Notes from ‘Vaspers the Grate’

Still catching up. Couple of linked and interesting posts on the Vaspers the Grate blog.

Firstly: You are not a Blog.

The problem is that some bloggers think a blog is a means of self-expression, that a blog is a mirror that can reflect their moods and minutiae.

“Minutiae” means little unimportant details. Mundane trivia. Random drivel. Boring chatter. In short: self-expression for the sake of self-expression.

Some bloggers think they are a blog. They think whatever they are, this is what should go into their blogs. They are a blog and their blog is them. Wrong.

Blogs may have been perverted into exhibitionistic, narcissistic, monotonous accounts of feelings, opinions, and ideas.

The blog began as a web log. Log means list. A blog was originally just a list of web site URLs and other internet resources, with only enough commentary to clarify the nature or value of the listed items.

In the beginning, the blog was impersonal, cold, dry, unemotional. And this was good.

Original bloggers did not write about the movie they saw last night, their favorite music, or how they felt about anything. They were not seeking to reveal their inner selves or personal lives.

The early blogs were guides, not to the blogger’s private thoughts and feelings, but to the online realm.

This is good advice, and which I really could do with heeding sometimes. Hell, I’m doing it now, dammit. Still, I may as well carry on. I don’t blog anything to do with my personal life, I wouldn’t want to and I really don’t think anyone would be interested. But I would make the point here that just because a blog doesn’t do this:

A successful blog will share information with others.

It will be personal primarily in the sense of “Here’s what I discovered in my research” or “Here’s what my opinion is about this topic, based on my long experience or technical training or professional expertise.”

it doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t informative or, indeed, interesting and therefore worth blogging.

Still, this point was expanded upon in another post, Dangers of Personal Blogging. 3 such dangers are provided:

  • Alienating Employers
  • Attracting Stalkers
  • Enabling Identity Theft

Scary stuff indeed! Both these posts are well worth reading in full – even if you don’t agree with them, the style is very engaging and plenty of supporting and useful links are provided. Good stuff indeed.

One thought on “Notes from ‘Vaspers the Grate’”

  1. Thank you for saying nice things about my two most controversial and hotly debated posts ever.

    I’ve been bored by business and professional blogs, some that are famous, which for some unknown and unknowable reason, load all kinds of private info into the posts, vacation reports, notes on restaurants, photos of children, favorite rock band CD reviews, etc.

    I considered it clutter, and decided the blogs were decreasing in practical value, so I quit visiting them.

    Then, I discovered the horrors of some real dangers of personal blogging: child predators who love reading about where the blogger lives, what schools, what church, what employer is connected with the blogger.

    Or relationships that have resulted in nervous breakdowns due to one party blogging intimate details of lover.

    Or identity theft enablement. Or stalkers, rapists, other enemies gleaning good private data.

    Irate employers. Angry co-workers. etc.

    Thanks for helping me caution bloggers to the realities.

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