BloggerCon IV, Day 1: Emotional Life

 Lisa Williams Lisa Williams' in archive.">

 story...how I came to the 'sphere to be alone and ended up with all you folks.

 weird thought: bloggercon is my home.

 went here to be alone because I've always done something like blogging. had a diary with a lock. blog born out of privacy crisis. boyfriend read diary and used it against me. hate to find that suddenly your cool new feature is a comments section.

 sat down one day and discovered a blog tool, and looked at the blank screen thikming, 'am I going to do this?'

 a blog is inherently public, not private.

 thought "I;'m going to out myself before anybody else can."

 sentence from >6 years ago... (can't keep up) "I don't give a flying fuck about your proprieties little man..." don't know if i could write that entry today...

 from the very beginning I knew I was doing something in public.

 from the beginning my experience I went to the blogosphere to be alone. desert island blogging. every day i'd scratch something with palm tree bark and cast it into the ocean in one of the endless supply of bottles and corks.

 then somethingn strange happened. first I got comments. then a year of zeros. then another comment. a bottle washed up on shore. not only did it wash up on your beach... regading your missive of april 18...

 challenge for today. Why do you blog? What's the most serious and personal thing you've ever blogged? what's the best personal experience you've ever had?


 Jeremiah: Hugh MacLeod says he blogs for the money, stupid. I blog for my career as a web strategist.

 Terry: near and dear ... on April 15 I found my wife dead on the bathroom floor. married 18 months. she was 41.

 first couple of hours. rush of things. going to the hospital. nothingn in life prepares you for that. Frightened beyond anything you can imagine.

 Got back from the hospital. made a blog entry. knew of nothing else to do but write about it. What happened in the hours and days following that was stunning.

 I received so many condolances. 246 comments on that post alone. At least as many emails.

 the community held me up.

 When I go around to television stations I tell them that what they miss is that the blogosphere is a community ],. a social phenomenon more than a tech phenomomenon.

 my writing about allie, right after she died, and the days and weeks afterwards, has not gone over well with members of the family. It's something I have to deal with. But I don't know what I would have done, in those hours especially. immediate support. from readers of my blog. How it got around so quickly.

 this is often overlooked in all of the discussions about hte blogosphere.

 we meet at core. that's highly unusual.

 Again, thanks to everybody.


 Lisa: I had a similar thing... i found my dad dead too. but I closed off. did not have the capacity to respond. I put most of the entry behind a (more, extended entry ) tag... pretty graphic.

 Most people have absolutely no idea how they'll react, or what to do. it's tremendously helpful...

 Chris Pirillo: I've led a very public life online. Had a very bloggerish spirit before the platform was developed. Was writing Lockergnome for more than a decade. My personal life was there. many people knew that I was married and that the relationship was one of the things I wrote about. it was one of the more difficult things to write to reveal that (the personal life I presented was not what was going on). i was the bad guy. I got called every name in the book.

 i wanted to protect Ponzi.

 People only know who you are online.

 Good that Ponzi wanted to also blog and be online.

 Ponzi: I'm still fumbling. one of the items that stands out is that I opened up about a vacation I was on. And this was a way of not being alone. I didn't think about what would happen. It got uglyl. People attacked him, and me. Few helpful thoughts.

 Daveto Terry: did anybody attack you.

 Terry: a nemesis of Glenn 'Reynolds attacked, but many game to my defense. I've heard stories from people who benefited from reading my story.

 Shannon: as a desert blogger, I don't know if anybody ever reads what I write. It is wierd because without that feedback loop it's hard to keep up. If I post something dramatic, I won't get 200 comments.

 Martin: I kind of come at it from the opposite angle. My blogging is about my professional life. I keep my family and everything not compartmentalized out of the blog. But... when I see an injustice. Like when somebody released code for breaking into cisco routers... I became involved. this was profesional.

 Doc: also de-perswonalized the family side of the blog after coming out as a pacifist, etc.

 Lisa: the blog won't be "I,I,I."

 "don't blog what you don't own" maxim. part of it is living up to the trust you have with friends and family.

 Niall: has taken references to (some people) off the website, for reasonable reasons. There are also benefits, say, to naming names.

 Rex Hammock: I refer to my kids, butnot by name. want to leave that up to them. had a friend who used caringbridge.org. bloglike but for that special case. it's good to have someplace else to go.

 Will: I was cut by both sides of the sword. I blogged a post about a friend who died hitting a tree, and brought together many people who are now dear friends. Fast forward to a month ago, when (story about girlfriend, youtube). (Wasn't good.) Understand how I have to carefully manage my public life. Not willing to pay the public price of having everybody know what's going on in my life.

 Lisa: there is a huge interplay between blogs and careers. went from anonymous to number one hit for my name. Maybe I have pre-fired myself from hundreds of blogs.

 Liz: I think more of what happens to Will will happen to all of us. Hope the more transparent people's lives become, the less difficult these issues will be. Companies should be afraid to hire people whose characters are unknown (what kind of human being they are).

 Lisa: my spin on that for myself was, I had to give up complaiing about people when I went from paper to blog. this was good. It does provide a discipline around examining my own thoughts... asking "am I full of crap"?

