Oh, Be Careful Little Bloggers What You Blog

I entered the blogosphere with the vague notion that having a blog before you have tenure might not be the smartest thing in the world, given that my paranoia about What Other People Think Of Me is not entirely baseless in a field where one's career prospects have a lot to do with What Other People Think Of You (and of what field is this not true?). But I decided that the prospective benefits outweighed the risks, so I plunged ahead, at the same time keeping in mind that some discretion is called for, since I'm casting my thoughts out into cyberspace where anyone could see them.

(Adding a site meter has only enhanced my paranoia. Whereas a well-adjusted person would check their stats and think, "Cool, I got a hit from Michigan," I look at them as evidence of an international stalking conspiracy [I WISH I were that interesting! Wait a minute, no, I don't.] -- "Why in the world is someone from CALVIN COLLEGE checking my blog?" Who are these people?)

So I was gratified to encounter this bit of pro-blogging propaganda in the People magazine of the academic world, the Chronicle of Higher Education. I was also pleased that I did not encounter the two instances of anti-blog warnings to which it was a response when they were initially published, since that probably would have caused me undue anxiety. On a similar note, I appreciated Jenell's musings on boundaries in blogging. I guess the base line is that we must take responsibility for what we say, even in the semi-anonymity of the blogosphere. But I also believe that honesty, and even a bit of vulnerability, can be a form of serving one another (as Jenell's posts have been a salve for my soul over the past year and a half), so I will speak, even at the risk of mis-speaking.


CyberianTygre said...

So, would you rather have Mr./Ms./Dr. van Something from Calvin College or Agent Johnson from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce checking up on you every day?

CyberianTygre said...

Oh, wait now I've done it...by posting the words "U.S. Chamber of Commerce" on your site, the next time that Agent Johnson does a blog search of "U.S. Chamber of Commerce" they will be led to your site.

Rachel said...

Depends. Is Mr./Dr. van Whatever attractive, available, and non-sociopathic? You can't tell anything important from the site map details!

CyberianTygre said...

Are you saying that Agent Johnson isn't attractive and non-sociopathic?

Okay, okay...bad Cyberian Tygre...Back to eating pizza and drinking cocoa and mulling over religion and trends of modernity....

Emilie J said...

Although I left West Michigan I still have friends working for/attending Calvin. Most likely your "stalker" is one of my friends who perhaps clicked on a comment you left on my blog and went here. Don't mean to disappoint you that some nice tall blond blue eyed VanderWall isn't checking your blog.

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