Semi-Secret Blogging

I had a dream last night. About blogging. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you about it. What I will tell you is how the dream made me realize how feel people in my “real life” even know about this space. I think there may be four in total. That’s it. And those four people don’t even visit on a regular basis.  Huh.

It’s not that I blog anonymously. I frequently use my real name. A link to my website is the first thing that pops up if I am googled. But I also haven’t gone out of my way to notify anyone, I guess. At first, I just didn’t think anyone would be interested. It was just a place for me to write brief stories about my dog. Other than myself, I didn’t think anyone would care. In fact, out of the four people who know, two of them found it on their own.

Nonetheless, while I use my real name, I admit I do try to keep my blog on the down low. For my blogiversary, I had originally planned to put together some sort of video, a la Joy Tanksley’s wicked musical celebration. But then I realised, if I put it up on YouTube, where I am friends with several real-life people, I would be outed. A certain friend especially would make sure everyone in the world knows. (Kind of like how my embarrassing Susan Garrett video reached the world.) For some reason, I am still not entirely comfortable with that. Don’t ask me why.

I am not ashamed of anything I have said. It’s all true, at the very least. Nor do I think my honesty would hurt anyone. It’s just a dog blog, after all –  nothing offensive here. There are reasons I would like prevent the people I work with from finding out. However, even that wouldn’t be the end of the world. I have never once spoken about my job online. I would just rather avoid that sort of attention.

Perhaps, that’s what it is. Maybe I just don’t want to attract any more notice than I already do. Or, and this is an interesting thought, maybe I fear the exact opposite. That if they know, they just wouldn’t care at all.

Nah.

How about you? Does everyone in your life know about your blog? Do you prefer to stay anonymous? Are you totally comfortable broadcasting your blog to everyone you have ever met? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I am sure you all have a very different perspective.

36 thoughts on “Semi-Secret Blogging

  1. Pretty much everyone in my life knows about my blog. I have mixed feelings about it. At first I loved it because my friends and family were my only readers. I would beg for someone to make comments. But then something odd happened. People I didn’t know found my blog and started reading and commenting on their own. I loved it. Slowly, my real life friends stopped reading as much. However, they still do because I still have my posts hitting my FB page…I still like that my real life friends and family read however, I feel the need to omit some stories that would be great blog posts to protect people in my life, or totally change someone’s characteristics so that no one else could tell I am talking about them….

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  2. I do share on facebook but I don’t think anyone in my real life reads the blog anymore. There’s only so much one can take of pictures and stories of someone else’s dogs, especially if you’re not even a dog person! That’s sad for me because I really enjoyed sneaking in bits about my life. It was fun writing those updates from a dog’s point of view.

    I can’t believe I’m still blogging, and what’s more, still blogging as a dog. What started out a joke is now a rather deep hole :p Spme days, I think I’d love to put more effort into getting the blog out there, more readers and more of those lovely comments that YOU’RE so good at getting 🙂 Then I realize how much work that is, and so I stay happily small and anonymous, and a dog – the occasional blogger with some semblance of real life (though The Other Half would probably disagree with the last bit)!

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  3. My mom reads it loyally (yeah, I know, weird. But I promised myself I’d let her read it and would NOT stop using the f-bomb. Cuz I’m an adult. AN ADULT DAMMIT), as do two of my other friends. But that’s it. I’ve actually told some other friends but I’m really the only one of us tuned into the blogosphere so they never seem all that excited. Not mean about it, just don’t understand why someone would want to read posts from someone non-famous where you don’t get to read scintillating sex stories or get free stuff.

    Since I can’t afford the second, I’ll have to work on the first.

    Nah.

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  4. I think of my blog as something of a photographic diary about what the kids and I get up to and the fact that a few other people read it too just thrills me to bits:)

    But what doesn’t thrill me to bits is that my real life friends can’t be bothered to get an RSS feed of my blog and yet purport to be interested in my life, sheesh! My dogs are my life and apart from work, nearly everything I do revolves around them. I’ll sometimes flick a few of them an email saying we did such and such and they can read all about it on my blog:) Why should I write them a whole email when it’s already laid out complete with photos there? Am I being a bit high-handed here?

    Anyway, I love my blog and I love having a place to keep a record of our activities and put a lot of my photos … and I love reading other blogs too. And I am really enjoying branching out from reading photographic diary type blogs like mine into pet blogs that think and ask questions. It’s good to keep the brain working:)

    Basically I think it has to boil down to blogging how you want to blog and realise that a blog isn’t a stagnant thing, it can change and grow and morph into something you hardly recognise after a couple of years.

