Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Are You A Gawker?

Rex just handed me the May 25th New York Times Magazine, which was lying at the top of our driveway when we returned from the beach in Bay Head, New Jersey, yesterday morning. The cover story is "Blog-Post Confidential: What I Gained -- and Lost -- by Revealing My Intimate Life on the Web" by Emily Gould (that's her in the photo with all the response to the thousand times she's asked "Did it hurt?" she says "not as much as getting waxed"). The article is written by and about the former editor of Gawker (the snarky New York media blog) and her life as a blogger.

I found Emily Gould's story fascinating, particularly as it relates to her interaction with non-bloggers. I'm going to post my initial thoughts now, then add to them as I get a chance, so please check back from time to time. In the meantime, you can read Emily Gould's blogs at Emily Magazine and Heartbreak Soup and a few of my favorite quotes below:

On Over-Sharing: One of the strangest and most enthralling aspects of personal blogs is just how intensely personal they can be. I’m talking “specific details about someone’s S.T.D.’s” personal, “my infertility treatments” personal. There are nongynecological overshares, too: “My dog has cancer” overshares, “my abusive relationship” overshares.

On Why We Blog: I think most people who maintain blogs are doing it for some of the same reasons I do: they like the idea that there’s a place where a record of their existence is kept — a house with an always-open door where people who are looking for you can check on you, compare notes with you and tell you what they think of you. Sometimes that house is messy, sometimes horrifyingly so. In real life, we wouldn’t invite any passing stranger into these situations, but the remove of the Internet makes it seem O.K.

When it comes to Emily Gould's time with Gawker, I'm less able to relate. My mom taught me that if you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all. While I frequently ignore my mother's rants, I've stuck with that message and passed it along to my girls. Gawker's premise is that anyone who makes their living in public is subject to the public's scrutiny at all times. And it is clear to me that sites with celebrity gossip (or controversial blog posts, for that matter) grab the blogosphere's attention and generate traffic. So I try to stay out of that arena, even if it means that my readership will be limited to the blogosphere buddies I've developed through EntreCard, Social Spark, and BlogExplosion's Battle of the Blogs.


Matthew S. Urdan said...

I'll rant in my blog from time to time...rarely, but I'll do it. But when I do it, I try to be respectful and not to bad mouth anyone. The thing you MUST remember about blogging, facebook, that once you put it up there, it's not just your friends and family who are reading it. ANYONE can come across it by accident, and more and more HR Departments in various companies do web searches to find out more about you. If you are not respectful and professional online, chances are, you won't be as an employee either.


BTW, you have fallen out of my Top 25 EntreCard droppers and you have not commented on my recent posts and I am crushed beyond belief.

Mariuca said...

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Invisible Blogger said...

Perhaps I blog for different reasons. I don't see myself fitting into any of that...with any of my blogs. One blog is a mommy-support/education blog; and then the Invisible blogger is where I get to be invisible. :-)

Yes, I like being invisible but at the same time, my house is very clean. My posts are about life and love and appreciation for my world. Not to allow others to peer into intimate, all-too-private aspects of my life. Too much info is STILL too much info in my opinion.

otilius said...

15,014...darn it, missed the champagne!