Three months before I started blogging I didn’t know what a blog was.

When I Googled “What is a blog”, I landed on Wikepedia’s definition.

A blog (a contraction of the term “Web log”) is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.

Although the definition gave me the basic idea of what a blog is, it still didn’t make sense.

It wasn’t until I started blogging I “got it”.

Today’s Lesson

When I started blogging, my husband was curious as to what I was doing. I explained what a blog is and although he knew I enjoyed my new “hobby”, for the longest time he called it my “blob”. To this day, I still don’t think he “gets it”.

I told other family and friends about my blogs. In the early days, some left me comments, but I don’t think they get it, either.

Other acquaintances don’t realize I blog. And I don’t tell them.

I don’t want to explain myself. I don’t want to go into detail and define what a blog is. I don’t want to have to explain how sharing stories with what some deem as “strangers”, brings me joy.

How do I explain to someone who doesn’t even know what a blog is, my community looks forward to what I have to say? How do I explain how it’s totally awesome to be able to share stories with people from all over the world? How do I explain why I love reading other blogs and leaving comments? And how I need to spend time working on my theme and/or adding plugins. Add to that, explanations of StumbleUpon, Digg, Twitter and other social networking sites.

Instead of taking time to blend my real life with my online life, I’ve chosen to keep them separate.

I often wonder if it’s healthy to do so.

What do you think?

Today’s Assignment

How do you explain to friends and family why you enjoy blogging?

Do they “get it”?

Do you ever feel you’re living two separate lives?

Or, is it just me?


Photo Credit: H. Michael Karshis

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Look Who's Talking
  1. My cousin stopped by to pick me up once. He peeked at the computer as I was on it and asked: “what are you doing?” I responded with: “I’m finishing up a post for my blog. Give me 5 minutes.” His response to that: “What the f**k is a blog?!” Pardon my language, but that’s what he said. Anyway, I got a laugh out of it and sought out to explain it to him. He didn’t get it. But he understands that part of my income also comes from my blogging efforts so he doesn’t debate it. Instead he just says, “whatever dude. Just keep doing what you do.”

    I’ve tried explaining it to friends and family. Ultimately, some will get it and others won’t. For those that don’t, it’s no big deal. I just move on and go about my ways.

    Do I ever feel like I”m living two separate lives? Maybe at first. But now, not so much. The thing is, as much as I interact with a lot of people on-line (both via my blog and other social networks), I’ve also met a lot of them off-line at various meetups and conferences. I’ve always felt that there’s nothing better than turning on-line connections into off-line connections, so I’m constantly on the look-out to meet with people face-to-face.

  2. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. You’re not alone on this one.

    When I’m with a friend and I mention a blog I’ve been reading, or something a blogging buddy wrote to me, I feel like I’m talking about an imaginary person.

    Most of my friends don’t get it. The tell-tale sign is when someone who knows I blog asks me how my blog is doing. I figure that if they were reading it, they wouldn’t have to ask.

    I can’t help talking about it because it is a big part of my life. I’m learning to not expect them to get it either. And, I still talk about it anyway 🙂

  3. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    I guess they don’t have to “get it”, they just know, well some of them, that I do it and I like it.

    somethings they do (or don’t do) i totally don’t get. they don’t try to explain it to me either. i guess we just accept it as to: whatever floats your boat or whatever makes you happy.

    Natural´s last blog post..The $64,000 Question

  4. RuthNo Gravatar says:

    My parents, despite being in their 60s, have really gotten my other blog. I had to stop my mom from putting it in her Christmas letter because I wasn’t sure I wanted everyone on the Christmas reading it.

    In the end, having people you know IRL reading your blog can cause problems when you want to use examples from real life. You don’t want them trying to guess who you’re talking about or sometimes the story is about yourself and you’d only want to share anonymously.

    So as a writer, I’d say it can be better for your blog, give you more scope, if nobody in your real life reads the blog. Healthier? I don’t know.

    Ruth´s last blog post..If You Can’t Be Compassionate To Yourself…

  5. ScottNo Gravatar says:

    Luckily, I’ve not had to explain why I enjoy blogging. I think most of them get that and get “it” by just reading the words that I have written. It may take a couple of posts for them to really get it, but they eventually do.

    I will no longer live two separate lives. I did that for about 34 years and it almost drove me to places I care not to imagine. The closest I come to 2 separate lives is not telling everyone at work about my blog. There are a couple (out of 9 total) that know about it, one of which is a daily reader. I’m just not sure I’m ready to let everyone in on this part of my life yet. But, I am the same person either way.

