Removing The Shroud Of Secrecy

by derek on September 2, 2008 · 34 comments

Just a few months back, I asked all of you the question:
Have you introduced anyone to blogging?
While discussing the idea of sharing a passion for blogging with others in your life, I noted that I had essentially been leading a double life. At the time, there were very few people in my personal (aka non-Interweb) life that had any clue that I had been actively blogging for approximately two years.
That has since changed.
As I sit here today, there are quite a few people that are close to me that are fully aware of my Interweb adventures. Some of them are likely reading this post. Some of them have even expressed an interest in starting their own blog.
The other day we were talking about situations where the juice is worth the squeeze and having the ability to share my passion for blogging with someone in my life is yet another instance where the juice is most certainly worth the squeeze.
Being able to introduce someone to the thrill of having their own blog is outstanding. Witnessing them quickly become bitten by the bug of blogging is priceless!
But I have to admit that removing the shroud of secrecy surrounding my double life has been a rather, well, interesting experience. The strangest most interesting thing has been the realization that people I know are actually reading what I write. That fact is kind of cool and bizarre all at the same time.
The reason that I find it somewhat bizarre is that I tend to be rather (those that know me might be saying extremely) reserved in my personal life, only disclosing the details to people that need to know them. However, when writing on the Interweb, I tend to be a little more free with sharing my thoughts and experiences.
That isn’t a bad thing though – it has actually been quite liberating.
Knowing that people close to me are reading the words I write hasn’t (and never will) changed what I write, other than maybe paying a little more attention to my grammar – friends can be brutal when you make a mistake. Since becoming a little more open with family and friends regarding my blogging, I have to admit that it is pretty cool when someone tells you that they read your most recent post and then share their thoughts about it with you.
As a matter of fact, had I continued to lead the double life of blogging in secrecy, I would have missed out on so many new experiences and conversations. Looking back, I wish that I had told more people about my blogs earlier on.
You might be asking why I ever wanted to blog under the cloak of secrecy.
When I started my first blog, I was blogging about personal finances and, as many of you know, that is a topic that few people openly share with one another. Therefore I felt that it would be easiest to limit the number of people that were aware of my blog. Since that time I have learned to step out of my comfort zone a little more and let the chips fall where they may.
While I can certainly appreciate the fact that there are still very valid reasons that one would want to remain anonymous when blogging, I do not have any regrets that my shroud of secrecy has been removed.
Rather than be concerned that my secret will be revealed, I now embrace each opportunity to share my passion with a friend.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Ling@Uptake September 2, 2008 at 11:17 pm

If anything, I’d say that removing the shroud of secrecy will have enhanced your real-life relationships, since you now feel the need to match what you write online with what you actually say to your friends in-person. You see any change in your real-life personality?

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derek September 3, 2008 at 8:57 pm

I believe it has changed my real-life personality some as well, as I have taken some chances in putting myself out there that I otherwise might not have done.

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kouji@haiku poems examples September 3, 2008 at 1:26 am

interesting. right now, i mostly continue to lead a double life. but little by little i’ve been opening up to a select few. in a way, i felt a bit more confident after getting comments from strangers who read my blog. so now i feel a little less hesitant about telling people i actually know that i write haikus.
koujis last blog post..haiku poem: g is for green leaves

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derek September 3, 2008 at 8:58 pm

That is great, sounds very similar to how I approached it as I gradually told a few people and it slowly became more and more people that knew.

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Cesar@Webmaster Blog September 3, 2008 at 1:51 am

I still don’t feel confident to reveal my personal life and secret stuffs in my blogs but it’s an interesting idea. Maybe when I get more visitors I will do that little by little too.
Cesars last blog post..Google Chrome is available to download

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olly@Boss Effects Pedals September 3, 2008 at 1:51 am

I think it is a good move – I have never made it a secret that I blog but I haven’t advertised it as there is a quite a few people that I associate with that don’t even know what a blog is!

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derek September 3, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Lol, I can appreciate that…the best is when people that don’t really understand what a blog is learn that I have been making a modest amount of money each month doing it. That usually blows their mind.

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olly@Boss Effects Pedals September 4, 2008 at 2:09 am

Yes I usually find that immediately they want to start one, although generally when people think of earning money online they think of an easy ride – when they find out they actually have to work for it, generally they don’t bother.
So far I have had several people interested, saying they want to do it but no one actually has yet!

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Kelvin Kao@Puppet Kaos September 3, 2008 at 2:36 am

I don’t really go around and tell people about my blog, but I don’t hide it either. It’s in all my online profiles, and those who want to find them can easily find them. However, this also prevents me from writing about certain things that I don’t want people to know about. Then again, if I really don’t want people to know something, I’d just keep it in my head.
Kelvin Kaos last blog post..Viral Puppet Video Based on Movie β€œFearless”

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derek September 3, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Lol, I love that ending line Kelvin!

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Bob @ iPod Repair September 3, 2008 at 6:33 am

I think alot of people were in your situation. Its almost is if you live a double life.

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Jon@Custom T-Shirts September 3, 2008 at 8:21 am

I too lead a double life. Hardly anyone knows about what I do online or how much money I make. I think it’s better that way. Less questions, less hassle πŸ™‚

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derek September 3, 2008 at 9:01 pm

That is true, sometimes it is easier to keep it quiet. But I really love sharing my knowledge and experiences with people so I have found it to be a welcome thing.

