Monday, February 25, 2008

Keeping People in the Dark

I have this theory, and tell me what you think about it.

My theory that people don't like bloggers who don't post pictures of themselves and their families as much as those that do. I'm not saying that those that don't are shunned or made to sit in the corner. But I've noticed that a lot of the most popular bloggers are the ones that really put themselves out there.

And to some degree, I can understand that. I mean, it is human nature to want to connect with people, and how can you do that with someone who is faceless to you? And that is fine with me, I am not trying to criticize. It just isn't my cup of tea.

I mean, even newspaper writers are doing it now, awkward photos above online bylines.

But really, does it make a difference?

I actually sort of value my anonymity. And I certainly value the anonymity of my child. There are some major whackjobs out there, and even though they don't constitute the majority, they are scary enough to make me never want them to lay eyes on my kid or save his image on their computers.

I have had an opportunity to "blow my cover" quite a few times recently, and each time I chose to not reveal myself.

I can count on my hand the number of fellow bloggers who know what I look like. And I'd like to keep it that way, really.

Because once you have crossed that invisible line, it's like your virginity, you just can't get it back.

What do you think?

P.S. I'm not necessarily talking about myself as a boo-hooing when I say the more popular blogs have pics. I just think it's an overall trend thing.


Awesome Mom said...

I think that humans being the visual creatures that we are need pictures to connect more fully. I obviously am not shy about posting pictures of my kids or myself but I kind of wish that I had thought up nicknames for my kids when I started blogging. I like to keep my location mum so that there is not as much of a chance of someone finding us through the internet. I keep my husband and his job pretty secret because I don't want him getting fired because of something I wrote plus the guys at work read my blog so I don't want to let something slip about them that might not be flattering and get in in trouble with his coworkers.

It would be nice to see a current picture of you though.

Margaret said...

i actuaslly don't think about it. I think of you like that photo up there in the corner. That's it. I'm kinda a "face value" type person.

And thanks for your swee twords on my blog this morning. Just hard for us b/c Mark is on some meds that he can't be off of for an extended period of time. We don't have that long of a window before we go to the doc and say HELP!

Family Adventure said...

It doesn't make a difference to me whether or not you put pictures up of you and/or your family.

I use pictures all the time, and I expect I will continue to do so, but many of the blogs I read have no pictures at all - and I still visit them, simply because I enjoy their posts. :)


boogiemum said...

I like to read blogs either way. I think that posts that have at least one picture in them, whether they be clip art or a photograph are more visually enticing. BUT in the end, its the content and quality of the writing that are the more important.

Michelle said...

Never really thought about it, to be honest!

Laura said...

I like your blog with or without. I have always been a "live free or die" type and even moreso now, I guess. I've always figured that if someone wanted to badly enough they could track anybody online. I've seen it happen with the most cautious of users on a Dem board I frequent. And yes, there are crazy people out there.

dgm said...

Wait--You can't get your virginity back?

I don't really mind using my kids' or husband's names, and while I post some pictures, I don't post many. I try not to post any I think might be used for some perv, like pics at the beach or when my son runs around naked in the house.

I understand your inclination towards anonymity, and I share that. My names been outed occasionally b/c my husband has his own blog and readers of both or friends have revealed it but it's so infrequent I don't worry much.
Yes, there are feckin' weirdos out there but if you're going to be a writer, I think at some point you will have to come out, come out, wherever you are!

BTW, you were in my dream and you looked like the picture on your blog, only really tall and adult looking. You only had a cameo role, but your performance was riveting.

Steph said...

I will read blogs either way.

But, I am totally with you on valuing my kids' anonymity. The only pics that I post of the arem non-identifying ones, or ones with their heads cut off :)

Sunshine said...

I like the ones that offer occasional photos or none at all, as opposed to the ones that have constant pictures because, seriously, those kind of bore me to tears.

I mean, lady, I don't need to see your kid in a cute little onesie for the 17th day straight.

