Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Blogging Tips

I've been thinking about 'rules' of blogging in the last few weeks. Now that I'm a blogger, I'm on the constant look-out for interesting things to write about. Through the day, I file away incidents I witness, things I hear people say and ideas I read as possible topics for new posts. On more than one occasion, I have been very tempted to write somewhat disparaging posts about people I know. A key question is how far can you go in a blog. I write under just my first name, so it's tempting to think that I can get away with a lot. However, it's a small world and Lagos is an even smaller place, so it would be fairly easy to put two and two together and figure out my real-life identity.

One blogger learnt the lessons of blogging in a very painful way. She talked trash about her colleagues at work and was fired when the proverbial s*** hit the fan. From this experience, she came up with some blogging tips. While these seem like pure common sense (the first two especially), I know how easy it is to get carried away by the opportunity to make your opinions heard in cyberspace, forgetting that RL (Real Life) and cyberspace are really not that far apart:
1. Blog anonymously if you feel like you should be able to say anything about anyone. Even then, there's no guarantee that the person you wrote that horrible thing about won't find your website, put two and two together, and your life, if just momentarily, will be made awful.
2. If you choose to blog under your own name never write anything about anyone in your life that you wouldn't say to them face to face. This is the best way to blog and still maintain good relationships with your family and friends.
3. You will receive hateful email if you publish an email address. After the first hateful email you will want to stop blogging. Everyone goes through this.
4. You don't have to be a fantastic writer to have a website that people will want to read. Just make sure that what you have to say is honest and has soul.


DQueenb said...

Ore...very interesting topic, it inspired my most recent entry. I dont like being anonymous...I think its cowardly and at the same time I dont want to hurt no body. Its weird but I get mostly fan mail and occasionally some self righteous asswipe will offer unsolicited advice but its all good I'll take some bitter with the sweet.

Ore said...

Hi dqueenb, I'll have to check out your newest entry.

My initial thought about anonymous blogging used to be somewhat similar to yours. However, I have read a number of anonymous blogs, which changed my mind.

I think it can be very difficult for many people to put their intimate feelings and thoughts out there. Writing under an assumed name or anonymously can be extremely liberating. I think that if that is the easiest way for a person to express themselves, well, then that's perfectly cool. On the other hand, when people hide behind that shield of anonymity in order to make cruel or disparaging remarks, well then that's really cowardly.

It's Just My Opinion said...

Very interesting topic. I had a person I know almost get in trouble over the same issue-it hurt her so badly that she completely erased her blog and stopped writing altogether. I agree with the whole concept of not saying it on the web if you are not willing to share it in person.