    I also think pet bloggers are the greatest and there will always be people who care:)

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  5. I think my sister reads my blog occasionally. But I’m not sure because we’re not a real chatty family to begin with. Some of my co-workers know I write Something Wagging but I’m sure they don’t read it.

    And yet that little bit of uncertainty does cause me to censor my writing. There are things I would write if I could be certain they weren’t going to be seen by people in my family or work life.

    The other thing that happens is that some people just don’t get the idea of reading and following blogs at all. My husband would never read blogs, even on topics he’s very interested in, because he just doesn’t get the point. Most of the people who read Rescued Insanity are reading other blogs because they’re “plugged in” to that world.

    I have similar issues with my home buying blog. Although the topic is what I do professionally, I’m always trying to juggle being true to my own voice and opinions and knowing I need to have positive interactions with other professionals to do my job well. Which prevents me from being even more snarky on my blog.

    It’s an interesting balancing act and one I think is worth revisiting every once in a while. I hope you do a follow up piece in the future.

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  6. Many people I know in real life know about my blog and it seems like my clients read it much more than my family/friends. Goes to show how far interest goes, my family’s just not nutty like I am! I guess it’s easier when work and blog are the same topic (more or less) so there’s less compartmentalizing in my life. I absolutely love your blog and read it religiously. I don’t think there’s anything you should be ashamed about at all and really should share it with as many people as you can!

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  7. That’s an interesting question. I don’t think anyone in my family reads the blog, even though they all know it’s there. Maybe they get tired of me talking about the boys, so they choose not to read about them, too? There have been a couple times when someone told me they found it and were reading it – people I do contract work for, for example – and I felt a little weird. Mostly, though, I’m super excited whenever anyone says they read it!

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  8. Everyone probably at least knows of my 2 blogs due to them being posted on facebook… but there probably aren’t a ton of people in real life that read it consistently. I’m always pleasantly surprised when they leave a comment but usually I get feedback in other forms about blog content. I gave up worrying too much about what I post as it’s my blog(s) and they don’t HAVE to read it if they don’t want to. But due to the fact that one is mainly a photo blog of sorts and the other is about my dog/training etc I usually don’t have too much drama/controversial stuff anyway. For me it’s a great way to network and get an artistic fix. Even having a photo blog and wanting to be a photographer of sorts, I still try to be candid about professional issues. I hate politics and I will try and just be honest/true to my self/vision as best I can about things.

    I agree with Ettel that you should not be ashamed or afraid to share. I enjoy reading your posts. Your content is interesting, you write well, and it’s not just a bunch of fluff (which I must admit mine might be on occasion).

    Good luck!
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

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  9. I haven’t kept the blogs a secret. A couple of my sisters visit regularly, another friend visits infrequently but most of the visiters (including my youngest sister) are also bloggers. I’m always thrilled when they visit and comment!

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  10. My dog friends read my blog and I discovered my niece reads it, but otherwise I pretty much think it’s strangers (who have become friends, but that’s a whole other topic). It’s a little different for me as a writer: My blog is personal, but it has to represent me well in public.

    And of course you never know who’s reading. I once wrote about a guy I started seeing who punched his dog and didn’t have him neutered. I got a LOT of comments about that — but I never thought that the guy would have read my blog because he seemed very self absorbed. Turns out he did and, surprisingly, reacted by saying he was sorry he punched the dog. So the outcome was good — well, semi-good; he was still self-absorbed and annoying — but I never ever blog about anyone in my real life now unless my take is positive and I know they’d feel okay with my comments being public.

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  11. Ha, when I started my blog, I told my mom about it, but I think she forgot and I was too embarrassed to bring it up again. Slowly I gathered an audience of other bloggers, but I think the only person I know in my real life who knows about my blog is my husband. And even though we’ve never talked about it, he seems to know I’d prefer he remain the only one who knows about it, so he never brings it up in front of anyone. I’m not really sure why; I know just know I’d be really embarrassed if someone in real life started reading it on the regular.

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  12. My blog isn’t a secret. I don’t blab to everyone about it, but I make no effort to hide it. Most of my readers are fellow dog folks and bloggers.

    Now my facebook page? no family allowed on there and few real life friends. I use it for people I’ve me online. LOL

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  13. Lots of real life people know about my blog, but interestingly enough they are the WORST commenter’s there are. 🙂 I know a lot of them read, but I try to ignore them when I write. I feel like usually I’m actually writing for my online friends, and so when it gets really personal I have to forget someone I know is reading or I wouldn’t hit publish.

    It’s a weird thing for sure. Sometimes I wish I’d been more secretive about it all… but then again, some people have shared some interesting things about their own struggles so that’s been eye opening.

    It’s all about personal comfort in the end really.

