Tuesday, October 21, 2008


How do you decide what's "blogworthy?"

When I first started little little gem, I said that everything was game for blog fodder. I think this freaked a few friends out, causing one or two to ask for photo approval if they were involved. 

But along the way, following my "everything's game" vision, I seriously pissed off some family members. So now I've amended my blog vision a bit, even if it kills me not to write about certain things I encounter. It's like the ultimate test of my self-control. I think of my blog as a journal of things that happen to me on a daily basis, but sometimes, I have to know when to keep my mouth shut - something I haven't totally figured out yet in my late-20s.
But just because some family things have to stay off-blog, that doesn't mean I can't find other amusing things, right?

So to avoid pissing off anyone else I'm related to and who buys me a Christmas gift, I opt to share embarrassing things that happens to me and taking random pictures so that I have something dumb/entertaining to share. I know I'm easily amused by this.


Beginning of a Wisconsin fish boil (oh boy does that flame get big!)

Yes, this is tiger wallpaper

Nowadays, my dad sighs when he sees me taking out my camera to take "geez, another" picture. 

Here's a snippet of our standard conversation:

"Why do you need to take a picture of that?"

"Dad, I might want to blog about it, and if I don't take a picture of it, I'll want to write about it and have nothing to share."

"But is it really necessary?"

"Yes, it is, now hold my purse so I can get a better shot from the ground."

I'm like a kid playing in the dirt while my dad holds my purse, which I'm sure temporarily emasculates him.

I guess my questions to the group tonight are:
  • How do you decide what to blog about
  • Is there anything that automatically stays off-blog?
Reader Note: Thank you to everyone for your comments on yesterday's trip down movie memory lane. Oh my gosh the comments were so much fun to read! I do have to say that one movie that came up a few times, "Labyrinth" was definitely a movie I remember, same with "Willow." And now that I have the Jem song stuck in my head, I'll have to mix it up with She-Ra, also a great mention, and of course Strawberry Shortcake. Anyone remember Tinkerbell nail polish??


Lacey Bean said...

Tinkerbell nail polish was the shit. And peeling it all off was the best part!!!

Blaez said...

As you can tell by reading my blog that I don't censor much. Actually, I don't really censor anything because after a while in the "deadzone" aka PrivateBlog it becomes public. All you have to do is click on "secrets unveiled"....

i use code names and try to be discrete but since i don't hide who i am, anyone who knows me in real life could tell who i'm talking about.

i guess it all depends on what you are comfortable talking about. and if you want to take pictures of family and friends and post them, blurr the faces out using a photo editor if you don't think they'd be comfortable with being imortalized on a blog.

personally, my family really doesn't know i have a blog. Joe and my sister Feather know about it. I've been tempted to send the link to FaveAunt. but I don't advertise it.

doubt i helped much, but Good luck with your choices! may they always be the "right" ones :)

Kyla Bea said...

lol I'm finding myself doing the picture taking more and more - I'm trying to be a little more theme-y each week but that will probably never come to pass completely.

I don't blog about family, other than my sister's blog & fashion sense. I wrote a post about my bachelorette party that caused a serious fist between my mom and I for a little while - and found out that, really - everything's not game.

If I have a readership, I really can't have this be a diary as well - and I'm okay with that. I like to twitter with you guys all day long, and e-mail back and forth. That connection is still just as real if you know the exact circumstances of my fighting with my mom or not = )

Stephanie said...

I guess I just blog about whatever pops into my head. Sometimes I just want to rant about politics, or talk about mascara, or sometimes I just feel the need to let people know that I accidently wore a maternity shirt.

Off limits stuff? I try not to make my blog too personal. But, I think that's why I don't have a huge following. I'm like generic Dimetapp. Everyone wants that yummy grape, but sometimes I let people down by looking all purple, but I'm flavorless.

I loved Tinkerbell makeup! I can smell it now just thinking about it. Good times!

Mandy said...

I had forgotten all about Tinkerbell makeup!

As for censoring on the blog, since only a few people in my real life now about the blog I can lay it all out there. I tend to use the blog as a journal too but there are some things that are just too personal and I'm not comfortable posting. As for pics of friends, the pics that show up on my blog are also other places like myspace or facebook.

LBluca77 said...

I actually have not told anyone in my real life that I have a blog. So far noone has found it, which they could easily since I don't blog anonymous.

I do make sure not to mention anyone's name or show their face in any pics or tell any of their secrets. I feel like I would need their permission for that, and then I would have to tell them about the blog.

elle michelle said...

Anything even CLOSE to work-related is off-limits for me and Angilio. Not so much because we want it to be, but more so because our coworkers found our blogs and now stalk them daily. Though we never discuss work online anyway, somehow they still manage to find things to whine and cry about. Some things, I will just never understand!

Maki said...

