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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Leave No Trace

Conundrums, conundrums. For nearly 2 years now I've pondered the public nature of this blog. An online search for me, personally, will result in Confessions being found. You hear stories about employees being fired (dooced) for having a blog fairly often. Can a blog prevent you from being hired in the first place? An anonymous commenter recently noted perhaps yes. Having already heard stories like that I like to think I'm smarter than the 20-somethings who documented their lewd, drunken, drug taking, illegal, legal but in bad taste behavior.

However I am not a politically correct blogger nor am I someone of weak opinions. I will use bad language and extreme satire to call it like I see it. I don't fear the taboo subjects because the only way to explore them was to talk about them. I'll also blog about topics that interest at best a small group of friends, at worst no one but myself.

Or at least I used to.

Confessions, like most blogs, is the public face of the writer. Yet it only shows a very limited aspect of me. Sometimes you get the shallow layers; sometimes you get the deeper ones. No matter how good my writing is, it will ultimately be flawed. I take that back. The writing will ultimately be limited by the constraints of a text based medium. In other words it is too easy to take the wrong idea from my posts. I can't control what other people think, and I don't get a chance to follow up.

For the past year I've taken so few risks here. I worry what others would think of my posts. Not the others I know. I don't care what you think. You already know me. The unknown people who find me on a casual internet search. That I do care about. My offbeat sense of humor doesn't always translate well. If I have deep thoughts that scares people. Not my thoughts personally, but I've noticed audiences tend to shy was from deep ponderings, taboo subjects, and substantive (non-political) topics. (Get politics into the mix and people won't shut up about it.) Can we be honest: human beings tend to be shallow creatures.

I digress.

First I attempted to make Confessions ungoogleable (new word I just invented). I did that and it removed this blog from a few other search engines. However plenty of other search engines work fine. Conclusion: moderate success.

Second get the blog delinked from a very public blog. That occurred and traffic died down a little bit. I noticed I got more traffic from other blogs. Conclusion: hey I was delinked so mission accomplished.

Yet in the end you can't take a public blog and make it anonymous. Instead of the stealth of run silent, run deep the best I could hope for is under the radar. These past few weeks I've been flying under the radar. I find it unsatisfactory. I'm craving the shield of anonyminity.

Others use that shield to mercilessly attack, be rude, and to be honest major online assholes. Look at the law school blog comments for confirmation of that. Anything over 25 comments is littered with vapid personal attacks of an intellectual wasteland. I often wondered, "These are my future co-workers???" Since I'm not seduced by the dark side I view the shield as creative freedom!

Over these past three years I've received feedback that I was a phenomenal blogger, a strong blogger, an insightful blogger, a powerful blogger, and "the best damn writer I've ever fuckin' seen man." I long for those days where I can be me again. I long for the days where I can call it like I see it. I long for the days where I could write 6 paragraphs on the simplest of pleasures because I saw a deeper meaning to it.

I don't believe I can have that freedom being public. Right now I'm vulnerable to EVERYTHING! I wish I could say that was an exaggeration, but it isn't. No job, no money, no health insurance, no way to solve even the simplest of problems. Am I vulnerable to a paranoid employer who is afraid a blogging employee would spill the beans on an assignment? Am I vulnerable to a misinformed employer about who and what bloggers are? Am I vulnerable to other people's misconceptions? Am I vulnerable to a supervisor thinking, "Oh geez we don't want this person to be our public persona and ruin our reputation!"

The answer is YES I AM VULNERABLE!!!

Which leads me back to my original point: I'm not writing about the things I want to write about in the manner I wish to write them. I DO NOT want this post to come out as some sort of plea. I'm simply sharing my thoughts. Some of my readers have been with me a long time. I know many of you do care about me so I'm willing to share. However, the reality is Confessions is dying. For the past 4 or 5 months I've wondered if I should let it die.

I'm not saying I'm quitting blogging. Perhaps I've already created an anonymous blog and I'm enjoying myself there. Perhaps I merely have plans for another blog. Perhaps I want to take a blogging sabbatical and let the deeper well replenish itself. Perhaps I want to blog only once or twice a week with quality posts instead of generating meaningless daily posts just to keep the readership up with an active blog. I've concluded that it isn't a matter of if Confessions will die, but only when.

If you wish to know where I set up shop again, let me know in the comments. I’ll email you when I’m willing to share. Does anyone know how to transfer these posts to an offline storage medium like a CD? I would like to keep the posts around.

This ship hasn’t sailed for the final time yet. Regardless you might want to buy the last tickets soon.

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