Friday, October 29, 2004

Le Raison d'être du blog

Aside from Randy -- hi Randy! -- and his friends who may stumble on to this blog from a link on his blog, I don't think that any of my personal friends read this blog.

Which is by design, to an extent, because I haven't really advertised its existence to many people. Randy knows about mine just because he's the one who turned me on to blogging on this site to begin with. But most of my other friends don't know that I do this.

Of the friends that do know, most of them have responded well, asking me to share with them the URL of this site. Of course, they usually do so in a setting where it's not easy for me to tell them without them forgetting, so they usually just say that I should email them the link later. And I usually don't, and they usually don't follow up.

In a previous post, the aforementioned Randy (wow, twice in one post!) mentioned the strange and unique interplay between the intimate and the distant that results from a public blog. You share whatever personal insights you want with a slew of strangers potentially entering your mind. And he's right -- I've done my fair share of invading blogs of random strangers and they, in turn, have graced my blog with their comments -- but I'm left to wonder what purpose this blog should be serving.

The more I think about it, the more I find it difficult to find reasons I'd want to share this blog with more friends. To wit:

1: If only random strangers are reading your blog, you don't have to censor yourself when you want to say bad things about someone you know. I've blogged about many of my friends on this blog: Josh, Ben, Debra, Lora, Mark, Chad, Rob, John, Joe, Jen, Chris, Liz, Linda, Sue, Christine, just to name a few. But what if I feel like complaining about something one or the other of them did or said? Of course, my style is not so much to bitch just for bitching's sake, but still, after I reach the generalized point, the fact remains that if the person I'm bitching about reads my blog at all, there could be some uncomfortable moments.

2: The friends you're able to talk to whenever you want to should not have to find out what you're thinking and how your mind works by reading your blog. Those people should be finding out more about you by hanging out with you, talking to you, and engaging in conversation with you. I've never met Peter or Matthew (who are the most frequent commenters on this blog), and they live half way across the country from me. We have not exchanged phone numbers or email addresses. The only way these people are going to get to know me is by reading my blog, and I by reading theirs. There's no such excuse for Debra to have to read my blog to know what I'm thinking.

3: None of the two above have anything to do with you, Randy. Because you're just a fluke, and you're cool, and I have never once had to censor myself with respect to anything I might want to say about you.

If anyone reading this has any comments which may explain why it's a great idea to let your friends read your blog, feel free to comment below.

1 comment:

p.p. said...

Dennis!, interesting post. I've actually written about this topic as well. Of my close friends, only two of them know about my blog, and I had to force them to set up blogs before I gave them the URL (although they have stopped blogging). No one in my immediate family knows, which is strange because I consider myself quite open with my family.

But I don't see myself telling them in the near future either. My blog is my own personal outlet to release some frustrations.