I tend to write about my life; what happens to me or what I see or feel on daily basis. I try my best to keep my friends' and family's privacy safe by not disclosing their real name, but then again, I show their faces in the photos - hmmm, funny, huh?

Off limits - probably to embarassing others by talking about them (friends and family)..

Great post, Jess! xoxo

Anonymous said...

I don't post much. But I'll pretty much post about anything that isn't work related. I know from experience that having your boss find your blog can be a very embarrassing, not nice situation.

In my personal life, as long as it's MINE I will blog about it. I don't want to hurt friends or family, but I'm aware that censoring too much can cramp your style...

(PS - that's a lion!)

Rebekah said...

I don't really write about my family much... and they don't get to read what I do write because I think they'd have a collective stroke if they knew what I was up to.

I censor a few things... IF I write about work it must just be a funny thing, not anything that could get me in trouble, and when I wrote about patients I always changed names and identifying details to comply with legal stuff.

But at the end of the day, what is blogworthy?

Whatever I say is. Hah.

LJ said...

Ha I like that wall paper!

What is blog worthy is hard question for me, I'm always thinking about this. Sometimes I write a post and if I'm indecisive on a certain blog for some reason, I will sleep on it and decide the next day if I want to publish it. I few times I have decided not to and I was glad I thought it over.

I guess its one of those things you have to decide for yourself. How personal it is and how much you want to share with the world.

Anonymous said...

Ha, Love the wallpaper. I take pictures of everything, too!
As for what's blogworthy? Essentially, I write about everything except my relationship. That's just off limits for me for some reason.

Rachel Burton said...

Oh, I'm totally a freak with a camera now. I thought some guy was going to pound me on the EL train today for snapping his picture. (I was actually going for the two ladies behind him)

And I saw a Strawberry Shortcake calendar in Borders today. Who knew?!

SA said...

Hope you don't get too much hell for the blog.

As for me, if anything interesting happens (which it doesn't) I write about it. When I'm not too lazy.

Jenn said...

I'm one of those people who believes that whatever I'm thinking is important enough to be blogged about :P I've often toyed with the idea of posting "Monday is jerk" and leaving it at that. So I guess there really isn't a process I go through to choose what to post.

There are some things that stay off blog, such as doing the dirty. That's something that doesn't belong here. I also don't share issues with my friends here. If I have a problem, typically I won't be venting about it. I also stay away from political posts and workplace stuff.

L.C.T. said...

Some people I know read my blog so stuff that would relate to them in any way I don't blog about. If I want to blog about something involving people I know I give them blognames.

Lauren said...

I don't know how i decide what to write about! I will admit, though, I have been known to say, "i'm so writing about this" on a few occasions. Heh.

Cheryl said...

I try not to blog about work, althought that doesn't prevent me from blogging AT work. I guess that's my biggest limit.

Kim & Ryan said...

I do not blog about work. Almost everything else is fair game, particularly the husband (bless him). I give him veto power though. If he says he doesn't want it blogged about, I don't (or I find a way around the veto).

I'm totally with you for photos. I'm not a good photographer by any means, but I feel that it helps a blog to have photos in posts. So, I am constantly taking photos. The husband is finally starting to understand. I think he enjoys the blog deep down too.... He actually said, "Blog that sh*t" yesterday. I was amused.

Anonymous said...

Good questions! I think anything is fair game on my blog... although in past blogs- I've pissed off a few friends. And by that, made one think I was the worst person in the world for talking about MY perspective on something she decided to do and another former friend get SUPER pissed at my perspective on how our friendship ended. Apparently she didn't think the same thing. Ahhh.. greatness. So I try to limit the exposure my blog gets with people I personally know. My family doesn't know I blog so- which is good. I think I'd be written out of every will if they knew.

And Tinkerbell nailpolish? Oh crap, now I want some. that was the best stuff ever!

Kayleigh said...

I love the tiger wallpaper----- wow, that's a new one!! LOL LOL.

As for blogging and what is off limits...for me, it's describing in illicit detail people I sleep with, or have a really intimate encounter with. You won't find me giving X rated play by plays on my blog, especially since someone I have hooked up with in the recent past is a fellow blogger and reads my blog. That would just get weird if I wrote about him. On that same page I refrain from writing anything intimate/detailed about one of my ex's whom I am still close to and who reads my stuff.

I also stay away from work stuff, unless it's general instances of hilarity. I don't complain about the company, specific people, etc. I think it's safer that way. Although no one can find my blog in searches...yeah...don't want to risk that.

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

I write about whatever I feel like, but on my blog, as in real life, I try to be mindful and not say anything that I would not say to someones face. I forgot that one time only and learned my lesson.

I do make sure never to blog about anything work-confidential. Obviously.

EP said...

