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How Much of Yourself Do You Reveal When Blogging?

How Much of Yourself Do You Reveal When Blogging?

The more I immerse myself into the blogosphere, the more of myself I feel slipping away.

By day, I’m conservative and private.

By night, I speak my mind and share personal details of my life.

Is blogging my reawakening? Or is it stripping away something I can never take back?

So here’s my question to loyal BlogHearld readers:

If you had to assign a percentage to how much of yourself you reveal on your blog, what would it be?

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Some will argue that you must give it all to perfect the craft. Others will think it’s crazy to share a single shred or personal detail. As for me, I’m fickle, changing my stance on a day-to-day basis.

I find the roots of some of my strongest content have their seeds planted in areas I don’t want to share with complete strangers.

Should we all stand here naked? Or is it time to dress ourselves back up? Please answer soon, cause right now I’m down to my boxers and socks (and that’s probably far enough!).

View Comments (22)
  • Depends.

    :)

    If you’re a pro writing on a specific subject, I don’t care about your personal stuff.

    But Mommy Bloggers? You better be ready to just let it all hang out.

    And that’s what’s fun – the variety of writing styles. We don’t need no homogenized bloggonia.

  • In starting a blog that is also a professional portfolio I have to worry about the type of content I post to the blog. Employers and professional peers most likely prefer not to hear about by personal life, problems, grievances, etc.

    I must admit that blogging–even when required to keep it professional–is an enjoyable outlet.

    -Mike Dailey

  • Here’s my trick for keeping it extremely real in my online conversations, while not giving away anything in my personal life (unless of course, someone wants to do some real digging, then all bets are off.)

    I use a pen name for all of my social web interactions and have since day one. Some might say that is being deceitful, but I look at it another way.

    I’m free to express anything I care to online about family, relationships, struggles, etc…, and my personal life stays intact. I’m still the same person, online or off, but a rose by any other name… as they say.

    It may not work for everyone, but it works very well for me. I prefer to keep the two “lives” separate. It makes things much easier for everyone concerned.

  • I reveal my whole personality online. What you see here is the real me, even more so in real life, since I get nervous and shy face-to-face.

    However, there are particular events in my life that I don’t plan on sharing. They happened in the past, and are over with. I believe I can be myself online, without giving out every detail of my existence.

    Kimberlee

  • I agree with Kimberlee. We don’t have to give out every detail of our existence. But we can share our genuine personality, some stuff that goes on in our lives, and some of our views.

    Unlike Kimberlee, though, I have shared details from my past because I have found it healing to write about them and I also find it a blessing to be able to encourage and inspire others who are going through that same thing when they read what I’ve written about my past.

    It is strange that I noticed the title of this post sitting in my inbox, though, because it is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’ve been asking myself if I should share more of what’s going on in my (personal) life now instead of just drawing inspiration from my past. Would my blog grow if I did that? Maybe it would and maybe it wouldn’t. I don’t know. It definitely is something to consider! :-)

    *smiles*
    Michele

  • We should share most of our mistakes and experiences. This helps 0ur credentials a lot and helps us come across as a genuine person to do business and interact with,

    Viraj.

  • I have blogged now for four years and I have always seen this medium as a means to share a little something about myself. In fact a Blog in many ways ends up becoming a true reflection of who we really are.

    Although many bloggers hide behind the walls of fact, data and objectivity – this in itself ends up becoming a true reflection of whom they are. For me blogging started out as, is now and will always remain a means to express my individuality and uniqueness as a human being.

    Yes… I do post about WordPress, tech and geeky stuff but I also share about personal experiences and anecdotes. Occasionally (only once or twice) have I written something that I felt could incriminate me one day – so I decided to remove those posts.

    Probably one of my most personal blogging shares – was the time my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) combed through my private parts searching for papuan lice (the crabs) – I unfortunately had at the time. The post I titled “I have a confession to make” and can be read at this URL for anyone wanting to “stick” their noses into my private business: http://www.trupela.com/2006/03/18/i-have-a-confession-to-make/

    Warmest of regards all the way from Papua New Guinea,

    R

  • I think there’s a distinction between revealing personal details and revealing your personality. All blogs need personality, even the professional ones. It’s your personality that helps define the voice of your blog (be it personal or professional). I think to some extent you have to reveal some personal details to help define your online personality.

    For my personal blog (iwilldare.com) I am more apt to reveal emotional details (this made me angry, this is how I feel about X), whereas for my work blog it’s more sort of personal preferences (I like typography, I read a lot of books).

    It’s these kinds of revelations that give context to what I’m writing about (here’s another link about type). For personal bloggers who aren’t willing to reveal some sort of personal emotional detail, I’m not really sure what the point of blogging is.

  • Well, you’ve got at least one article of clothing on that I don’t right now…

    I started out blogging trying to be entirely “passive voice” (if I understand that term correctly), but find as time goes on, the passion I fell about certain issues compels me to reveal more and more about my personal values. I think that is a good thing, as long as I don’t lose perspective and allow it to become an exercise in ego gratification.

