on blogging and not offending people
January 9, 2010, 5:24 pm
Filed under: advice | Tags: , , ,

Dear Spoonah,

Love the site, from the nickname all the way to the gnome in his union suit. But lets talk about my favorite topic-me.

So I have a dream of being JPs foremost “celebrity” (I guess I could just follow ATKM around) blogger and I am the proud founder of the JPTattler as well as its blog, JustProcessing02130 (this site is just where I vent).
Anyway spoonah, my point is this, how do I create these blogs in a respectful way as to not offend, who am I kidding-I just want to gossip publicly and still have friends. suggestions?


the JP Tattler

dear tattler,

first let me say that I am glad you are enjoying the site. I pretty much just started it because I like hearing myself talk, but it’s important that other people like hearing me talk too, you know?

in thinking about an answer to your predicament I did a little googling. ah, googling, what did we do before thee? I found an article written by funny, funny blogger Penelope Trunk. It’s called “How To Blog About a Co-Worker (or Someone Close to You)”. I think it will be a good reference for you (she also has a lot of other great articles about how to make the most of blogging, and has humorous blunt thoughts about it).

Basically, what she says is this: be upfront about what you’re doing and allow people to tell you when to stop. Don’t be anonymous about it (your own name, that is–feel free to change theirs), tell people when you blog about them if you’re close to them, and let them know they have veto power. She also mentions knowing what is appropriate to mention and what is not–a fine line if there ever was one. You’re on your own there. Last, she suggests blogging about people who are already confident and likely to let your gossip-mongering roll off their backs without a second thought.

I have but one substantial point to add: get used to hate mail/comments. you will get them, they won’t be pretty, but unless they come from a friend they really don’t matter. as an example, this site has been up for all of about three days and I’ve already received criticism from several different people on it, for crap I don’t really care about. my other blog once had a post (about me getting a haircut at Wal-Mart because I’m a cheap kinda gal) make it onto reddit, instantly giving me approximately 150x more daily readers than I’d had previously. they hated me and thought I was an idiot. I got 40 comments saying exactly that, in various levels of mean-ness, in 24 hours of it being posted on reddit. after about 3 or 4 calling you a moron, loudly and strongly, you better get used to it, or get out of blogging.

in summary: the problem with blogging about anything is you are saying “here I am, and I know best about X”. inevitably, if you have any readers at all, people will disagree with you. you have two options. number one is to just suck it up and say this is what I’m doing and I’ll mitigate the pain from that as much as I can and just keep on goin’. option two is to just not blog at all. that’s up to you. I clearly prefer blogging in the face of disagreement, but I also have an unhealthy attachment to having an audience for what I think is my super clever wit.

on a personal level, I’d be interested in reading the JP Tattler, so I say blog away. just not about me. 🙂