13 August 2010

ANON

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I just finished watching The Sex Blog Girls. If you didn't catch it tonight on SBS then it's about a bunch of women around the globe who have written sex blogs and in particular Zoe Margolis and her blog Girl with a one track mind. It's a blog I've been reading for about 4 years now and it was a great read, she rarely updates it these days spending most of her time on twitter. The thing is that Zoe wrote her blog for quite a few years anonymously until she was, quite rudely, exposed by the good old English press. Check out the doco if you can, it's good.

What it did though was make me think about my blog and my level of anonymity. I started blogging in Jan 2005 a full year after Zoe began hers. I never set out to be completely anonymous, I wasn't writing about any sexual exploits, I wasn't hiding from being exposed, I wasn't dishing dirt about real people, I wasn't famous, so I don't really have much reason to hide. That said I certainly didn't set out to advertise who I was, in fact I hardly ever posted a picture of myself on here (still rarely do actually). I guess deep down I still want to maintain a certain level of privacy.

Nor am I getting millions of hits on here so the chances of being recognised by someone are extremely low. My piddly 1500 or so hits a month certainly sorts that out. But it has happened a few times, as recently as last week in fact when a reader dropped me a note saying that they saw me at the local shops. They even mentioned what it was I was buying (a cupcake haha - well it was for a girlfriend on her birthday, honest!) It's inevitable that locally I may be spotted as I write and photograph mostly stuff that happens in my hood. So people can quickly put two and two together. I've done it myself, I've recognised a blogger who's blog I read often. I first noticed her sitting in her car across from me at a set of traffic lights. Kind of a sleepy early morning stare when all of a sudden "Hmm isn't that such and such?" and it was. I pass/see her at least twice a month as we both head to work in different directions. But I've never approached her, waved to her or mentioned it on her blog because for me to do that would be a bit odd I. You see there's still a bit of a barrier there for me between reader and writer, whether I be either, that I would find hard to cross unless I was sure it was acceptable they wanted to actually meet me or if I wanted them to meet me. It's a bit hard to explain but I'm sure you get my drift.

When you start writing a blog it's inevitable that you will expose part of yourself, you have to if you're going to be writing about yourself that's bleeding obvious. But you do still get to control the level of exposure to a point. I mean if I didn't want to be recognised I wouldn't put any pictures of myself on here would I, nor any of my friends. I do think that if my friends and family didn't know of my blog it would possibly be a different blog. I find I self censor a bit more through knowing some of my readers, but not too much. My mother is worldly enough to have heard the word "fuck" before and my friends trust me enough to know I would never write anything on here to put them in an uncomfortable or compromising position. This is not an outlet for my dirty laundry, in fact I rarely post anything very private, I don't really mention anything about anyone I may be dating, I expose only so much on here. I kind of leave that bit of my private life, well just that, private. So I guess I won't be getting a 6 figure book deal anytime soon because there's nothing in here that's very titillating or earth shattering.

What does concern me though is that as more and more people do read my blog and in the past year the readership has doubled, is the nutters. I try not to censor any comments made on a post but I have deleted a couple. I guess trolls come with the territory, but it's the nutter trolls that do concern me. Another blog I read is written by a Canadian blogger called Raymi and she scores a fair share of haters, but she accepts it as coming with the territory. Raymi lives pretty openly on her blog, she's a full time blogger, it's her job for the most part, yet she's posted about it being hard to avoid feeling something when people really attack her. Let's face it humans can be cruel and on the flip side humans can be hurt even when they say they aren't. I've been lucky so far in as much as my trolls have come across as quite sad individuals, so it slides past me easily enough.

Anyway this post doesn't have any real point, I just felt the need to write something after watching Zoe's doco. Stay happy! Oh and any fellow bloggers who may read this I'd love to read your thoughts on the topic, you can sign with a fake name if you want ;)

13 comments:

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

Interesting post to read after watching the show last night too. Deciding to start showing my face on my blog after having not done so previously was not too difficult a decision to make seeing as most people who know me know about my blog, I'm not exactly setting the media world ablaze, and what I like to eat and cook doesn't involve too many dirty secrets (or at least none that I've shared).

I self censor, sure, given how much I swear in real life and also given that I realise what I type is going down for all time and my strong opinions about things can be at times fleeting.

I just felt so sad for Zoe after hearing her say if she could take it all back and maintain her anonymity, she would. Might keep that sordid side project blog on the backburner..

Stu said...

ha yeah keep it on hold. I have often thought about starting another completely anon blog, but I just couldn't be arsed, who has the time

erin said...

Well said, both Conor & Stu (whose real name in my mind is in fact Yelpar).

I was semi-anonymous when I started. I didn't use my real name, but I didn't hold back about 'real life' details such as posting pics of my suburb or talking about places and events I'd been to and what not. No one I knew personally read my blog in the early days... in fact no one at all read it, haha.

As I realised that it wasn't just a phase and that I was going to keep blogging, I became more comfortable with exposing my 'real self', full name and photographs and all. I'm more hesitant about revealing things such as where I live, in light of that, but it's a fair trade in my mind.

I definitely censor myself to a degree - I have an absolutely disgusting mouth in real life (something I am trying hard to curb. I'm pretty sure I'd offend sailors) and I know that a lot of my family and friends read my blog now. It's never been a place for me to dish dirt on family and friends and partners though -- I think I -one- posted something nasty about a friend of mine who was treating me like crap, but I never, ever used his name (he knew it was about him, though, and I'd spoken to him about the situation already). In my opinion, my blog's not about that. Sure, I get my rant on, but I don't need to use it as a space for hurting anyone.

I get quite a few comments from nutters but generally either delete them or attempt to start a fight. If they don't place nice, then I delete them. Luckily most of my comments come from other lovely bloggers and it's all nice and happy, and I'm totally down with that!

Gregoryno6 said...

I've been careful about what I give out on my blog - but then, not many really give a toss about the online mumblings of a near 50-yo old male. Especially one who's still somewhere around 27 inside his head.
As it happens I was a target for an overly zealous blogger this morning. He took exception to one word which I had ***ed myself anyway. Deleted the whole post and scolded me in print! I'm still scratching my head.
Maybe I mocked the ranga queen once too often...

Stu said...

whoa! some people take shit way too seriously

Anonymous said...

why r u going to start an anal blog ?? oh anon , anonymous , sorry my bad
was going to cross the floor and say high , last time i was in perth ,
butt you've called me a trool ,
and I ain't sad - Robol

Stu said...

haha worst comment ever Reb

and the hellos are fine, its the cruel cruel words that bring a tear to mah eye

Anonymous said...

how did u know it was me ...

Stu said...

cos you said "anal"

Ranx said...

That's funny, i was pretty sure i saw you at the Queens a while back and felt...awkward, i suppose describes it best.

p.s. I'm not stalking you all of a sudden, it's just that i can access blogspot from work again :-)

Stu said...

Ha! at the Queens then yeah it would have been me. Hey I'm cool with a hello, I hope my post makes that clear, no matter how awkward hehe

tiff said...

Was it me?! Next time just wave! But here's a warning, i may look awake but i'm not THAT awake at 9 in the mornings. My brain is functioning at the promise of coffee.

Stu said...

hahaha YEP!!

I see you mostly at Vincent and Charles st lights or there about and yeah you do look asleep ;)