 Kevin Marks: something I've found is that I'm shy and not quick to walk up to people, so blogging was very helpful as an ice-breaker. I now come to a place like this where i know people already, with common things we can talk about.

 Lisa: wonderful nice gradual thing into friendship. I've used up my lifetime supply of smalltalk. Cut to the chase.

 Christi (sp?): had blog for ten. for months didn't know who was reading it. blog post about a sinus infection. didn't realize it that a friend who gets a lot of reads. so others first interaction was to my sinus infection. instead of marketing blogs, it was all about my drip. So my 15 minutes of fame was some I didn't really want. since I've rectified it with warts-and-all. Shock to be judged by one thing I wrote. important forum for me. telling my own story. very liberating.

 Lisa: I've made mistakes with linking. such as linking to a friend whose mother didn't know about it. And later got fired because of her blog.

 Chris Heuer: I;m going to out myself (before Christy does). Soimetimes I don't replace the toilet paper.

 Robert: emotion is also anger. i work with an organization with attorneys who represent bloggers. Every single day I get an email from somebody who is being sued for somethingn they wrote in a blog. Not only is there an awareness of blogging, but there are also these big lawsuits. Defamation. And they don't always have a good case.

 Jeremiah: that's contrary to what we've been told.

 Robert: I'm saying that a guy I talked to three days ago is being sued for $1 million for what he wrote in a lawsuit. He quit law school to fight the case. and will spend tens of thousands of dollars over years before it settles. Bad all around. It might be wise to incorporate your blog, so that if you get sued, you keep your house.

 Chris Pirillo: you have to look forward to future relationships.

 ___: want people to know what my personality is. but my wife feels differently. (unhappy story follows. also happy.) I have to temper my story, and mixing personal and professional lives, and those of the spouse and kid.

 Lisa: At SXSW there were lots of fans of Flickr there, and I found that people are insensitive about willingness of others to have their kids shot and posted.

 Jory: My blog has helped me clean up my relationships. I will never embarrass someone more than I embarrass myself. My family was not that communicative before I started blogging. My mother (Joy of Six) blogs. People say "did yoiu read your mom's blog?" brought more transparency to my life.

 Elisa: I don't write about my relationship. thre are times when my blog is ... writing things down is different than talking about things. About 9/11. I've told the story many times. On the third aniversary I wrote it down. Parts of the story I had never said out loud... I still get emotional about it. I didn't get a lot of comments on them. There was something about sharing the heigthened emotional experience of that time... haven't read it since, but glad I did it.

 Mary Hodder: years back in Eastern Europe, husbands and wives tracked each other offline, and now we're blabbing all this on our blogs volundarily.

 Lisa: My blog is called "Learning the lessons of Nixon". It's a record of my crimes.

 Jay Rosen: I don't write anything about my personal life, ever. but. blogging is still a very emotional thing, even if it isn't private. I think most of us blog for reasons of freedom. we want the freedom to write about the things we think need addressing. that's what this country is about. the freedom to say what you want is to be what you are. Second, my career went well be3fore I blogged. I had tenure. I was reasonably satisfiecd. But in orde3 to become a published writer, I had to deal with editors. I had to pass my beliefs through an editor. very, really frustrating. There were things Ithought had to be said that they didn't understand. So a lot of anger built up in me, just for having to accomodate me. So thaqt is one of the emotions that have gone into my blog. The freedom to say what you want is the freedom to create yourself online. this is attrreactive to peopole. Limitless self-creation.

  one more thing. I am a big fan and student of Hannah Arendt. Learning the lessons of Arendt. She swaid it was very dangerous for jews in germany to lose the capacity to think poltically. Jews in germany thought they were german. the germans thought they were jewish. If you can't read the currents, and seeing through the news, you can lose your life. I think this is true for everybody. If you can't read the news and figure out what's going oin, you can lose everything, even your life. We all have to learn how to think politically. We all have to learn to discern what's going on. It's extrememlyemotinoal because it's aobut self-preserfvation.

 Lisa: I like Jay's "little first amendment machine" also Dave's "Unedited voice of a person." I'm backing up the only part of me that *can* be backed up. It will outlive me.

 Marc: a shout out to my wife, who is a mommy blogger, and I love her for it.

 ___: I blog about errands and things I need to do with my house. things I need to do this week. Later I look back... or when friends notice...

 Lisa: I have a friend who says his blog is a great medium for self-teaching through shame.

 Nick bradbury: I've been bloggingn for a couple of years and it gave me papuse to think about what kids could read later. My kid will know me in a way that most kids won't know their dad.

 Lisa: there are a ton of 13 year old bloggers, and none in the 13th century.

  .. there is now one billion times more historical information than there was in the past.

 Lisa: Blogs are a way to try to preserve our humanity

 Martin: the NSA and others are harvesting information from all this. we're not just blogging for our friends.

 Sylvia: hannah arendt said that in all totalitarian societies one was prevented from speaking. (german something) our thoughts are our own.



Last update: Friday, June 23, 2006 at 8:17:01 PM Eastern. Number of updates: 21.