    Scott´s last blog post..Use The Force

  6. Forget about family, they have never “gotten” most of what I do, work on or think about. Friends just have that non-comprehending look, so I take the time to explain to those who seem like they give a rat’s ass and don’t bother with the rest.

    What really intrigues me are my fellow coaches who’ve become Luddites. I used to think that I was afraid of technology, but this is getting nuts. Of 40 coaches in my local chapter perhaps 5 have blogs. These are otherwise savvy folks, who network like crazy and still do all the “other” right things to market their practices but they have chosen to remain in the online dark ages.

    I don’t feel like I’m living two lives at all. I still play poker and go nuts over my Pittsburgh Steelers but this is one corner of my world where I feel wiser than the average bear. 🙂

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..A Guided Meditation for Authentic Expression

  7. They are two different lives – but that doesn’t mean I don’t share my online life (or some highlights) with my offline crowd.

    Do they get it? Don’t think they read my blog, but then they aren’t my core audience. I think, maybe, sort of.

    katinka – spirituality´s last blog post..A spiritual perspective on extraterrestrial life – aka intelligence in the universe

  8. “How do you explain to friends and family why you enjoy blogging?”

    I used to, but not anymore.

    “Do they “get it”?”
    No, the never did.

    “Do you ever feel you’re living two separate lives?”
    Very much, yes.

    “Or, is it just me?”

    Hehe, trust me, it isn’t just you.

    I feel the same exact way as you do, Barbara. My friends/family just don’t see the point of me doing so much work for nothing in return.

    Ah well, I guess it’s just better like this – keeping my online life separate from my real life.

    Rajaie AlKorani´s last blog post..The Top 100 Youngest Bloggers of the Blogosphere

  9. LingNo Gravatar says:

    Thing is that separating your real life from your internet life leads to double personalities. On the internet, you’re much more aggresive and free with your words and opinions.

    I’ll leave aside the negative aspects, and just say that if more people could bring their real lives closer to the way they talk and behave online, they would be very much better off.

    If you want to test this, I suggest you ask a close real-life friend to come visit your blog everyday for a month and leave comments, as a personal favor to you. And you talk to him or her both on your blog and in real life. See how it changes you. If you like it, then you can expand on that.

  10. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t know anyone else in real life who blogs, except my wife, and for the longest time, she didn’t get it. Now she is posting every day and has quite a list in her reader of quilting related blogs. I’m sure she’ll get burnt out a bit and back off, but now we have something more in common. It’s great.

    With other people, I don’t talk much about blogging.

    I got tired of seeing people’s eyes glaze over.

    Mike Goad´s last blog post..Blogging Freebies

  11. LisaNewtonNo Gravatar says:

    I totally know where you’re coming from here. Most of my friends and family don’t get it either. Oh, they might read the occasional blog, but it’s not anything regular for them.

    If I go into some long winded explaination, I get a similiar result as Mike pointed out, “eyes glaze over” so I don’t do that much anymore.

    Even people close to me who kind of get it, call what I do, “playing.” “Oh, not another blog again” is common for me to hear.

    I know what I like and I like blogging, so it doesn’t matter anymore. I find my inner strength in my time taking pictures and writing my blog post. That’s what’s important

    LisaNewton´s last blog post..Just another morning in Westwood

  12. How do you explain to friends and family why you enjoy blogging?

    I don’t even bother explaining I have a blog or what it’s about. Much. “I have a website. I’m an online entrepreneur.” If I do try to explain blogging, I put it as such: “I write articles and people leave their comments.”

    Do they “get it”?

    Heh. They’re still trying to get the concept of me earning a living online, not to mention via writing. The answer would be no.

    Do you ever feel you’re living two separate lives?

    Meh. I’m me. That’s all there is to it, I think.

    Or, is it just me?

    Not just you.