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Terry @ SEO Blog September 3, 2008 at 8:55 am

I tell as many people as I can. But my blog is a little different. I rarely get very personal.
Terrys last blog post..Keywordluv plugin

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Nicole Price September 3, 2008 at 9:40 am

Derek, it is liberating! From my friends reading my blogs, I now find that my readers are becoming my friends, without ever meeting face to face! This has truly been the greatest advantage of my blogging experience.
Nicole Prices last blog post..The Fastest Growing Companies

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derek September 3, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Absolutely, I have established relationships with people that I have yet to meet in person but would consider them to be a friend. I’m hoping that I will finally get a chance to meet some of these people in person when attending BlogWorld in a few weeks!

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Dave September 3, 2008 at 10:09 am

For a while, I didn’t tell anyone about my blogs. Then I decided…why not? I figure the more people I tell the more traffic I will receive! Afterall, I do want an audience…. πŸ™‚

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ms danielle September 3, 2008 at 12:06 pm

i have to give it up to my friends who know that i blog, who visit my site and read what i have to say even though some of it’s technical or theory driven. i do wonder how people who don’t blog who read their friends blog view blogging now. inspiration for a post… thanks derek! πŸ˜€

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derek September 3, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Hey…you’re one of those people I just mentioned above that I am hoping I will get to meet at BWE! Are you going to be there?

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Chelle@Dating and Relationships September 3, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Most of my family and friends know about my blogs, some of them even read them once in awhile! Though I do have a few that most people don’t know that I have at all.

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Nicole Price September 4, 2008 at 6:58 am

My greatest disappointment has been my family, who while initially were quite enthusiastic, now hardly visit my site and sort of wonder why I bother!

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Damien Riley September 3, 2008 at 7:39 pm

I read a while back it was helpful to traffic to mentor someone. So far I have had 3 people I have mentored with mixed results. I think some people want blogging to be something in a fantasy world. When they find out it’s mostly code, networking, and writing even when you don’t want to … they kind of peter out. But hey … that just leaves more room for the serious folks! And if any of my mentees are reading this … you rock!
Damien Rileys last blog post..The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me

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derek September 3, 2008 at 9:06 pm

That is something that I have been giving some thought to lately as I would love to be able to handle all of the code (and even networking) for someone that just wants to write. I’m a geek through and through and love to be into the code and everything behind the scenes.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy writing as well but I can work on code non-stop, lol.

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Nick September 24, 2008 at 7:41 am

I can work on code “non-stop” as well. I have at times forgotten to eat, drink, or sleep from say 7PM to 4AM simply because I was working on some piece of code.
Nicks last blog post..Let The Frenzy Commence

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marianmystery September 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm

It was also recently that I invited five friends to visit my blog. I guess at first, I write blogs to express myself. I couldn’t care less whether I will be read or not. perhaps, I have not totally gotten the confidence to take off my own veil. Maybe someday.
marianmysterys last blog post..Marian Month

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Damien Riley September 4, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Blogging is a learning curve. My understanding of Derek’s post is that he is finally letting his inner circle, once identified in cyberculture as irl people, know that he has been professionally blogging for almost 2 years.
What I am hearing you say is a bit of a different matter and one that I see probably in 80% of the blogs I run across. Personally, and I know you probably didn’t mean it this way I am just speaking in generalities, I find it boring when people publish blogs and proclaim they don’t care if they are read. Don’t blogs have a private feature? I know Wordpress and Blogger do.
A blog is a “Weblog” and either an online diary or a niche blog. I say, if you are honing your skills then admit you care what people think and whether you are read, otherwise, it’s not really a weblog it’s a private log.

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Steve@Free iPods September 5, 2008 at 1:55 pm

I tend to keep my virtual and off-line lives totally separate. Whilst most of my friends actively use PCs and t’internet, there is still a “geeky” type of stigma when I talk to them about all things online.

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Justin@Going Green September 6, 2008 at 9:09 am

I think it depends on what kind of blog you run. For some niches, it is easier to let other people in.

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Andrew September 6, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Personally, I lead a ‘double life’, as you called it. It’s not that I’m afraid that my friends will think I’m a geek; more like, most of them wouldn’t understand the whole thing. So only a few of my friends know about my blogs πŸ™‚
Andrews last blog post..Warhammer Online lead designer writes Age of Conan off

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pauletet September 7, 2008 at 1:51 am

What i love about Derek Semmler’s Blog is it is open to others opinion unlike other blogs pretending to be open but just wanted to hear what they want to and not the real score of their blogs.

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Bogdan Radu September 7, 2008 at 3:59 am

I think alot of people were in your situation, ts almost is if you live a double life
Bogdan Radus last blog post..Decathlon – Extreme – Fun Sport

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Mr Article September 8, 2008 at 12:55 pm

I introduced a few friends but they never kept it up and i believe it effects real life in terms of how you look at situations and discuss things, since you get so tied up in the blogging world. Just my 2 cents!

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Nick September 24, 2008 at 7:39 am

I must admit, I do kinda lead a double life in that respect. I don’t necessarily have any qualms about telling anyone about my site or what I do, but at the same time I’m not one to bring it up and tell people about it at every opportunity. As of yet, I’ve only had a couple of people talk to me in person about my site and/or something they read on it.
Nicks last blog post..Let The Frenzy Commence

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