Writing was the driving force behind my initial obsession with the Internet. I saw the WorldWide Web as a gateway to meeting kindred spirits, to publishing opportunities, and to finding an audience. The Web definitely became all that to me - and more.
So, it was probably no surprise that I was an "early adopter" of all things blogging. Long before people thought of weblogs as an opportunity to enrich one's professional life or to make money online, it has always been a tool that I used to communicate on a personal level. Not just with friends and family who live in different countries, but as a way to connect with people who share similar interests.
And, I presented myself in my blog in such a way that I would in real life: Open, but cautious.
As my 'real life' world and online world began to become more and more blended, I found that things have started to change. I have become more cautious than open.
In fact, some of the things that I did in the last 3 to 4 years included:
1) Deleting all my early blog entries online (from year 2000 to 2004) - and just keeping a copy of hundreds of posts in my computer.
2) Putting part of my personal blog on private (password-protected) mode. Only a handful of people know how to get there.*
3) Minimising posting photos of my family in my public blogs. And, avoiding blogging about them in a really personal manner.
While I do miss being more open in my personal blog, I'm now thinking that pushing forward a more 'professional tone' is the way to go.
But, I'm not sure. I don't want to alienate people, but at the same time, I'm seriously considering the repercussions of personal blogging.
What do you think? Do you have a personal blog? How personal do you get in your blog? What are your rules, guidelines and considerations?
Have you ever been attacked on a personal level online? How did you deal with it?
And, ultimately, what do you get from personal blogging?
*If you're a long-time friend who never got my note on this, please feel free to email me privately for the password. Thanks.
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.