Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Are Bloggers Trustworthy?

Sometimes people are alarmed to find out that Smartmom is a blogger. The other night at a a loft party in Manhattan, Smartmom and Hepcat had an interesting and somewhat personal conversation with one of the guests. When she found out that Smartmom was a blogger she said, "Please don't put any of what we talked about in your blog." The thought never occurred to Smartmom. She reassured the woman that she had no intention of doing so. But the experience left Smartmom with a strange feeling. The hostess, a playwright joked, "Be careful what you tell a writer. They're always gonna write about it."

True to some degree. But also untrue.

Let it be known that Smartmom frequently walks the line between personal writing and discretion. Discretion wins out every time on the blog. Teen Spirit has shouted, in a moment of anger, "I suppose you're going to put THAT in your blog!" Even OSFO, who confides in Smartmom consistently, has said, "Don't tell anyone and don't put it in your blog." Hepcat too was quite uncomfortable with the blog early on. He felt slightly exposed, which is understandable, and a little bit shy.

Bloggers must respect the needs of their families. The really nasty stuff can be published posthumously.

The confidences of others are very important to Smartmom. She values the trust of her friends and family. Yes, she is a writer and what she sees and hears informs everything that she writes. In her fiction writing, she csn disguise the facts in a fictional costume. In the blog, however, it's sometimes best to leave things unsaid. Especially if the information will cause pain or discomfort to others.

Smartmom wants to say to one and all: your secrets are safe. The purpose of this blog is not to shatter anyone's privacy or say things that don't need to be said. Smartmom hopes that's been clear as crystal from the start. This blog is not the place to be unkind, to blow anyone's cover, or to gossip or be bitchy. Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn is about the little matters of daily life that may (or may not) summon universal interest. Her aim is to share and shed light on life in this bodacious borough and beyond.

Recently, Smartmom blogged about Hepcat's computer crash. She didn't realize that Hepcat hadn't told Metsy, his POD website co-hort, about his wrecked hard disk. "I didn't want to ruin her Thanksgiving too," he explained. Well she got wind of it from the post: Seeing, Touching and Affecting the World, and was a tad alarmed. This is the first time that Smartmom has carelessly revealed information that was difficult for some readers to hear. Sorry Metsy for the shock. Regarding the computer crash and the POD's -- all but 840 of the 6000 pictures have been recovered. So it's not as big a crisis as originally reported.

So blogging has its ups and downs. What doesn't? Blog on, dear readers, blog on.


At 8:10 PM, Blogger brooklynfox said...

SM,It's so clear what your intentions are here. You're a catty, bitchy, untrustworthy backstabber who uses other's personal information for your own gain. Stop pretending otherwise. Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn is the "National Enquirer" of Blogspot and you know it. When are you going to do that piece on who's had plastic surgery in Park Slope? (Umm.. for those who don't know... I'm just kidding! SM is the most trustworthy gal in the Park Slope Mafia. ALL secrets are indeed safe with her. Blog on, my friend.)

At 1:42 AM, Blogger Udge said...

Most bloggers reveal only their own secrets, pseudonymously. I infer that the loft party guest didn't swear you to secrecy before finding out about the blog: she wasn't worried that you would spill the beans to the guy who runs all day, every day. Blogs are somehow different.

A few people have asked me whether I write about them in my blog, I always answer "probably not, but in any case I would tell no secrets" which is IMHO a good and fair basis.

At 6:37 AM, Blogger La Chat Noir said...

First visit to your blog, and enjoyed it V. much. You sound like one cool smartmom!

I haven't told most people that I blog. I can't imagine spilling secrets, but I could see myself airing dirty laundry ... with identities protected, of course!

At 7:33 AM, Blogger Little Light said...

I, on the other hand, have every intention of revealing the most intimate secrets of everyone I know.


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