So, I may be another demographic altogether. Who knows?

shell said...

i read blogs mostly for their content. if it entertains me, i will read again. i like to keep pretty anonymous myself and try not to use specifics (like real names or real places) on my own blog. i'm not even so sure i'll post a picture of the baby when i have him/her because you're right...there are way too many crazies out there!!

captain corky said...

I personally love to fuck and have no desire to get my virginity back.

Wait... what were we talking about again?

Seriously, I live 700 miles away from my family and friends, and it's very important for me to feel connected to them, and blogging has become my way of accomplishing that.

I'm also a really big HAM. ;)

Autumn's Mom said...

This was interesting to think about. I'm a very visual person. But that doesn't stop me from reading your that because I know what you look like in person?

I used to be more open about posting pictures of Autumn...not so much about myself. But I began to feel more like I was invading her privacy now that she's older so I've stopped. I long to be more open..yet hold onto my privacy so that a thief doesn't steel it.

Piece of Work said...

I actually think that sometimes bloggers who are willing to post pictures of themselves and their families are generally more open about many things in their lives, and that THIS is what people connect with. It just makes sense that if you are the kind of person that is not 'afraid' (for lack of a better word) to have visible evidence of yourself out there for anyone to see, that you would also be the kind of person who doesn't mind sharing more intimate parts of your life. ANd lets face it, those kinds of posts are more interesting than the less personal, blander ones.
That said, there are of course exceptions to this rule. I find myself drawn to blogs that are well written and witty (and this can happen on picture-less or picture-full blogs) AND to blogs where I feel like the blogger trusts us, the readers, and bares his/her soul to a certain degree.

Nance said...

There is no frikkin' way I'll put my face on my blog. There is no control, once it's out there, how it is used, photoshopped, whatever. When I GoogleImage for a pic for my blogpost, I'm amazed at the personal photos that come up. In my feed stats, tons of people get directed to my blog just for images, and the search terms they use are...odd.
That being said, I also am a public high school teacher. I think that pretty much states my entire case.

Cherry said...

I think each person has their reasons for being completely "out there" or choosing to limit the exposure. For me, the writing and the comments is where the connection comes from. (I'm still bummed I didn't get to meet you when you were up here though!)

I figure that if a person wanted to find you, they could. I already have photos of me on a number of sites, but for some reason I don't post my face on the blog. Inconsistent I know.

Maternal Mirth said...

I post pictures, but only 'cuz I'm hot ... oh and modest, too.

I like you ... even without pictures proving you're hot too:)

Scout said...

I don't mind an occasional picture of myself if it serves a purpose—I have posted a couple of them here and there. But I don't like posting pictures of my girls or my husband. First, it's not their blog, and second, I don't want all the odd unknowns out there looking at my pretty babies.

Beenzzz said...

I couldn't care less who knows what I look like. As long as I don't have 12 asses and look like a beaver with the mumps, then the pictures are going up. I don't like to hide behind my words and I want people to know just who is writing all of the posts on my site.
However, that is me. Others choose to remain anonymous and that's their thing.

Rich said...

That's why I have half my face hidden behind a coffee cup. I've put my whole face in posts a while back but still don't feel comfortable doing so. It make me feel like I'm showing off or something.

Actually, I don't mind the mystery blogger.

Mrs. G. said...

I think it's a personal choice. I like both kinds.

Bammy said...

ehh picture or not.. I have my own Idea of yall in my mind.. and Mr P is one cutie patootie.. with dimples and dark mysterious eyes.. in my mind.. am I close? LOL

Ana said...

I say to each his own. To me, it makes not difference if a blog has pix or it doesn't. I have battled the whole security issue, so I fully understand what you are talking about. As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago I started getting concerned all over again and started taking some pictures down. So again, I understand your concern. I've decided to stick mostly with head shots. I don't know why that makes me feel safer. Maybe it's a false sense of security. I should probably just stop and call it a day. Great topic tho!

simplypink said...

I've not posted pics of me because I generally hate pictures of myself. HATE. And also due to my job, I stay away from it.
I read a comment once where a blogger claimed he posted a pic of himself and then no one came back. ;) I could never post one of my kid. Most of my reads are very open and I enjoy them, but I just can't do it.