Friday, January 27, 2006

Almost Outed!

Well, it wasn’t almost but I had a good scare. Wait, I guess I should clarify the title to this blog entry. I’m not referring to my sexual orientation. I am heterosexual, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of, right? I’m talking about my blog. I don’t tell anybody locally about my blog because I enjoy writing with a certain amount of anonymity. It’s a small town and I would not enjoy it if people at work or the market commented to me on what I write on my blog. I’m not even really sure why I wouldn’t like it, I just know I wouldn’t.

Anyway, there is a free weekly newspaper published here. I’m sure all towns have at least one, and several have several. You know the type I’m talking about. They are free, printed on newsprint, and are usually piled up near the door of coffee houses, delis, and bagel shops. I read this one only on occasion. If something catches my eye on the cover I may investigate but other than that it is not something I leaf through on a regular basis. Well, the issue that came out this week had the front page article entitled, “Humboldt Blogs and the Blogging Bloggers Who Blog Them”.

(As a side note, I love the title. It seems to be a take off of the Al Fraken book, “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right”)

On the cover was a large picture of a Blogger blog. It was one of Blogger’s standard formats but not the one I use. As a lot of you may know, when you go to your profile in Blogger and you click on your city name you get a list of all the blogs in that city. I’ve done this a few times to see what other bloggers there are in Eureka. There is not much to chose from. I would say there are less than 20 and most of them are the type that were created and after a few entries are forgotten. Naturally, I see a Blogger blog on the cover and I know the state of most Eureka blogs, so I think there’s a good chance I’ve been outed.

The problem with my initial reaction, if it is a problem, and guess it’s not, is that Eureka is not the only city in the county and Blogger is not the only way to create a blog. After I started to read the article I quickly realized that the local blogosphere is much larger than just those 20 or so mostly forgotten Eureka blogs I see when I click on the link in my profile. Whew!

The article goes on to say that they are not even attempting to catalog all the blogs in the county. As it turns out they only really profile a few. As you may have already guessed they really only talk about the political blogs and the blogs that spotlight the local music scene. Sometimes, if you listen to the media you would think that the only blogs there are out there are political blogs. To be honest, I shudder a bit when I hear a news reporter on TV report on something that was written in a blog. That’s not reporting people!

I think that as a house blogger I have a false impression of how popular or unpopular a lot of blogs really are. The houseblog web ring brings people to my blog that are already mildly interested in what I’ve written even before they read it. I mean, you’ve read the blurb and you clicked on the link. If it wasn’t for houseblogs I doubt I would be writing as much as I do. I can see why so many of the Eureka blogs that are on Blogger have only a few entries and then are forgotten. Who can find these things?

The good part is I wasn’t outed by the local media. I am safely concealed in my blogging closet and can continue to write away in relative anonymity. Yea!


Anonymous said...

I guess we're in the same closet (somewhat).

I recently started houseblogging and following the links on the feed. It turns out that a fellow houseblog member and I work for the same company (2000 employees in San Francisco). (I only figured it out because he was wearing company schwag in one of his photos).

It's tempting when I see him at work to say "Hey, saw your blog. I understand." Kind of like making a personal connection through blogging.

I'm even more tempted to just ignore it. If I make that personal connection then suddenly it's like I'm stalking him (I'm not) or weirdly fascinated with his personal life (I am .. but only in that he's doing cool remodelling stuff that I wish I could do). I guess I'm not ready to leave my closet.

Ben Biddle said...

I kinda like the aninimity thing but with a little digging anyone could figure me out. I guess I'm just addicted to the attention and sometimes I get peeved that friends don't pay more attention to my writting. I check my pageload stats as much as I do the houseblogs webring!

Anonymous said...

nibuca - Funny, I had the same experience. I read a blog (not a houseblog) of someone here in Chicago from time to time. Then I found out we work in the same building! Strange.

Petch, your secret's safe with us. ;-)

- Aaron

K said...

I was found out long ago, which isn't surprising since I obscure almost nothing about myself on the blog. Fortunately, my friends & family don't read the blog much, or if they do don't comment about it. I don't think many people I know in my real life actually care about reading my house adventures. Heck, that's why I have a blog - no one wants to listen to me talk about my house!