Thursday, May 29, 2008

This Blog Gets Me in Trouble Again

Once again this blog gets me in trouble. This time with a slightly larger audience.

If you're reading this, it means you had to log in or create some sort of Google account. (Unless for some reason I've screwed up and this blog is still public. In which case someone tell me now!)

I got home from school the other day and checked my e-mail, and there were a surprising amount of comments on the last post. Ah, nice to know people care, I thought. Then I thought, "Wait a minute, do I even know half these people? Who knew my blog was so popular?"

And then I had yet another thought, and went over to my stat-counter account, to look at who has been reading my blog lately. And, sure enough, I'd been picked up by "the NET". Within 30 hours of posting, my previous blog post was making its way around the various bulletin boards.

There are several bulletin boards that specialize for expatriates in Japan, and at last count my previous post was the topic of 3 different bulletin board discussions, one of which was under the heading: "Check out this blog of a stereo-typical Nova loser." The following discussions on these BBs revolved around how much of a loser I was.

Gee, way to kick a guy when he's down, huh?

After 5 years of blogging in obscurity, I guess I'm finally getting my 15 minutes of internet fame. Somehow this was not quite the way I imagined it would happen.

It certainly felt a bit surreal to have all these people I didn't know taking such an active interest in my life, and even actively debating it with eachother.

So there I was, thinking to myself, "Well, it's a good thing I've got tough skin", and "That's what you get for posting stuff on the internet", when it suddenly hit me that all of this internet attention was completely unfair to Shoko.

So I decided the least I could do was take this blog underground temporarily while I re-evaluated my editorial process.

Not that it did me much good. Within minutes of my taking my blog down, links appeared on the BB sites to the Google cached version of my post. Ah, caught by the Google cache. It's an all to common story among bloggers these days.

So, for the moment, it looks like I'm stuck with my post floating around the internet. (Unless any of you tech people know a way out of this mess.)

The thing is I should have known better. I mean I had read all the blogging horror stories, and I even personally knew a couple people who had gotten burned by their blogs. Not to mention several of you have cautioned me on occasion that I was occasionally crossing the line with this blog. I guess if you want to say "I told you so", now's your opportunity.

Clearly I have a lot of personal information on this blog, not just about me but about other people. And although I was not unaware of privacy issues related with blogging, I never thought this blog would get a lot of attention. (Yeah, that's what they all say after they get burned, isn't it?) So I'm going to stay underground for a bit while I think through some of these blogging related issues. Hopefully this won't completely ruin what has been a good outlet for me over the past few years, and helped to keep me sane during my time in Japan

For the time being , I'm going to try and think about some good blogging rules with the idea of bringing this blog public again
Specifically: I'm going to try and keep personal updates to a minimum, and try keep other people's information out of it.

I'll concentrate instead on my various blogging projects: Book reviews, movie reviews , Video reviews, and (if I ever get another free day) "Better Know a City" travelogues. Hopefully all those will keep me out of trouble.

Several of you have told me you're not very interested in my various reviews, and I can completely understand that because quite frankly I'm not sure I would be interested in someone else's reading list either. But it does keep me out of trouble and although my voyeristic posts make for much more interesting reading, they obviously carry certain dangers with them as well. Now that I'm 30, maybe it's finally time to take a step towards more adult blogging.

As for the Retrospections...
I hate to stop doing those, because I really enjoy the reminiscing. And I've already got a bunch of those pre-written, which I was hoping was going to help me get through dry blogging spells as I concentrate on schoolwork.
But even after forgoing full names, I'm worried all that information about other people is asking for trouble. I've been trying to justify them on the basis that they're old enough to be beyond carrying, but you never know what someone else will care about, do you? Especially if I ever find a post of mine making the rounds on the internet Bulletin Boards again...

I don't know, what do you guys think?

Link of the Day
Jessica Yellin: Reporters Were “Under Enormous Pressure” From Corporate Executives to Support War


Anonymous said...

joel, man, i told you so. --b

Dozer said...

Sorry it happened to ya. Thanks for inviting me to your blog(I had to be invited, so no worries there).

K said...

Wow, Joel...I'm so sorry about all this! I had no idea. Hang in there!

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