Like you, I censor some things about my family. While my fam doesn't read the blog, I am terrified of one of them finding it, then spreading it around (because that's what they do.)

I also like to change names or use initials so things aren't as easily findable or exposing. *shrugs*

laurwilk said...

Those are lions, not tigers! :)

This censoring has been very difficult for me. I find that the large majority of things are off limits and it sometimes makes it difficult to write.

Passion is, for me, what makes blogging enjoyable. And it bothers me that I can't write about all that passionately all that often.

I am so far from anonymous, it's absurd. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, pastors, boyfriend, best friends...everyone reads my blog daily.

Sometimes I wish I could go back and be anonymous, but that's just not me. I'd end up telling a few people and soon, my whole hometown would know about it once again.

I just try to be mindful of feelings and write more positive than negative. (Or really, no negative if at all possible.) If I wouldn't say it to someone's face, it doesn't go on my blog!

Miss Grace said...

I'm in love with that tiger wallpaper. WHERE did it come from??

Athena Valentine said...

It's kinda hard to decide what stays off blog. I want to blog about tons of things and somethings I want to blog about aren't the greatest, like my finances or when people piss me off. But even though they don't leave comments I know people read my blog and might pretend to get offended. I used to try to do those types of blogs on my private myspace but I'm way over that website. :)


Angela said...

That's pretty tight wallpaper, I've gotta admit it. Done in the right way, it'd be a great decoration in a room!

I guess I just blog about whatever comes to mind. Years previously, my blog was just basically a diary or journal where I wrote down what I did on a day to day basis (you can read my archives from ~2004 for an example). Now, I blog about my days, thoughts, just whatever. There's nothing that's automatically not-bloggable. I try to stay tactful with everything I write when I write about people, and I try to keep some of my private life details underwraps. But most of the names you read on my blog are actual names of people. There are a couple exceptions, but I only use them when a nickname is more appropriate so my readers don't get confused.

Katelin said...

yeah my friends make fun of me and ask "is this going on your blog?", of course it is i say, haha. i don't really know what exactly is blogworthy but i try and figure it out as i go.

Ginger said...

I have a very conservative family, so I generally don't post anything that I wouldn't say in conversation with them. It limits me a lot(religion, politics, and my crazy family could make for endlessly fascinating posts), but what can I say, I'm the peacekeeper.

ToughGirl101 said...

YES, what i do in the army and for the army automatically stays off blog and of course since my fam reads the blog, some things like how early i was miserable in my marriage didnt get blogged until it was completely over. I try to practice discretion as best I can.

Megkathleen said...

I don't post about work. That's pretty much my only steadfast rule. If somebody doesn't want to be mentioned I respect that and leave them off. Chuckles hates my blog so that's hard to try and keep that part of my life out of it, but I try!

Jessica said...

I have just started blogging recently, so I am still learning what is game and what is not. I am trying to remain fairly anonymous so people I know in real life don't come across my ramblings (though I guess posting pics doesn't really help that cause) but I am learning.

I guess I figure out what to blog about by whatever I am thinking about that day. For instance, this morning I had no idea what to post about, and I waited a little bit, and then I was on the train listening to my iPod, and just came across what I wanted to write about...and come home..and wrote about it. I guess whatever inspires me! Haha.

Alexa said...

i think lots of stuff is blog worthy i kinda just post what i feel like.

a lot of stuff actually stays off the blog, i don't talk about boys AT ALL. my mom does not need to hear about my sex life. or lack there of currently - haha

you know what i mean

superficialid said...

Now we know a lot of bloggers write to entertain their readers, but I make the case that one should write to express themselves ( and find themselves) and if thoughts or ideas are suppressed we only further hide from self discovery.

Bobbie said...

Well, the only think I think that needs to stay off blogs are heated personal issues I have with others, or other people's personal business, unless I receive permission first. (Like the thing about my boyfriend's dad. He actually made a YouTube video of them stitching up his dad's amputated toes. So I know he didn't care.) Certainly you might not want to talk about work stuff. I have heard of friends of mine who blog getting fired because of their blogs. And obviously, you probably don't want to post questionable photos of yourself. Let other people do that for you on facebook and then un-tag yourself, haha.

And I love taking pictures. I think my next blog is going to be a photo session of the photos I took with an old 35mm film SLR with black and white film. I just got them developed yesterday and they are lovely. They are of downtown and Lincoln Park, at night.

Princess Pointful said...

I try not to complain too much on my blog, or detail too much about my schoolwork, as I know it is dull for the average person.
I am also neurotic, and try not to stick with one tone for too long... e.g. not too many funny posts in a row or too many serious or too many detailing person anecdotes.

Anonymous said...

Funny you mention family. I never mentioned my family on my previous blog, but certain family members (who I resent calling family) felt the need to stalk my blog and once made a fake account to mock my posts. Oh how I love the power of sitemeter!