Jul 22, 2007

blogging behind a closed door.

A while ago, I started thinking about so-called net-anonymity.

On one hand, it's a good thing, giving you the option and ability to more "openly" explore facets of your writing or life, without the angst of who's reading and how can this be misconstrued. Ultimately, with a million blogs out there to read, you have to be secure that because your friends don't know it's you, someone out there will actually care to tune in. How the heck will they even find you? While I've taken the "journalling" angle a little too often lately, this site has felt like a good way to work out some of my demons, to get to a point where I can work on more original writing in a different space, which I've begun doing piece by piece (ha. pun.).

And I guess that's one of the down sides (to be brown on?) - the egoist in me still believes in ownership over words and ideas, and I'm still unwilling to release it without attribution.

More downsides... wholesale fabrication, lack of accountability, and the seedy temptation to use the written word for evil rather than your own egotistic ends are all pieces of that puzzle. Part of why I'm writing about community less and less here is because: a) what I want to contribute doesn't feel like blog material generally, b) I don't want to do it under a nome de plume, anyway. It's not the same to engage behind this wall, and c) it's really, really easy to start taking pot-shots at people and groups from behind this shade. That's a problem, especially if you really believe in openness of dialogue and building shit rather than tearing it down.

I still have a lot of thinking to do on this - but it may be that I still ask some of these questions about the national and local groups that make questionable moves, as I learn about them. If we can open up a critical dialogue in some way, so be it.

But it's just so hard to fight that temptation to point out the idiocy. I'll work on it.

2 comments:

feministador said...

i think this post is quite poignant. i myself have struggled to negotiate this boundary between anonymity and visibility within my blog(spaces) and its tough.

i think what struck my the most about your post is your comment about writing here until you are able "to get to a point where I can work on more original writing in a different space."

as many blogs as i have switched when i felt like it was time that i could write more original writing, i always ended up liking what i wrote at some point and then wishing to claim that ownership to it you mentioned. that temptation to disclose yourself is problematic i guess, because even if you intend at first to do it with just your intimate thoughts and opinions, you end up wishing you could tag its originality as yours before someone takes it and makes a phony copy somewhere else.

it's hard writing as a brown person amongst so many brown bloggers (and monolithic pop culture group blogs) on what it means to you to be brown, especially when its so damn different and even better than what the status quo is. if we all wrote to rebel against the stereotypes bloggers before us put out, then we'd have such awesome readerships...but then the trouble is we'd end up as monoliths ourselves eventually. i don't know if that at all relates to what you meant by chosing to not write about community versus more progressive topics, but i always find it problematic to be a blogger and to be in the blogosphere where there are obvious pockets of sycophantic bloggers who I wish would chance upon my writings but simultaneously desire to write against the fabric of that community as an individual who isn't swayed by the norm.

Rage said...

Thanks for your comment and thoughts. Had to think about this a bit before responding. I definitely think that there's that delicate balance between "claiming" what you've written, especially if you hope to pursue some kind of trajectory in work of this kind down the line, and feeling like your voice may become (what you think is) necessarily blunted when your actual name is attached to it. More power to real journalists who pursue the tough stories and take their lumps along with their bylines.

"i always find it problematic to be a blogger and to be in the blogosphere where there are obvious pockets of sycophantic bloggers who I wish would chance upon my writings but simultaneously desire to write against the fabric of that community as an individual who isn't swayed by the norm."

I totally agree. Ah well, at least folks of this mindset can read one another. And no, we're not jealous of how many hits others are getting. This isn't how we're defined, just a shingle we put up as part of the many things we do. Thanks again for tuning in.