December 15, 2004

Personal Weblogging Meets the Real World

In the early days of weblogging, we were all personal bloggers. It was only with the second wave of bloggers, those who chose to construct their writing around growing religious extremism and a bright and shiny new war, that personal weblogging took a back seat to punditry and proselytizing in political and war blogging, closely followed by their friends, the business bloggers.

I respect finely-tuned weblogs. I just don't enjoy reading them. Because something is invariably missing. And that would be the blogger himself or herself.

Because we were fewer in numbers back in 2001, bloggers were, by their very nature, personal. As we hyperlinked across what was a more intimate territory, we came to know and care about those with whom we jammed. That was then, before blogging grew up and became famous.

This, of course, is now.

Now I struggle to remain personal here. With a growing business--and even growing interest from clients in weblogging--I should be writing about, well, business. Marketing stuff, PR stuff. Recent developments. Caveats. Trends. You know, important stuff.

But I don't. And when I do, I don't sustain it for long. And that's because my business is not all that I am.

I'm also a mom. An ex-smoker. A recent griever of a dead pet. A Sicilian. A sister. A child who lost her dad when she was only six. A surgery survivor. A horse lover. A woman who thinks about death three times a day. A finger picker. An occasional Xanax needer. Someone who can keep better time than most drummers. A partner of nearly 20 years to my husband. A liberal. A mixed-marriage contender. A reader. A writer. A 42-year-old with quickly graying hair. A woman who has lost a relationship with her mother and has found herself. Someone who doesn't cry often enough. Someone who wishes she laughed more.

That is what interests me about sustained writing online. It is when we reveal, little by little, all of the parts and pieces, some jagged some smooth, some ghoulish some gorgeous, of who we are. And even better, when we find some of those missing pieces through the act of blogging.

It happens.

It's beautiful.

It keeps me here.

I'm not interested in one-dimensional weblogs that feature punditry, business, or politics, because webloggers have begun to hide behind their ideals. They post HTML and leave their heart locked in chains 5 inches thick. They want certainty, not the openness of "what if...?" They want neatly plowed fields, not crop circles. They want a sure thing, not a "we'll see." And they are very big on what they see as decorum and integrity. This is how they hide. This is urging weblogging toward the ho-hum, business-as-usual, mainstream.

That's fine for them. But it's not for me.

So, hello clients or future clients who've wandered in. I know from my site meter and Google that you've been here. I really ought to adjust my prose accordingly. But I'm more happy for you to know me.

And now you know me a little bit better.

Stick around here, and you'll know me way too well.