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  14. I think about this often. In fact, a good friend started a blog just about daily life and adventures, and told me about it over the weekend, asking me how I got my readership up. He asked how many people who I don’t know in real life read it, in my best estimate. I told him that I thought only a handful of people from my “real” life read it — not even my parents bother! I don’t hide it from anybody, I just know that it appeals to a fairly narrow audience — dog people, highly technologically advanced people, and fellow photo people.

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  15. I think only about 5 people we know in real life (and mainly friends from our past) read our blog; some of the people we talk to on a daily basis don’t even realize we have a blog. We need to keep it anonymous because we are teachers and we really don’t want our students and families finding out so much about our personal lives. Plus, in real life we don’t even have any dog friends, so it has been nice meeting so many people who really enjoy hearing all of our annoying dog stories.

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  16. My friends all know I blog, especially since I always link it on FB. I’m terrible at keeping secrets though! 🙂 But no one at work knows (and lucky for me they’re not tech savvy enough to start Googling me…), and I’d like to keep it that way. Most of my friends are the worst at keeping up and commenting, although my photography friends get it since it’s all part of the business too!

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  17. My family and friends all know I blog, and read my blog anywhere from regularly to not at all. I guess I’m sort of odd — I have no issue with my family or friends knowing, and I love the blogging relationships I have with people who are otherwise strangers to me, but I get a little gun-shy about the people I consider “one-offs” – people I casually know from work or other endeavors. Those are the folks I’m typically a little wary of sharing my blog with. Not sure why that is, but it’s true.

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  18. When I first started the blog, I thought that maybe a few of my online friends would read it, but it quickly snowballed into something much bigger. I told my mom about it, and that’s now a secret point of contention with me. When Hawk died, it was posted on my blog, and months later, it was a surprise to her to find out that he’d died. My sister and my dad both know that I blog, but haven’t ever asked about it or read it, and I haven’t encouraged them too.

    Ironically, I had a student in my class last year and the year before, and her parents knew my husband’s family through church. When Bunny visited school, her daughter really loved her and we were friends on Facebook, where my blog publishes updates every time it updates. So, they started following the blog. She mentioned it to one of my SILs who started following it, unbeknownst to me. One day, that sister was talking to my husband about the blog when their other sister walked in, and she wanted to read it, too. So, my husband’s family follows the blog even though mine doesn’t! lol I do try to remember when I write it that there’s a chance that my family could somehow see it someday.

    I’ve been surprised that a few of my coworkers have read the blog, too. It feels weird, though, when I talk to people that we’ve met who have read it. I guess I’m going to have to get used to it, though, since we’re going away the end of the month to a Greyhound event where we’ll be meeting a lot of online friends who read the blog.

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  19. I started our blog to have a place with focus on Kenzo and Viva (and dogs) not interferred by real life friends and co-workers. Somehow that did not worked out. I tweeted my company name once and that was enough for them to find me. Also my family found my blog when I forwarded them a photo through twitpic (not so smart). They are not interacting so much on the blog but I know they read it sometimes because they mention a new article if they have liked it. I only have Facebook left as a Kenzo-and-Viva-only place on the net. Ssstttt!

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  20. I like to keep my blog life separate from my “Real life”! None of my co-workers know about my blog, or much of my personal life at all. If I dare mention my dog, eyes start rolling…so why bother.

    I think that’s why I like blogging so much…I can’t see anyone’s eyes rolling!

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  21. I wouldn’t say our blog is a secret, really, but at the same time, I would say that probably 90% of my friends/family don’t know about it and I likely wouldn’t mention it to them. I don’t think they’d be interested. It takes “dog people” to appreciate dog blogs and that isn’t what the majority of my “real-life” friends are into. To be honest, it wasn’t really what *I* was interested in – my involvement in agility, baking and canine nutrition unravelled slowly, bit by bit replacing the clubs, parties and interests of my youth. I don’t know that I’m ready to own up to the fact that I’m a totally different person than a lot of my friends now – and my blog certainly showcases that. I don’t know how much of my day to day thoughts (like the “You Had Me at Woof” posts) I would actually publish, if I thought my friends/family were reading.

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  22. My dog blog proper gets few hits compared to my blog on prayer and silence; most of my links come from there. I do have 1-3 people who check my blogs for indiscreet comments; I hope they stay for more. I have learned to be more careful but not to be intimidated. My dog blog gets emailed to about 10 people, none of whom have asked me to not send it – they may just delete it :). The dog blog supports the dog sanctuary, so to me it is important that people know about it. I also have a private blog with utterly nothing in it!

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  23. What a great and interesting question Kristine. If it were up to my husband, he would broadcast it from the rooftops! He has no problem talking to complete strangers and if a conversation strikes up, he is giving them the web address. He is such a proud dog owner, something like having your first kid. He’s got to tell everyone.

