Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blogging Identity

Earlier on my Epic January Tour (which, all told, was awesome), I had what is now one of my favorite experiences of the whole Amtrak narrative. A fellow PC(USA) blogger approached me in the Chicago Amtrak station asking if I was indeed Madame Future Moderator. The wearing of a clerical collar in such a non-clerical setting was obviously what gave me away. That was its own kind of amazing - the world is indeed that small, especially the PC(USA), but after he and I had our brief conversation, I was left to the astounded query of the woman standing next to me in line -- you mean, he recognized you from your blog??
Left, that is, with the statement to mull over: I am a blogger.
That used to be more of a statement than it is today. I did not make the "early adopter" cutoff, back when Livejournal was populated almost exclusively by artsy angsty college kids, but I joined in 2002. My version of blogging fame back then was that my grandmother would print my public entries on the Prague Blog (a study abroad semester) and read them aloud with a group of friends in the retirement community. I still have a blog over at lj - from our time in Uganda - chronicling our service for Children Of Uganda. That blog hit a wider audience, up to 50 hits a day (back in the day before Google Reader, you see, people had to actually visit the website, whereupon you could count them). This blog was discovered by our cousin's girlfriend, off in Peace Corps, who passed it on to said cousin as recommended reading - not knowing we were family.
These days I get fb friend requests from blog readers, and I actually kind of freak out about that. Facebook used to be a small world, like the livejournal community of yore, but suddenly it's almost indistinguishable from the Real World -- the walls are disappearing.
Recently I was at a dance where a conspicuously awkward man went around archiving the evening on a handheld video camera. If that video makes it to YouTube you'll see me making horrible faces at the camera, because I felt so uncomfortable with that idea. The next day I ferociously organized all my facebook friend lists, privacy settings, search settings, application settings. I may not have ended up any more anonymous than I started, but at least I felt in control.
For the most part, however, I am not troubled by the expanding walls on the world of blogging. This is a little world where I'm actually rather confident -- the playground of words, sentences, verbal blocks of meaning.
Wordle: Presbybug

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