    James Chartrand – Men with Pens´s last blog post..Restrict Your Creativity to Unleash It

  13. I only know one other person that blogs and I encouraged him to start. I don’t bother explaining it to people who won’t get it unless I think they will be interested. I’ve already gone through this with playing video games – it’s just another thing that I do that people I know don’t do. I don’t really feel like it splits my life into two parts – I’ve decided to view it as something that makes me unique 🙂

    Kim Woodbridge´s last blog post..Lessons in Backing Up – The Journalspace Disaster

  14. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara: I tell everyone that I have a blog. So far I’ve only been able to get my mother, my sister, and one of my cousins to subscribe as far as family goes, but I’m working on the rest of them 🙂

    Marelisa´s last blog post..My Resignation From Adulthood

  15. Hello There,
    I haven’t told that many of my friends or family that I have a blog.
    The ones that do know have encouraged me but still don’t understand it completely.
    Two separate lives ? I can identify with that. Two separate lives does not mean to separate people to me.

    Actually,I feel more freedom when I write. There are a variety of topics I can explore and share with people I never would know other wise.
    Work is something I do out of necessity but do enjoy it.

    Blogging is allowing yourself to creatively write and share with others. It beats reading spreadsheets anytime.

    Bunny got Blog´s last blog post..Agreeing To Disagree

  16. I think the biggest thing “non bloggers” ask me is why I feel folks out there want to read what I have to say when they can just go to the news websites or industry pubs to find the same information.

    I typically counter with the fact that “my take” may very well resonate with a reader in a way that others won’t. I’ve found this to be true – and really value my blogging experience because of it.

    Kevin Sandridge´s last blog post..Gunk Up Your Email: Your Customers Will Thank You

  17. I’ve almost given up on using the “B” word and instead I say I do some online writing and research. I was getting either a glazed over look from those who spend very little time online or a grimace from those who have heard about rabid political blogs from news media during the election. Even the few family members who have dabbled with blog writing are still unaware of the power and dynamics of the community and they have little understanding of blog monetization and marketing.

    Part of the lack of knowledge comes from lack of media coverage. I think mainstream media is afraid to really explain blogging to their audiences. They don’t want to lose readership or viewership.

    SpaceAgeSage — Lori´s last blog post..Are you just a skipping stone?

  18. LisaNewtonNo Gravatar says:

    Subscribing to comments can be an extremely interesting adventure, especially in the case of this topic.

    I find it amazing that so many of us don’t share our love of blogging with those people closest to us, myself included.

    For me, blogging is a love, a true personal passion. How is it possible I’m not sharing it with those I love? With most “hobbies” (and I use that term very loosely), friends and family can relate, but for some reason, blogging is different.

    Is it the passion we feel for our craft? Is it the communities we charish? Is it the writing itself?

    Just a few random thoughts from a fellow blogger………………

    LisaNewton´s last blog post..Just another morning in Westwood

  19. ValNo Gravatar says:

    Most of my acquaintances know nothing about my blog. The friends who know don’t get it.

    My family members know about the blog but they don’t understand the joy I get from it, nor the seriousness of it to me.

    In a nutshell, no, no one in my real life “gets it.” 🙂

    Val´s last blog post..2008 reflections

  20. I have one close real-life friend who blogs. He “gets it,” and will soon publish a guest post on my blog. The others, just like your friends, left me a few comments in the early days because I asked them to, but as soon as they realized I get “enough” comments without their help, they stopped. They mostly don’t get it, and think it’s an unnecessary exposure.

    My husband does “get it” in the sense that he sees it makes me happy, so he supports it. My kids get it too – both of them love to write and are highly verbal so they understand blogging fulfills a need. I;m sure they will both blog when they’re older.

  21. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ricardo – That’s wonderful that you have been able to turn your online connections into offline ones. The meetups give you a chance to put a person to a name and develop a real life friendship with someone who truly gets it.

    Hi Davina – Isn’t that the truth? To our real life friends, our online friends don’t appear real, whereas to us (bloggers), we don’t see a difference.

    Hi Natural – True. We may also have friends/family who do things we don’t “get”.

    Hi Ruth – I know what you’re saying. If we write a blog post and say “this happen to a friend”, they will be guessing and asking “Who are you talking about?” You could be right, it might be better to leave them out of the equation.

    Hi Scott – That’s wonderful you have friends who will read your blog, as your story is very compelling. Although I feel my online world is separate from my real life, like you, I’m still the same person.

    Hi Tom – When you said “they have chosen to remain in the online dark ages”, it makes me realize how blogs are truly in their infancy. I know being online has brought you tons of exposure thus that does make you “wiser than the average bear”. Kudos to you.

    Hi Katinka – Like you, I’ll share tidbits with friends, but I don’t think they “get it”.

    Hi Rajaie – Well put. “…friends/family just don’t see the point of me doing so much work for nothing in return.”. If only they knew, the return is priceless.