    While I on the other hand keep it very personal and quiet. I have no doggie loving friends and the blog is my outlet to connect with others like me. Most think it is silly or unnatural the way we love our dogs, so I rarely talk about our dogs with others. That’s why I love dog blogging. It is such a great community to have others that care and share about that special bond we have with our dogs. I just think there is something really unique here and glad we are all a part of it.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  24. I feel the same way you do. I didn’t tell anybody about my blog but my husband outed me to my family. Then strangely enough some online readers of my blog spotted me in real life and it was an odd “hey i know you!” type of thing but then developed into friendships. I now have links to my blog on my facebook and youtube page but don’t ever advertise it to anyone or talk about it. But slowly people from real life find it and comment and I’m sure there are more I know who remain secret readers as most of the people I know are dog people. I still find it odd though and get embarrassed by it.

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  25. Some of my friends and family know… I sent an email when I first started blogging, but I didn’t follow up with anyone after that. I’m sure some of them never checked out the link at all!

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  26. That’s a good question…I like the feel of having my own space and writing without feeling prohibited. But at the same time there is nothing that is mean or malicous or ill intent towards anyone. I have a few friends and family that I know I blog and I’m slowly becoming more comfortable coming out of the blogsphere. How knows in another year I might be completely out? And then there will be a party 😉

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  27. This is an interesting question and an interesting mixed bag of comments. I have never outwardly shared my blog URL with anyone except my immediate family. Two of my Google friends (out of many more) are family – the rest I’ve never met. About two months ago, though, I created a blog fan page on FB and “liked” it. I also “quietly” added the blog address to my personal FB page. Not a single one of my FB friends have made a peep about it; however, every single day I get scads of new blog visitors from my home state and facebook is my largest referring site. I find it fascinating that all these folks “lurk” around the blog, but have never mentioned it (guess that’s the point of lurking). It sometimes even feels like an elephant in the room when I’m among friends. Very strange indeed. Honestly though, I kind of like keeping my pet blog removed from that part of my life. I really don’t like the extra attention. 🙂

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  28. Interesting post! I just recently started blogging and have only told one friend and my sister about it. I blog about Sophie because I like to get things down in writing and I am having fun doing it. I know I sometimes bore my friends when I talk about flyball, rally and agility…they all love animals but none of them are into sports/obedience etc. So I figure if I blog about our activities, I may not be inclined to discuss them so much in person!

    I have only shared my blog link on one site, a lab forum I am a member of. To be honest when I joined the forum, I had a similar “don’t tell people about it” ideology. It seemed weird for me to post and talk with people I had never met. That was 3 years ago. I have become a regular member of the board, met some board members in person (even traveled to SoCal for a Lab Fest). I like being able to talk to like minded people and bond over labradors which is why I share my blog with them. I figure if you spend time on a Lab Forum, you might want to read about my crazy lab 🙂

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  29. I actually started a blog about Mayzie before I started Mayzie’s blog. And I definitely did NOT want any of my friends/family to know about it. They were the earliest (and most intimate) struggles and rewards I had with her and it was mostly just a way for me to journal and keep track of her progress. It was private and honestly, I was afraid people would think I was crazy being so invested in my dog.

    Even after I started Mayzie’s blog (which is decidedly less soul-baring), I couldn’t bring myself to tell friends and family for the longest time. Because I KNEW they would think I was crazy then. Ha! And to be honest, I was worried that they wouldn’t like it or would think it was a stupid waste of time. Little by little, I let certain people know about it. And now pretty much everyone in my world knows. I have honestly been astonished at the positive feedback I’ve gotten. For some reason, it really surprises me that friends and family take time to read it and seem to enjoy it. I mean, REALLY surprises me. I don’t know why.

    I say to just let people know when and if you’re ready. If you just want to keep this a private thing just for you, that’s totally okay. But if you do decide to let others know about it, I have a feeling you’ll be really surprised by the positive reception, too!

    MayzieMom

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  30. I started my blog to increase web traffic to my website and I do use my full name. I cross post to Facebook, so my friends can read, if they are interested. I don’t go into personaly stuff very often, but if I do, I keep identities of anyone I blog about private, unless they say it’s okay. I don’t have a problem with strangers reading about my life but I like to respect the privacy of my friends.

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  31. I don’t really go around sharing that I have a blog, maybe it just doesn’t fit into the conversation…? A couple friends know I have a blog, but haven’t thought about reading it.

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  32. A few friends and family read the blog… but I’ve never told anyone at the dog park about it because I’d be much more cautious about what I write. (As it is, I try not to say negative stuff about anyone I know personally.) It’s mostly other bloggers who read it, and lately there’s been nothing to read. 😦

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