14 December 2009

The Man Behind The Blog

When you're sitting behind a computer screen, you can be anyone you want; yourself, a character, an unintentional character or no one. It's why there's so many problems with the Anonymous. I tend to find the person behind a blog just as interesting at times as the content. That's why when it comes to writing this blog I try to ensure the online me is as close as possible to the offline me.

I was speaking to a friend recently who said she had finally gotten around to meeting a blogger she been reading for a long time. Unfortunately, the person she met was not the person she'd come to know online over the past few years. The personalities were very different.

I'd like to think I'm fairly true to myself here, although I don't think I'm as arrogant in real life. I'm much more "average" when I'm kicking it offline.

But it's an interesting area. Does it matter that the person behind a blog, Twitter account or even a YouTube channel is hiding behind a character? Or is it preferable that they be who they want? Or is acting as someone else not an issue at all?

I think it will increasingly raise issues as more and more of the online world converges with the offline at events and social outings like New Media Beers (Friday 29th Jan, 7.00pm, The Cabinet, 11 Rainbow Alley #NMBMelb).

11 comments:

  1. im going to kill you and your family

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  2. Judging by the comment above Zac – I hope you make it to New Media Beers next year! :-P

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  3. In my opinion it depends on the blog, Zac.


    Hold on a second ... Is Greg a friend of yours? Or does he just genuinely loathe you? Hopefully it's the former and Greg has a poor sense of humour; in the event of the latter, threats are so lame. Hurry up and do it already ...

    Anyway, I think it depends on the blog - you've said about your own blog that you view it as a "resume" or an open-ended conversation between you and the reader - whether that reader is a potential employer, a lecturer, a fellow student or someone who's just stopping by. In that sense, I think it's imperative that your blog maintain a sense of homogeneity between "real" you and "online" you.

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  4. Just for the record, I have no idea who "Greg" is.

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  5. You say you're NOT as arrogant in 'real life' ... If you say so!

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  6. some of my closest friends are people i met as bloggers - i knew them no other way. and i've since lived with them, had them live with me and had regular catch ups either in the same city, or across hemispheres. i think all this worked out because, as a blogger, i assume that the person i meet WILL be different to the voice behind the blog. because i know that i'm different to the voice behind the blog - not wildly, but just enough to notice.

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  7. Oh you illiterate fools! Some of the best writers have had different personas and pen names. Look at James Tiptree Jr. Mary Shelley and even Shakespeare's Sonnets as examples. What you see in a blog is merely a device used in regular literature. Its a standard literary convention only that now its gone to the internet. Since when is it right to assume that the author is who they say they are, possibly in 18th century histories, and other omnipresent narrators such as folk/fairy tales. But all so often writers don't express themselves, they express their personas or a entirely different person.

    It is never safe to assume that a person of a literary text is who they say they are and blogs are included in this. Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation and William Goldman in "The Princess Bride" are prime examples of this.

    Get some culture in you before you start writing such pointless drivel and pass it off as opinion... Time to write with a little more thought. Stick to what your good at

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  8. I think it depends on the nature of the blog.

    I use a persona for my blog about triathlon - "Athletic Powerhouse". It makes me feel a little bit like I have a super-hero alias (arguably, entirely relevant when the blog is about training for and competing in Ironman Triathlon!).

    People who know me know it's me, and I think they would say that I'm true to myself online. But it gives me a little bit of anonymity, which makes me feel a bit more comfortable with revealing some things.

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  9. @ Jason Tsitsopoulos

    I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it, but we live in a time where accountability is becoming increasingly important, particularly when many people are turning to use blogs as more than "literary devices". Everything is becoming far more open and transparent and will continue to do so (see Tiger Woods).

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  10. @ Zac Martin

    See I would tend to say the opposite. That it is actually better for people to have a fake persona online (referring to blogs and youtube accounts). It protects your private life, protects you from being stalked/attacked and when everything is out in the open, it dupes your aggressors.

    By being open and transparent, you lend yourself to much more aggressive critique as it is you who they are attacking and not the persona or fictitious person you make up.

    Anyway that doesnt really answer the question you put forward, just accept these ramblings as a mere youtube celebrity wannabe

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