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So it seems I have operated from two flawed premises in starting this blog.  First, I wrongly assumed I would have the time to post regularly.  Obviously, this has not been the case.  Second, and more fundamentally, I have begun to realize that female blogs are not really a reasonable and accessible facsimile of your girlfriend’s diary.  A blog is meant to be read by others, filtered only by anonymity.  A true diary is meant to be read only by the writer.

 

When the author of a blog knows there is readership, and though comments, email or just by counting and tracking hits, interacts with that readership, she cannot help but slant the blog in one fashion or another.  Some of the bloggers reviewed so far freely admit this.  They have said they write knowing certain people will read.  Some have even admitted giving others editorial license.  Other writers may not be so forthcoming, but trends in their writing, whether it be themes, images, participation in the “community” activities, imitation, convention or even the sheer pace of posting, reveal a subtle but definite shift in response to their audience.  In some cases (though not necessarily any of those reviewed to date) the process becomes more about the blogging than about the blogger or, more precisely, what the blog reveals about the writer.

 

Please understand, this reality is not a criticism of anyone.  The observation is intended only to demonstrate that my model for “looking through the keyhole” is flawed.  Some level of distortion is always there.  I have tried to see how well that can be filtered, kind of like applying a corrective lens.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but to have any meaning at all, it takes more study than I originally thought it might. 

 

So, I am in the process of deciding whether I should commit to the extra study, which will cut down on the frequency of posts; post more, but with less attention to detail; or chuck the whole notion and just go back to being a reader.

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10 Comments

  1. 98% of people who have a blog…do so with the intent of having others read it. Well, that’s just my opinion. If they intend it to truly be a diary, then they lock the blog so that no one can see it.

    So yes, it’s a bit flawed. Adapt then?

  2. A flawed premise, maybe, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater–err…so to speak.

    Yes, on some level or another, a blogette expects people to read the blog (funny, though, I really *didn’t* at first, and am still kind of getting over the shock that people actually come there). Does that make your review less valid? Perhaps from the narrow premise, but from a little broader expansion of definition, it still works well.

    On an interesting note, when I wrote in a paper diary as a child, I always used to write half expecting that my older sister would snoop and read it. I think even our most private of thoughts can be filtered through the lens of someone, someday, discovering them.

    Then there’s the interesting question, do people, when they write *anything* down, filter it through the lens of having another read it–in this case, another being themselves? To write is to think through a thought, and it’s rarely the first raw, bare honest thought in the head–unless free-association is employed.

    Point? No, I don’t have a point. I just think it’s interesting. 🙂

  3. Your second paragraph defines the blogiverse and all it contains in an intelligent and eloquent way, and is why I think you should keep writing and expressing about whatever you please.

    As you noted, blog keepers apply their own perspectives and subjectivities to their worlds, readers do the same with their interpretations, as do critics with their reviews. You’d never be given access to women’s diaries by the very nature of their privacy, so perhaps blogs are the closest any of us will get to access private thoughts online.

    We read some of the same blogs and I don’t agree with a few of your viewpoints, but you’ve reminded me to read and understand through a different set of eyes. It’s a valuable gift to give.

  4. I agree with Lilly, if they intend for it to be a diary they will lock it.–Lollie

  5. Oh, I for one hope you don’t stop – it is riveting reading a detailed view of one’s own as well as others’ blogs out there.

    Yes, there is a sense of exhibitionism in writing this kind of blog that lends itself to not only writing down a diary-esque voyage through the days of relationships, encounters or the sexual musings of the blogger, but there still is that essential part that remains which is the writer documenting for herself these moments.

  6. Yes, agreed, the whole idea of having a blog is having readers. Like Lilly says, otherwise you’d just lock the blog or write in a good old, real life diary.

    But I don’t know. I find it still reveals much about the blogger. What she decides to write, knowing that others read it, for instance. And don’t forget that blogs are, in some cases (like mine), anonymous. This gives a feeling of freedom, lets the person express things she may not have expressed otherwise. For repressed people, it could be quite an outlet, no? I’m not repressed, but I certainly post things I wouldn’t post if my identity was known. For other people, it’s to write about a part of their life they can’t talk about in regular life. Sex is still a little tabou, especially kinky sex. I don’t talk to much about it at work, for example 😉

    Lastly, I think you were doing a fantastic job and I really enjoyed reading your reviews. It seems to me that your analysis were always spot on. For blogs that I was already reading, I found it very interesting to read your take on it, and educative too, as I just don’t have the time to go back and read every blog in its entirety. For blogs I hadn’t been reading, well you made me discover some new blogs.

    So I say, keep it up! Don’t sweat the fact that it’s not “really” a diary (although some of these blogs are written without the knowledge of significant others). And I forgive you if you don’t post as regularly as you’d like. It’s a lot of work, what you’re doing. 😉

  7. I’m not sure if my blog can be considered diary or not. There is much in there that is and despite knowing that I am writing for an audience I think it is honest. The erotic material is as much for my benefit (outlet for fantasies that I like) as it is for my readers. But yes I try to do a good job writing them.

    If the purpose of this blog is to point out women’s blogs that provide insight into the female psyche, I think you can accomplish that. So what if it’s not a ‘true’ diary? It’s about as close as you can get. Doesn’t the author of a memoir face the same dilemma and potentially slant their writing accordingly? Yet some of the best books are memoirs. They get you thinking and provide insight. It’s as close to getting inside someone’s brain as you can get.

    If your girlfriend knew you were reading her diary I’m sure the same dynamic would be true. At least with my blog I have anonymity.

    And BTW please don’t stop. I was looking forward to finding some new blogs by reading your reviews.

  8. Looking through a keyhole is flawed. Reviewing a site for content; not so defective.

    I would have to speak for myself here in saying my site is not a diary. I gave up keeping one forever ago for the very reason Ms. Inconspicuous points out-fear of others reading it and never being able to actually write down what I really thought. Either parts will be inappropriate if it falls into the wrong hands or a rant when I am angry or licking my wounds has the potential of hurting my loved one if he happened upon it. The same holds true with the sites I keep. Sensualist is anonymity for writing stories with truth weaved in. Uncensored goes a bit off path at times, but I try to keep it reigned in while still being true to myself. Self censorship if you will. Slanted due to readership.

    The thought of writing a blog and locking it down for it to remain completely a private diary is a thought of course. For some though, the outlet of just writing things down is not enough. For some writing and keeping it still bottles the feeling inside. Writing and setting the words free keeps the spirit from running. The inability to write in anonymity bottles the spirit as well.

    So my question for you: Will you slant your decision to continue writing and reviewing based on readership, comments, email and opinion? Just curious. Is it a flaw in moving forward with writing or how the writing is carried out? Only if the writing is not heartfelt. Only if the writing goes against something you believe in. Only if you are only writing what someone else wants to read and not what you really think or have to say.

  9. I have to agree with what the others have said. A flawed premise doesn’t negate a positive result, in my opinion. You’re experiencing only what other bloggers have… the original intent is rarely what ends up sustaining the blogger’s desire to blog. So much else happens once the words hit the page.

  10. Thanks everyone. Stay tuned.


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