  • I don’t explicitly set out to reveal personal details, but I’m not paranoid about visitors figuring out who I am either. There are a fair amount of regular visitors to my blog who know my real name and where I live, etc., because of purchases we’ve made from each other and other transactions.

    At the same time, I don’t make it real obvious where I live or work for the obvious reasons. Having said that, I did get a rather creepy letter mailed to my home last fall. The person was upset because I banned them from my site after some suspicious activity. Since I had never published my home address, or my full name (first, middle, last) I was rather unnerved when the letter showed up with all of that information.

  • Probably around 60%. I have family members, like my wife, who don’t want a large web presence and don’t want me to blog about them. So, whole sections of my life are, essentially, off-limits.

  • I would say that I’ve posted about 90% in the four years I was writing under the name Radio_Lady at the Democratic Underground (2004-2008). Due to the nature of that site (moderated by members and supported by donations), what actually happened was that people were/are banned regularly if they are not “following the rules.” I was one of the many people whose accounts were terminated last summer.

    Now, under my full legal maiden name, I have established my own blog. It’s pretty easy to find out quite a bit about me by either visiting my current site, the archive of my previous journal at the DU, or by putting either Radio_Lady (don’t omit the UNDERSCORE) or Ellen Kimball into a Google search.

    I come from a broadcasting background beginning in 1957 and was one of the first women to do call-in talk radio programs in Miami and Boston. These shows established me as a “relatable and touchable” female personality, and I continue to share my background and thoughts with an Internet audience. I’ve ruffled a few feathers along the way, but I will be 70 years old this year and still have a lot of zest with a large dollop of “I AM WHAT I AM…”

    Warm regards,

    Ellen

  • I have a steadfast rule not to blog about family or work which narrows down the field a bit… this is basically because I’m acutely aware that the audience includes significant volumes of members of both groups of people and would hate for thoughts I couldn’t take back made it into public record.

    However, I don’t reveal my real name or the real names of the characters. So while a bunch of my readers do actually know who I am, and those close might be able to figure it out if they tried. I don’t explicitly give away my real identity. So I guess, the percentage is small…

  • Depends on the blog of course. My blog is a commentary of ongoing events.
    So in order to give my honest opinion, I have to cite real life experiences at times so the reader knows where I’m coming from. As the blog grows, people know a little bit more about me each day. But not too much or else my personal life will take over and the blog to tailspin into another direction.

    So I’d say 35%

  • Up until I had a boyfriend, I was pretty transparent on my blog. And honestly, that’s when I think my best writing came out. I enjoyed it, and so did my readers, and my traffic kept growing.

    I didn’t want my boyfriend or my close family to read about my feelings on my blog, whatever they were, and about whatever subjects. Only because I didn’t want to talk about those things with them, nor did I really want them to know certain thoughts, solely because they were sensitive subjects and I would have to be ready for dealing with the consequences of putting those thoughts out there.

    Because of that, now I feel my blog is a little lacklustre, and I want to go back to how I used to write before. But, I still have to be careful because a lot of people I know, and work with, read my blog. So I really don’t know what to do. Open an anonymous blog? Create another profile? Or not worry?

  • I keep my blog updated with a good portion of my personal life. However, there have always been times that I have knowingly omitted details simply because they don’t belong online.

    What’s there is read is what I wouldn’t mind people reading.

  • Thanks to everyone who has ‘revealed’ their blogging percentage. I’m totally feeling like a 10-percenter today! I realize I go back and forth on this issue like a see-saw!

  • Andrew, I know the feeling. I put up some opinions at another blog and some anonymous creep is just trying to bust my chops.

    I always wonder whether the posted comments would be appropriate if we were sitting face to face? I mean, it’s kind of like “Internet road rage.” Would you diss me if we were in each othere’s REAL presence!

    Good to make your Internet acquaintance!

    EK

  • I would have to say 60-70%, alot of my articles on the entertainment side of my life, my passions in life and not really too personal, although sometimes getting personal does help attract readers, let along connect with them and it makes the article better, however I do know that it isn’t anything too personal, something I will just keep to my self and I blog at a minium on my family.

  • Andrew, I don’t know how I missed this post, but I guess it’s because of the date, if I would see it on 7 my answer wouldn’t be here. 2 nights ago I had a real meditation on this subject since I had a moment when I wanted to share some more personal stuff on my blog. This never happened but the post was written and is well kept in my folder. When I decide to publish it I will link to your post since they are so related.
    Anyway my point is that here in the blogosphere it’s good showing yourself to your readers time to time, it’s a sign of respect. If you have a succesfull blog with many subscribers than this gives them sort of a fan status, and any fan wants to know more about his/her “idol”. Even if it’s a fully professional blog the connection is way better if you let yourself revealed a bit.
    And from a psychological perspective you are more reliable in front of your readers since most of them can’t just meet you in person and see if you really exist or you are just an invention.
    Anyway the subject is really good and deserves more debates which until now missed my way through searches.

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