When I started blogging in 2001, a lot of us, including this blogger rightcheer, were exercising our voices, trying out anything and everything, even though most of us were already someone someplace else, to see what sounded right on the mic, to figure out why we were talking and who else was talking with us. To listen and be listened to. To have a say. To make joke. To grab some joy where we could still find it.
quieter than podcasting. what we were doing was writing--except louder.
As with any trend-yet-to-be, the miniland of blogs was populated by many passionate, caring, and probably pretty stupid (considering google would, you know, rise to become sort of a famous entity and you know sort of keep a record of everything you ever said and stuff) clowns.
If I would have known that then, and a few did certainly, that everything said would become a prominent part of the net's searchable record, I wouldn't have written a single word differently.
I didn't know. I could barely figure out what an archive did.
Would you change anything?
I'm glad I have a record that stands the test of time for me. Even my less proud moments, when I was goaded into a fight here or there, or revealed things of a way-way personal nature, or met Joi Ito and earned his respect by using the phrase "emergent shit from your anus," well, I'm glad I did all of that. Every letter. Because that was our context.
And my blog--rather than being about this or that or this for sure or that for sure--is my context.
The people who see what we do here as distasteful now aren't changing the rules. No matter how badly they want the net to conform. Because there are no rules. There is no net. And they get so angry that the way it is is the way it is.
SO, if I need to prove that by channeling my early blogself every day or every week or every post, I will. I'll do my part to keep our values different from our offline proxies,
In fact, if I have to tell one or ten people to kiss my ass each month, then I will. And if I have to kiss an ass, I'm not beyond that, but you better believe I'll be transparent about it. And if I make a joke out of it, well, you'll forgive me. Or laugh Coke out of your nose. Either way is a win-win now, isn't it?
Would it be easier for my clients if I didn't piss anyone off? If I shut up a little more often?
It would be a lot easier to shut up. To not take any risks. To write byline articles here that matter about a whole lot less than the fact that I ate oven-baked chicken nuggets with my sick kid for dinner, just before I stuffed a crumble of phenegren down her gullet because she feels 'throw-upy.'
I don't think I'd have clients if I didn't piss anyone off. If I just shut up. If I was tasteful and elegant 24/7.
Take a stand. Write your stand.
Go to the place where you know who you are--and write that place. No not that sweet place where everyone likes you and grandma bakes you muffins, that OTHER place where you make yourself vulnerable and get swiped at and bullied and claw back like a cat. Not the place where you're oh-so-smart, but the place where you risk being wrong. Go there. Write from there. Not necessarily ABOUT it, but from that place. Once a week? Can you still? Can you still get back there? How often do you do it? Afraid you won't find your way back out? Chicken.
Don't close off that node, don't destroy that path back, keep that connection open. It's who you are, and it's how you have always related to the people you know online who HAPPEN to work in powerful positions in business and technology, or not, and who HAPPEN to be moms or grandfathers who HAPPEN to like dance or to take pictures and who HAPPEN to have cancer or love scrabble, and who HAPPEN to hike mountains or fly planes, and who HAPPEN to play cello or love sex, and who HAPPEN to be the brother you never knew you had or the sister you wish had lived past 10 years of age.
It's how we build meaning between and among one another.
If you close that connection, if you seal off that node, you might as well not be here at all.