Reader. Very, very handy.
- Do you worry about what you write, or what readers will think?
Yes. I can't help myself. I am a worrier. I try not to let it keep me from being true, though.

Niksmom said...

Excellent questions, G! :-)

If you blog, do you tell people in your family or at your job about your blog?
I don't necessarily NOT tell people, but I don't go out of my way. The people at Nik's old school, for example, I wouldn't have told about my blog since I wrote some posts about our frustrations. My family knows about it but they don't read it...even my husband! LOL

If so, how does that impact your writing? It doesn't.

Do you keep hard copies of your blogs? No, but I do keep digital copies and I've thought about printing my blog into a book at some point.

Do you ever not post comments you get? Not an issue for me; I don't moderate comments.

How do you balance writing versus reading? That's a tough one. When I have something I really want/need to write about, I can't read other posts b/c it distracts me and I lose my own words. I tend to read and comment more than I write...at least I think so.

Do you think of it as a chore or a diversion? Um, more of a way of life?

Do you use RSS to keep track of blogs, or what? Google Reader

Do you worry about what you write, or what readers will think? Not anymore. I think I was very cautious in the very beginning...even about whether I wanted to post photos. But, I realized that I am not usually a terribly political or controversial person (despite being very passionate about some things) and I steer away from using my blog for that end. So, I guess, no, I don't really "worry" as much as I hope my readers will find some sort of value, insight, inspiration, or entertainment in what I've written on any given day. And the pictures? I figure my kid's face is plastered all over Easter Seals stuff in my area so anyone that wanted to see him or know aboutus already could.

redheadmomma said...

- If you blog, do you tell people in your family or at your job about your blog?

My family on my husband's side does not know. This is intentional. I also don't tell Noah's teachers or therapists, because I talk about that stuff quite a bit.

- If so, how does that impact your writing?

I find I defininitely have to edit what I say, and not post things that I'm thinking because it could be taken as hurtful. Much like our not saying everything that we think. :)

- Do you keep hard copies of your blogs?

I've heard that there are places that will make it into a book. If I did that, I'd edit it to take the *really* raw stuff out that I said in that moment - like "my kid is driving me to drink!". I can think of a kinder way to say just about anything if I'm going to bind it into a book! I don't want my kids to end up in therapy because of my blog...

- Do you ever not post comments you get?
sometimes.

- How do you balance writing versus reading?

It ebbs & flows. Sometimes I only write; sometimes I only read. Sometimes I'm balanced. Most of the time, not.

- Do you think of it as a chore or a diversion?

both, sometimes. I ebb & flow on posting as well. Sometimes I post a lot; sometimes, many days go by without my posting.

- Do you use RSS to keep track of blogs, or what?

I tried Google reader, and I dont' know if I'm a complete idiot, but on my reader, the button to add new subscriptions has completely disappeared. So I changed recently to getting my subscriptions through Outlook, and I like that a LOT.

- Do you worry about what you write, or what readers will think?

On some of the more sticky things, sure. I worry more than my readers know.

great questions!

Stimey said...

I got here via joeymom. My answers are here!

Jordan said...

Let's see...
- If you blog, do you tell people in your family or at your job about your blog?

Yes to family. Yes to some colleagues (special educators). Some of my clients' parents have found it but I don't advertise it. When I write something work-related somewhere else like The Family Room blog, I let them know. I don't mind if they find my personal blog but it doesn't feel totally professional to tell them about it because, well, it's more personal.

- If so, how does that impact your writing?

I feel restrained by my family knowing about b/c I have so much I could write about that's family-of-origin related but can't. I am extra careful about how I talk about my work in case clients find my blog.

- Do you keep hard copies of your blogs?

Not at this point.

- Do you ever not post comments you get?

I don't moderate anymore. I've deleted a few, but only when they're clearly spam comments. I've never gotten a random rude one.

- How do you balance writing versus reading?

Depends on the day, week. I read a lot most days.

- Do you think of it as a chore or a diversion?

Creative outlet. Very important one!

- Do you use RSS to keep track of blogs, or what?

Google Reader. Love it!

- Do you worry about what you write, or what readers will think?

No, I'm not generally a worrier. I wonder more often if I'm going to be the only one laughing at a post or if anyone else will see things the same way.