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Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Friday, June 23, 2006


Live blogging: The Emotional Life moderated by Lisa Williams

Sylvia Paull and Kristie Wells
Originally uploaded by marytsao.
Lisa came to the blogosphere to be alone and she found all of us.

The blogs are her home: food blogs in her kitchen, gardening blogs in her garden, and all of us in her living room.

she's been blogging all of her life, in a way. she had a diary, but then her boryfriend read it. for a couple of years she couldn't write in her journal because of this. And yet even though one of the reasons she no longer kept a journal was because it was no longer private, she now (when she started her blog six years ago) was going to blog and let anybody/everybody read it.

Her first entry she untied the knot of her secrets and wrote, "I don't give a flying fuck about your proprieties, little man! Free at last!"

She talked about desert island blogging. And then, one day, a comment. It's like a note in a bottle washing up on the beach instead of you continually lobbing them into the ocean. Blogosphere. Interchange. Communication. And now she's here with us today and wants to know why we blog. What was the most serious thing we ever blogged?

(While I was thinking of my own answer to this question, Terry answered the question). "On April 15 I found my wife dead on the bathroom floor. We were married 18 months. She was 41." The first thing he did after he got home from the hospital, was to blog about it. That's when he truly understood the power of the blogosphere and the community aspect of it. 246 comments and as many emails. BUT it offended certain family members who felt it wasn't appropriate for him to put his grief out in the blogosphere in this way. He thinks the community aspect is often overlooked in discussions about the blogosphere, but he knows it and feels it and says thank you.

Lisa found her own father dead in his house and she also blogged about it. But she closed comments and she put most of the entry behind a "more" tag because it was graphic. It's graphic when you find a body.

Chris Pirillo: I've led a very public life online. Have revealed a lot about his personal life. Was writing Lockergnome for more than a decade. He blogged about his previous marriage. The most difficult blog entry he's ever had to write was the one announcing his break-up. He received lots of backlash and he was the bad guy; he took the fall. Now he's engaged to Ponzi and even though she knew his past and what blogging was about, she wanted in and she blogs, too.

Ponzi replies! She had opened up about a vacaton she had been on with Chris and it was ugly, but it helped her to blog about it. Unfortunately, most of the comments were negative. And since then, she hasn't blogged that way and completely opened her heart. Now she thinks more about it or doesn't blog that day (if she's feeling down.)

Martin only blogs about his professional life. He keeps his family and everything personal out of it. He just can't let his family be exposed to something like that -- he does have an audience.

Doc Searls started blogging everything. After 9/11 he came out as a pacifist. Then he started getting weird comments and people driving by his house, which freaked out his wife. He only very ocassionally blogs about his family, and it's all based on a deal he made with his wife. He doesn't think his blog is as good now that he's not as personal.

Lisa's husband hasn't asked her not to blog anything, but her own maxim is: Don't blog what you don't own. She also has a friendly stranger rule. Would she tell a stranger at a bus stop the information? If so, it's blog safe material. She doesn't want her friends to think that anything she says to them is blogable.

Niall Kenedy has had a conversation with his family. Some things he doesn't blog about for good reasons.

Rex Hammock refers to his kids but not by their name. He wants them to create their own online references on their own.

Will wrote last year about a friend who had died last year and it was a good blog post that lots of people --friends of his friends-- came to and posted about their friend. So that was good. But a few months ago, he broke up with his girlfriend and since one of her gripes was that he had never blogged about her. So that night he did a youtube video of her breakup. The next day it was a Digg (favorite?) and all over the blogosphere. It also connected his job and his girlfriend so it was just bad. He took it down and deleted the post but random strangers will find out who he is and reference it.

Liz thinks that the more things like what happens to Will happens, the world will be more tolerant of them. She also wonders how Lisa can not blog things that she doesn't own.

Lisa says it's a loss that she can't blog about her husband but that it's a good thing she can't complain about people online because that's a waste.

Kevin has found blogging as an ice breaker is great.

Lisa says she's used up her lifetime supply of small talk. Blogging cuts to the chase.

Kristie spoke about blogging on the desert island but then a post about sinus infection was linked to from a friend's blog. She was shocked when something was critical of the post. She hadn't thought about somebody as either reading or caring. That slowed her down for a month but now she doesn't care and she puts it all out there and thinks that's important.

Lisa admitted to screwing up people's lives with linking -- she linked to a friend and her friend hadn't told her mother about her blog, but Lisa had "outed" her. Later her friend also got fired about her blog.

Robert Cox reminds us that another emotion is anger. He wanted to let us know that every single day he gets an email from somebody who is getting sued over something he or she wrote on his or her blog. Defamation law suits with good cases that probably will pay out. He suggests people incorporate their blog so that if they do get sued they won't lose their house. Especially if they have any readership at all.

Lisa was kind of freaked out at SXSW when random people would take her picture and then she'd find them on Flickr. There was no asking permission.

Jory says that blogging has cleaned up her life. Nobody in her family talked about much until she started blogging. She blogged about the death of her father and then her mom (Joy of Six) started her own blog and finally started blogging about stuff. She still doesn't talk to Jory about stuff but Jory will find out from her blog.

Elisa doesn't blog about her relationship. But she did talk about how writing is different from telling. She blogged about 9/11 things that she never spoke about at the time. The thing about sharing the story and finally getting it out , she's really glad she did it. That was the most emotional blogging she ever did.

Mary Hodder thinks it's amazing that years ago in Eastern Europe, men were spying on their wives and now we just put everything out there involuntarily.

Jay never puts anything personal on his blog every. And yet, blogging is still a very emotional thing for him even if it's not a private thing. It's the freedom. To say what we want, to address what we think needs addressing. And that to him is a very emotional and powerful thing because that's what this country is about. The freedom to say what you want is to be what you are. Also, his career was fine before blogging but everything he wrote as a published writer had to pass through an editor and that was frustrating. No longer having to deal with editors is freedom. And the freedom to create yourself online.

Lisa made a comment about about backing up the only part of herself that can be backed up.

I commented that even (and especially) when we are blogging about personal and difficult things and that can help others. In particular, PPD for mommybloggers. Knowing that we aren't alone. It can be hard to read but it's important both for the writer and the reader.

Marc is giving a shout out to Lisa -- an amazing mommyblogger and his wife.

Nick Bradbury wrote about leaving a legacy for his kids and allowing them in the future to know him in a way that most kids don't know their dad.

Blogging as a way to preserve our humanity.

Sylvia brought up the idea that Jews in concentration camps could not express their thoughts and how wonderful it is that we now can.

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