    Hi Ling – I agree. For “some” their online persona may be totally different than how they are in real life. For me, I write like I talk and whatever I’ve shared in my blogs I would share in real life, IF (and that’s a big IF), others REALLY took an interest in my blogging activities.

    Hi Mike – That’s wonderful that your wife got into blogging. It’s a common bond and there’s so much you can show and teach her.

    Yup! “people’s eyes glaze over”. I hear you.

    Hi Lisa – ***smiles***. It is funny what others call our blogs and how they describe our online activity. I have a friend who calls my real life contacts “friends” and my blogging friends “my community”. She’s starting to get it, but has no interest in what I write.

    Hi James – That’s interesting that your friends know you make a living online, but don’t know how you do it, or have an interest. I can hear they saying, “Oh yeah, James has one of those thingamagiggies he makes money with.

    Hi Kim – That’s great you encouraged your friend to start a blog. What a great bond for the two of you to have. Yes, we are a unique bunch, aren’t we? 🙂

    Hi Marelisa – How wonderful you got a few of your relatives to read your work. I’m curious. Do they comment and visit other blogs, too?

    Hi Bunny – Yes, blogs are much more interesting than spreadsheets. And you’re right. Blogs give us the ability to exercise our creativity even if our real life friends don’t show an interest.

    Hi Kevin – That “why” question seems to arise often, doesn’t it? Your answer of sharing your take on a subject is perfect, and true. We can read the same thing written by many different individuals, but one will always stick with us.

    Hi Lori – Haha! I’ve never called blogging the “B” word, but I know what you’re saying. Blogs did get a bum rap during the campaign. I have noticed both Larry King and Anderson Cooper are encouraging their viewers to check out their blogs, so hopefully others will see all bloggers are not as radical as some have projected us to be.

    Hi again Lisa – It’s hard to put my finger on it, but like you, I wonder why we don’t share our love of blogging with others. Is it only because they don’t get it? Or we don’t want to take the time to explain? I’m thinking….

    Hi Val – Good point. How do we explain to others that we not only love blogging, but we also take it seriously.

    Hi Vered – How great that your kids get it. In a few years we could be seeing “Momgrind & Company”. How cool would that be?

  22. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara – you have been blobbing again!

    My story is much the same as most others – I asked quite few friends to comment in the early, desperate days – a few did, but they haven’t returned. It’s a bit puzzling (like Tom finds it) because many of them are very internet savvy and spend time on FaceBook, MySpace and with emails.

    When I tell general people I have a blog and spend a lot if time on it they just sort of look puzzled – luckily my partner gets it, and my mother does too (I think because she is a writer at heart), although she doesn’t read it (yet).

    Robin´s last blog post..5-Year Plan For This Blog

  23. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    I think it’s a lot like someone trying to explain to me why God is awesome. You either discover it or feel it, or you don’t.

    Kelvin Kao´s last blog post..Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

  24. With me, it depends on who the person is. If they’re out of touch with computers in general, I just tell them I have a website and keep it movin. Other people may browse around and say “that’s nice” and leave. I can DEFINITELY relate to the double life too.

    Broderick Allen´s last blog post..Suspend Disbelief

  25. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    My wife gets it. That took a while. Other than that, I don’t really discuss it too much with offline friends or family. I know a few people who read what I write. Occassionally. And what I do tell people, when I do talk about blogging – is that I write. And others read and comment. That seems to make sense to them. Somewhat….
    Is it the name? Blog? RSS? Twitter? Is this confusing for people who haven’t heard these terms? Probably so.

    Separate lives? It does feel that way sometimes!

    Lance´s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  26. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara: They don’t visit other blogs, and they don’t comment on mine. But I know that they read it because they say things to me that shows that they’ve read stuff I’ve written.

    Marelisa´s last blog post..My Resignation From Adulthood

  27. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t bother to explain much to my friends. Maybe it’s a preconceived notion that they will not understand my “addiction”. They also see what I am doing as “hobby” and that it will not lead to anything serious in terms of money. They prefer to talk shop like where to get the latest discount than anything else.

    My recent interest in energy healing and quantum physics is also confusing to them. At the same time, I also note that they have no interest to find out more. Oh well…it’s okay for me….I can always make new friends online with the same interests and at the same time, still connect with my old friends.

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..Ideas For Soul Growth In 2009

  28. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Arghhh! Due to server/router problems I’m accessing my blog from a proxy server. Whether I publish later tonight is still up in the air.

