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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Blog Secrets Revealed

I'm overwhelmed with what I've learned about blogging recently. Did you know that, according to this article from BBC News, Technorati tracks over six million blogs and that 12,000 more are added daily?

I checked out just a few of the Bloggie nominees yesterday and hope to read lots more today. I sipped wine in The Vortex last night and read some of the articles I printed off from the category, "Best Article or Essay About Weblogs". Well, first I filled my shirt pocket with lots of pens (yes, I used protection) and then I put tape on my glasses. Then I read the articles.

In one article, the author discusses how to blog. Tony Pierce has some great advice for bloggers, and I had to stop and think (yes, it hurt) for a minute. Do I reveal too much here?

On the one hand, Tony says to write about whatever you want. But he also insists there are certain people who should not be informed of your blog's existence. For example, he recommends that people you want to date shouldn't know of your blog.

Oops. Actually, I can see why he offers this advice. It can be a problem when someone you want to date or, in my case, someone with whom you've been romantically involved, reads your blog. I feel the repercussions of this daily. But, I dug my own grave. I dug it fast and hard, using some sort of high-powered digging device that could drill straight through the earth's core to the other side of the globe, apparently.

Unless you have never read Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven before, you know that I'm quite open about my romantic interests. If you are new to HTTO, welcome, and you should probably run away now, lest you get tangled in my web of romantic involvement. Anyway, in 2004 I became involved with a couple different bloggers. I wrote about my crush (also known as crunch). I documented my trip across the country to meet this amazing guy. I wrote about my feelings afterwards, when it didn't work out the way I'd hoped.

When I became involved with yet another blogger, I received a phone call from the first blogger (aka Crunchy). "You'll never learn, will you?" he asked. "No. Probably not," I answered.

"Why are you writing about this? Do you want to go through the same thing you went through with me?"

I knew he was just trying to help protect me. But I replied, "Filters are for coffee makers. Not toaster ovens."

Well, Crunchy was pretty much right on target. I shouldn't have made such a big deal out of my romance with this new interest. But I was so proud and happy. The way he pursued me, asked me out on a real date and treated me wonderfully. And he participated in blogging about our relationship. He joked on his blog about how he and I would decorate our apartment. We both made suggestive remarks about our sexual activities together. We opened up our relationship for the whole world to see. And when it began to grow cold, I think I felt obligated to avoid the topic. I postponed telling the blogsphere that things had gone south. I didn't want to write an unhappy ending to a great story.

Every day I read many other blogs. And I see traces of my old flames everywhere. Both of the boys I fell for are also reading many of the same blogs. They leave comments, they flirt (not with me), and they continue to discuss their romantic involvements (albeit in a much more filtered way than I do) on their blogs. This situation is so unusual compared to what normally happens when you stop dating someone. Unless you run into your old flame at a bar, you don't really see him flirting with other guys or talking about his new interests. But in the blogsphere, you can't avoid it unless you completely change your blogroll and reading habits.

I wonder if it gets easier. I've only been blogging for about a year. Maybe in 2006, I'll look back at past entries and laugh at my ignorance. Or maybe I'll be proud of myself for being so honest. I'll have to wait and see.

It's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. I never claimed to be sane. Most likely, I'll continue blogging like an insane person. One day, a few months from now, I'll get a phone call from Pony, and he'll say to me, "You'll never learn, will you?"

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