Blogher 07: Identity: Digital exhibitionists or chroniclers of their time

Listening to the session on digital identity and enjoying the frank discussion of how the bloggers on the panel choose to reveal–and not reveal themselves. JurgenNation author Stacy Campbell is talking about how she’s become more honest, while NoPasaNada blogger Stacy Barmore is discussing how she’s learned, uh, discretion (and not whining). Kris Likey sez she’s realized that not being truthful is highly inaccurate in terms of depicting her reality, and Always Aroused Girl (AAG) reports on how keeping an anonymous blog doesn’t always mean being truly truthful, either.
AAG: “You can write about taking out the trash, and if you write it well, it’s of value.”
Moderator: “Is keeping a journal or a diary different or similar than blogging?”
Audience points:

  • It is different because you know you will get feedback on your account.
  • An online journal is a way to share experiences–and issues.
  • Women writing blogs is powerful because it is a consciously constructed narrative–I can say what I was thinking,
  • “Blogging personal stories makes it okay to be human. To be who you are.”
  • “One of the important things about personal blogs is that the true story of what happened gets told.”

I’m interested in how people decide who to write about others form a philosophy of what and how much to share The panel says:

  • Heather: I focus on me and my reactions, not the other person (I agree with that.)
  • Kris: It’s always about them for the person who reads it, if they find it.
  • Stacy: I might talk briefly about my boyfriend, but I try to respect his own life and keep him out of it. I try not to bring people into it who don’t want to be.

Audience points:

  • If one woman told the truth the world would split open–this is partly true as women tell the truth about their lives–it becomes a radically honest framework for change.
  • “I have been dunmped multiple times for my blog–they couldn’t handle it.”
  • “I went fron bitching about my husband to being so happy because my mother in law started reading my blog,” aka self-censorship. (Do parent bloggers have to hold back? Yes, of course.)

Moderator: Do personal blogs allow us to get beyond common sterotypes (Susan sez: This is a GREAT question!) Panel sez:

  • I like I can be not thin, not young, and have a great sex life and a great sez blog.
  • I know people think I am white, because I am erudite (paraphrase), but I am a young black woman.
  • People ask me if I am married: No. Do I have kids: No. I am just not what they expect. (another paraphrase).

Audience:

  • Are we really being honesty? Is blogging truly a complete record?
  • “If I can’t call you as asshole to your face, I am not going to put it out there.”
  • Draft folders are for personal entries no one wants to publish.
  • MochaMomma: Race is another identity issue.
  • Mary Tsao: We give the world a gift when we write about ourselves…but I get uncomfortable when my friends want to share their intimate details–and expect me to write about it. (another paraphrase)

Susan sez: These sessions–honest talk that appreciates tone, nuance and intent, are the reasons I treasure the sessions at BlogHer. I am also amazed at how many mommybloggers are here–this is a community that truly benefits from being given voice–I wish that single daters were as present and coherent as a community online.

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  1. Heather B. says:

    Lovely recap. P.S. It’s Heather Barmore…just fyi.
    Though Stacy might suit me for a name, who knows. ;-)

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