Question for bloggers (and blog readers)

At what point in the process of meeting new people do you drop the “I have a blog” or “I’m a blogger” bombshell? Obviously we all blog for attention. Right.

I’m a little self-conscious these days because sometimes people talk to me about my blog(s), in front of people I’ve just met, or people who don’t know I blog, and those people respond in one of a few ways, none good, some will say “why didn’t you tell me you had a blog” or “I can’t believe you have a blog. You nerdo loser”… or then I just feel the need to go into sales pitch mode about why people should read my blog, or some sort of justification about why I blog, or that falsely humble “oh that old thing…” Although, like in the parable of the sower (awesome analogy for blogging) there are some people who become regular readers, who even comment some times, and I like that.

And if I just casually mention my blog(s), in conversation (usually in the form of “did you see on my blog” to somebody I know reads it, or “you should see this awesome thing I found and posted on my blog” to somebody I want to read it) in front of somebody who knows I have a blog and falls into that latter category (the “you nerdo loser” one) then they mock more.

Bloggers: how do you navigate those heady waters? Non-bloggers: how much do you want bloggers talking about their blogs in the real world? We all want people to read what we write right? And we all want to read interesting stuff online right? Why can’t we all just get along.

10 thoughts on “Question for bloggers (and blog readers)”

  1. It would quite easily fit into you answer to the question of what you do for enjoyment. The trick is getting the newbie to ask the said question. I guess if they’ve never asked you then you could claim that you weren’t entirely to blame about them not being informed.

  2. Paul. Non-blogger. 26yo.

    The funny thing about this post is that I don’t get weird looks for having a blog, rather I get weird looks from friends and family for referencing things I’ve read on blogs. Smiz, your ego would swell if you knew how many times I’ve said, “I was reading about ‘X’ on Smiley’s blog, it was funny/thought-provoking/dumb/cringe-worthy”. Sadly it’s an unwritten obligation to read the blogs of former housemates…

    As a non-blogger, I wouldn’t have an issue with someone dropping into conversation that they had a blog. I honestly haven’t come across this on too many occasions. Blatant and shameless self-promotion isn’t something I particular enjoy hearing, but avoid the sales pitch and I’m satisfied. Will I necessarily read said blog? Probably at least once, it may get added to my Google Reader if I’m sufficiently engaged by the content.

  3. “Sadly it’s an unwritten obligation to read the blogs of former housemates…”

    So that’s why I’m here. (I do enjoy the blog too)

    I agree with Mr. Berkman regarding the question of self-promotion. And, like him, I haven’t had much experience with people dropping their blogging status into general socialisation.

    Keep up the good work Nathan.

  4. I’m new at this so I feel like I should have asked you that… however I don’t really have a blogging agenda aside from keeping it real. That’s why I’m anonymous. So I can keep it real without weirding out people I know.

  5. i’m an occasional blogger, by which i mean i don’t blog nearly as much these days as i used to, once upon a time…

    i’ve never felt the need to deliberately promote the fact that i have a blog. nor have i encountered anyone who mocked me for having one.

    i’m sure i have, on occasion, directed people to specific posts on my blog, where it relates to what we’re discussing. i don’t have a problem with people talking about their blogs if there is decent content there. and by decent, i mean from the perspective of me, the reader. few people tend to like spending their time reading/hearing about things which do not interest them – worse still if that is somewhat forced upon them.

    in any case, people blog for all sorts of reasons. among other factors, i think the answer to your questions would vary greatly depending on whether you are blogging as your real life persona (as in your case), or under a pseudonym/”nick” that isn’t as clearly/obviously linked to the real life identity of the blogger.

  6. You have missed the opposite quandary.

    How does someone say ‘Nice to meet you again Nathan. I’ve been reading your blogs intermittently for a while and know more about you know than I did when I knew you in the world?’
    I guess you comment on said blog.

    Feel free to tell us newbies you are a blogger.

    1. Nathan Campbell

      Hey Milika – do you reckon the first years would appreciate it if I wore a shirt that said “I have a blog”…

      You’d be an interesting test case though, and able, perhaps, to assess this other question objectively – does my blog present a real account of me, or a fake account? Maybe the uni version of me was more real than the online version.

      But someone just saying “I read your blog” always makes me feel a little special whether I’ve met them before or not. In fact, it makes me feel more special if I haven’t.

  7. Ben McLaughlin

    Good question, Nath.

    This is something I ponder a fair bit. In general, I am anti self promotion. So with that stance I try not to bring it up myself. Having a blog, I mean. I find that hard around my best mates who don’t read my blog, because I REALLY want them to. But you can’t say that. It’s not so much that I want them to read it because I think it’s good, but more because I want them to know more about me, if that makes sense.

    I’m a hard one to please though, because when people do bring up my blog in conversation, I feel really awkward, and don’t know what to say. Especially if it’s around someone who doesn’t know I have a blog.

    As for telling new aquaintances about it, I reckon it’s best to hold your tongue, otherwise you may look like a ‘hey come upstairs and look at my etchings’ kind of goose. Then, if you can be self controlled about it, and they do eventually find out, then it will be like your this cool super hero with a masked identity, and they will think you’re frikkin tops.

  8. When I first started blogging I told a few friends because I thought they would think I was weird if they found out that I was blogging and hadn’t told them! But beyond that, I only mention my blog if, as a few others have mentioned, I have posted something relevant to a discussion we might be having. Sometimes then I might send them an email with a link to that specific post – and probably about 50% of the time they look at it. And most of those don’t keep reading because they don’t like sitting at computers out of work.

  9. Nathan Campbell

    I’m blown away by how many responses came from first time commenters on this post.

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