15 January 2007

On Blogging

I’ve been blogging nearly continuously for 3 years now. So, naturally, I’ve given some thought to why I do this. I started my first blog when I went to business school in Vienna in 2004. It was intended as a way for my friends & family to keep up with what I am doing without sending out individual emails (or pestering anyone with bulk emails.) As such, it was successful; my audience grew by word of mouth to include all kinds of friend, family, acquaintances, former colleagues, and classmates. Granted, it was not a steady audience (expect my mother, who would ask my father every morning if I had written anything new,) but this is the beauty of a blog: friends who had “not visited [my] blog in a while” could easily catch up, since a month’s worth of post can be easily read in one sitting. However, one important person I found out that I am writing for is myself—specifically my “future self.” It turns out my blog is also my diary; I actually enjoy reliving the heady days of grad school, for example, by reading something I wrote a year or two ago. Of course, I would not actually write a diary (that is something only teenage girls do,) so blogging for an audience is an incentive for writing my personal history. However, this dual usage leads to some conflict, namely self-censorship. Due to the broad audience that could potentially read my blog, I often have to choose my words carefully. It’s not that I lead a particularly scandalous life, I just don’t want to bore my audience most of the time (sometimes, though, I do nerd out for the sake of my brothers.) Never the less, many times I redact large portions of what I write in Microsoft Word before I even post it (which, by the way, is good advice for you students out there: don’t write up to a minimum word count; write past it, then cut out the weak portions, leaving only the good stuff.) The other issue is that some characters that make up this ongoing story of my life like to maintain a lower profile. I have little compunction about sharing my life on the Internet, but I’ve found that some people don’t like the idea of me writing about or posting pictures of them on my site. Therefore, I have become more guarded—practically, I have adopted a first-name only policy. One particular young lady was made it clear that she did not want to appear here, but recently has relented, and even ask “why am I not on your blog?” So—without further ado—here is my girlfriend, Mirena.

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