Workshop Topic #1: Identity and Obligation:
- How do you decide what aspects of your identity you will reveal in your blog: culture, sexual orientation, political ideology, religion?
I decided when I started this blog that I wanted it to have a specific focus: parenting and random geekery. While I discuss anxiety issues and depression, I really don’t want this blog to turn into a de facto therapist or a self-pity party. I spend more time on the entries I post here than the ones I’d put in a LiveJournal or a paper journal. I want to give a pretty balanced view of what it’s like in my world.
I also don’t talk much about my extended family or my childhood, and that’s deliberate as well. I say nothing in this blog that I wouldn’t be comfortable saying to someone’s face. I’m not suggesting that snark has no place in the blogosphere; I’m just saying I know my family reads this blog.
Anything else, though, is fair game.
- How do you feel about using your real name? Your childrensâ€™ names?
I was uncomfortable about this at first, but the more I used this blog as a sopabox, the more I found myself self-referencing. At that point it seemed silly to be vigilant with the aliases. I still alternate between real names and the ones I made up, but that’s just because I like them. Also, it makes me feel a little like a superhero. That’s not so wrong, is it?
Seriously, Not So (or Matt, if you prefer) and I have discussed at length how comfortable we are with using real names and photographs of ourselves and the kid, and we both pretty much agree that it’s not an issue for us. I think if either of us was not okay with it the aliases would be a lot more important.
- If you blog about your race, religion, etc, – or even a personallydifficult time of your life – do you feel it opens you (and your family) up to attack and/or do you feel it is a wonderful way to promote acceptance and diversity?
I think it’s a little of both. My blog doesn’t get a lot of traffic so I haven’t (yet) had to deal with any personal attacks or judgments, but I’m very aware of that potential every time I post. And that’s a good thing. It makes me more aware of how I present myself, but at the same time forces me to take a certain amount of pride in my own honesty. If I’m posting something, I stand behind it.
Workshop Topic #2: From Here to Autonomy:
- Do you have any tips for turning your blogging into a full-time career? Are you interested in â€œblogging for a living?â€
I wish I had tips. I suspect it has something to do with ads. So far I’ve managed to maintain a nose-in-the-air disdain for ads on my site, but I have a feeling the siren-song of easy income will eventually wear me down.
I’d love to be able to make money from my writing (in any form – blogging’s just getting the most out of me these days). I miss being published. Getting paid for what I write somehow makes it feel more legitimate.
- How can you use a blog to drive traffic to another web site or business venture?
I actually think that blogging’s great for giving exposure to a business venture. It’s the ultimate word-of-mouth. I’m firmly of the belief that every business should have some form of blog attached to it, if for no other reason than to give a “face” to the relative anonymity of a web site. Have a blog, and then use the blog’s URL whenever you post in a forum or comment on someone else’s entries. If nothing else, it provides a degree of name recognition.
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