I'm pregnant and I want to start a blog, both to keep track of my soon-to-be baby's growth and development and to "meet" other new moms. I admire the support and friendship I see in the blogging community. At the same time, I'm afraid of sharing too much information online and I'm worried about putting my baby's picture "out there." I'm also afraid I'll censor myself too much for fear that someone I know "in real life" will read my blog. However, I really want to blog! What should I do? Is blogging anonymously the way to go?
When people tell me that they want to start a blog I say, "Wow, really? Do you have THAT MUCH FREE TIME?" Because the truth is that blogging, like anything, is a time commitment. Whether it's writing your own posts, or reading and commenting on other people's posts, you'll only get out of it what you put into it. Want an online journal? You'll need to post regularly. Want to build friendships with other women? You'll need to read their blogs and comment so that they come to know you. All of this takes time.
Before you start a blog, ask yourself what you want from it. Do you want to share photos and stories with Grandma and other people that you know? Do you want to meet people and be a part of the online community? Do you want an online scrapbook for yourself? Do you want it to be some combination of the three? Or something else entirely?
Once you've figured out WHY you're blogging, you can figure out HOW you should blog. If you decide that your blog is a private journal for your friends and family, consider adding a password to limit access.
If you decide that your blog is a mechanism for meeting strangers and making them friends, then talk to your spouse about how much information you are BOTH comfortable posting on the internet. You may decide that photos are fine but that you won't mention what city you live in or your last name.
If you decide that your blog is a way for you to vent about all of the pent up frustration in your life and you want to talk about what a jerk your boss is or how STUPID your husband can be or how your mother has a drinking problem, then DON'T BLOG. SERIOUSLY. There's no guarantee that anything you put on the internet is going to stay private or anonymous. Don't write anything that would ruin your life if someone did a search on your name and found it.
Blogging is an amazing way to enrich your life through technology. Putting a little thought beforehand into what you want to say will help you find your voice.
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