Eric Gunnerson asks about things on his blog that he’d prefer people don’t mention in a large group. Having a weblog is a window into your life that you are making public. However, you have complete control over what you choose to reveal. Most bloggers are not being pursued by paparazzi. Most of us have very private lives. Even high profile bloggers, such as Mark Cuban and Wil Wheaton, have private lives that they don’t reveal on their blogs.
I have chosen to remain mostly anonymous on my blog. I develop for a small, privately held software company, the name of which I choose not to reveal. I occasionally discuss experiences from work, but in a general way, to avoid the possiblity of any backlash. I don’t reveal too much personal information.
I think of the weblog as a conversation at a big party. I don’t say things that I wouldn’t say in the company of strangers. Eric says he doesn’t like the idea of people taking his words and repeating them to others. Would Eric have revealed that he likes Jane Austen novels at a party? If one of the revelers had repeated that later, would it have bothered him?
The real question, from the viewpoint of Sigmund Freud, is why is it bothersome at all? If you’re secure in your self, why should it bother you?
I know some people who are very private and don’t like others to know much about them. These people are not maintaing weblogs. You shouldn’t maintain a weblog unless you are secure in yourself and your beliefs.
Update: With Eric worrying about public vs. private, I wonder what Don Box thinks about this post?