Wednesday 5 February 2014

heavy words are so lightly thrown...

Given that the tenth anniversary of this blog is in less than a month's time, it's probably a little bit late to start wondering what would happen if some of the stuff on here got out into the public domain.  It's already out in the public domain, of course.... just because I could probably count the regular readers on the fingers of one hand, doesn't mean that everything on this site - including a vast archive of fascinating posts on an enormous breadth of subjects -  isn't available to any passing browser (from the look of my stats, that's an increasingly large number of people from random websites in Russia, Romania and China).  What I mean is if it became more widely known that I was the author of this blog; that.....

**flourish as I pull off my mask and step out from behind the curtain**

.....I am Swisslet.

**tiny, sad trumpet noise and single cymbal crash**

I don't really make a secret of who I am here, and the avatar is really only a thin figleaf to prevent casual googling, but neither do I really advertise the connection.  Many of my friends know about this; some of my family know; my wife's family know; one or two of my colleagues know.... and that's about it.  As far as I know, people don't walk past me in the office fully up to speed with my thoughts on beard grooming because they've read some of my many posts on the subject.  I quite like it that way.   I'd be lying if I said I don't self-censor myself here, because I do and because there are some subjects that I just don't touch at all.  On the other hand, I do not really feel the pressure from anyone else about what I should or should not be writing about.  I don't write all that much about my job, but I do occasionally tell stories about things that happen there, and over the course of the last eighteen months or so, I've vented my frustrations about my last boss.  How would I feel if those thoughts were more widely known in the office?  Is it even possible to damage my already-stillborn career any further?

To be brutally honest, the simple truth is that most people simply won't care.  My experience tells me that, even amongst some of my dearest friends, their willingness to read every one of the lovingly crafted words here is somewhat limited.  Most check in from time to time, I think... but very few read on a regular basis.  I think the same would likely be true of my colleagues at work.  If you remember, I actually kept a separate blog when we were travelling in 2010, copied all the posts from here to there, and publicised the link to my colleagues so they could follow us as we travelled the world.  I don't think very many people followed the link, and if they did, then their interest in photos of me on the other side of the world was somewhat limited.  If they found out about this place, I suspect that there might be an initial interest, but even with handy tagging to take you to all the interesting bits, there are more than two thousand posts on here, and the only person that interested in what I think is me.  In fact, probably not even me.  I'm not vain enough to assume anything different.

Would it matter if more people connected me to this blog?  Probably not.  I'm sure there are things on here that I might regret writing and would rather weren't dragged out of context and into the daylight.  On the whole though, what you see here is what you get: opinions and feelings honestly given.  Take it or leave it.  I like the act of writing and I mainly write to clear my mind and for the discipline of structuring my thoughts into sentences, but perhaps it would be nice to have more of an audience.  I guess my only worry might be embarrassing someone else.... specifically my wife, but also anyone else identifiable by proxy through me.

What do you think?  Is there anything on here that I (or anyone else) should be worried about if word got out?  You might think this is another sign of my impending midlife crisis, but I've been wondering about being less coy about the ownership of this blog, for example when I write elsewhere about my MS.  Should I worry?  Is anyone really likely to care?

Your thoughts please.......


  1. I regularly read your blog and like it very much. I look forward to your music lists and enjoy your insights on life. Congrats on keeping the blog strong for so long. Change is good, so don't worry about anyone else.

  2. how very odd - i've been thinking about this very topic recently (but coming from the other side) - spooky!

  3. You thinking about going undercover, Steve? Tell us more....

    I'm reasonably happy with the arrangements as they stand, but have just had reason to challenge myself and to ask whether I would publically stand by this blog if the opportunity arose. I give the URL out to people all the time, but that's always my choice. I gave it to a guy only yesterday who was asking about MS and had read something I wrote on the MS Society website. Because I write about stuff that so much here it seemed only logical to pass that on, but it made me wonder if I would ever want to take the bigger step (if the opportunity arose) and what that might mean for me and for the people around me.

    1. not so much going undercover as being irrationally weirded out when people i know in the real world read my blog... post is half written, will try to publish soon.

  4. ^^ write about THAT STUFF, I mean.

  5. also, TEN YEARS! March 2nd, baby!

  6. My blog has reached 10, too, and I've also thought about making changes. For me, though, I think it's best to remain coy. I can't share the way I want if my name is attached, and there are too many people I want to keep away from it. I've thought about creating a second blog for more common consumption among friends, family, and colleagues, but haven't made up my mind. I don't blog enough now as it is. On the other hand, people complain to me that they don't hear enough about my life. These are the same people I wouldn't direct to my existing blog because, while I'm willing to include them in my life, I don't necessarily want to include them *that* much. So I ponder it.

    Should you stop being coy? I don't know. Honestly, it depends on how comfortable you are with what you've shared, how great the chance is that some will be upset and cause problems, and how much (or little) you feel like dealing with that. You already censor yourself more than I do, though, so it may not be such an issue. Do what feels right.

  7. As always, Aravis, you're both perceptive and wise.