    Hi Robin – Haha! Yup, I’m blobbing. That is a bit puzzling when friends spend time on other sites such as FaceBook or MySpace, but don’t understand the concept of blogging. I’ve been on a few MySpace accounts and they have a place where it’s members can blog, so… would think that’s the same.

    Hi Kelvin – “You either discover it or feel it, or you don’t.” Exactly!

    Hi Lance – I think it helps a lot when our spouses/partners “get it”, as then they understand why we spend so much time at the keyboard. Like you said, is it the name, “blog”? Maybe. But I would think more people would be curious and ask more questions.

    Hi again Marelisa – Thanks for coming back and answering my questions.

  29. Dr. CasonNo Gravatar says:

    Every time I turn around someone is reading my blog. Now that I’m a finalist in the 2008 weblog awards the fam has sat up and taken more notice. HAHA. Legitimized it I guess.

    Dr. Cason´s last blog post..Time to Vote Again! and How to Incorporate Photography into Your Life

  30. Jeremy DayNo Gravatar says:

    @ Tom Volkar – Good to know there are some fellow Steelers fans out there! Hope we win the Superbowl!

    Ah, what a great discussion. Thanks for thinking of this one Barbara….

    Its funny to see the reaction people get to my blogging. My co-workers always ask about how its going. I always tell them. Well, I get hundreds of people to see my blog everyday. So it must be doing good. 😉

    A few of my friends and family read my stuff. Everyone really likes what I write. But I still dont think they get how cool it is to publish online! Its truly a marvelous experience only a fellow writer can fully understand.

    Here is to even more fun blogging in 2009!


    Jeremy Day´s last blog post..Education: What’s the point?

  31. Great topic! I haven’t got time to read the comments right now, but I suspect there’s going to be a lot of people in the same boat as you Barbara. Like me.

    I don’t tell all of my friends about my blogs – there are some who I know just won’t get it or won’t be interested.

    You know what used to bother me though? When I’d tell a friend about my blog hoping they’d check it out and they’d say something like, “Oh, I don’t read much online”. I’d feel like saying “Yes, but this is MY blog. I’m your FRIEND. If you had started a new creative endeavour, I’d want to check it out or support you….”. But I never said it and just got over it.

    Frisky Librarian´s last blog post..Bump

  32. It’s generational for the most part. Those who use the Internet frequently get it easily. Those who don’t are usually perplexed. More by the concept than the motivation to do it.

    Gennaro @ Enduring Wanderlust´s last blog post..3 Perfect Places To Befriend A Buddhist Monk

  33. My daughter, sister and sister-in-law read my blog. My husband and son only read it if I print out that article and insist that they read it. I have several friends that I occasionally will email my articles to when I post them. I was so excited to have a blog and be writing that I announced it to everybody in the beginning. Most of them have not followed my blog or subscribed to it. I have a whole new community of friends that read and comment on my blog articles. That makes me happy. So to some degree, I guess I do have two separate lives—blogging and other.

    Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker´s last blog post..Kindness—Why Is It Easier To Be Kind To Strangers?

  34. SterlingNo Gravatar says:

    It’s funny to think of bloggers having a secret identity. I recently found a real-life friend I knew for years on twitter and discovered she had a huge following on her blog. I had no idea and she never mentioned it.

    Barbara, if your real-life friends knew how strong of an online community you’ve developed, I think they’d be a lot more interested in blogging.

    Sterling´s last blog post..Twitter, Technology, and Tea Swapping

  35. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Evelyn – I, for one, will enjoy reading your posts on quantum physics and energy healing. Although your friends don’t understand your addictive hobby, you know you have many online friends who anxiously await reading your next post.

    Hi Dr. Cason – Maybe that’s what it will take; fame. Congratulations on your accomplishments and for being a finalist in the weblog awards. Great job.

    Hi Jeremy – You’re welcome. “Its truly a marvelous experience only a fellow writer can fully understand.” Maybe that’s it.

    Hi Frisky Librarian – I’m happy to hear I’m not in this boat alone. I’m like you. If a friend had an online endeavor, I would want to read it and show my support. You’re right though, we just have to get over it.

    Hi Gennaro – I never thought of it as being generational as bloggers are from all age groups, but you’re probably right about those who use the internet frequently are more apt to get it,

    Hi Patricia – I like your “in their face” attitude. I did that to my husband when I wrote a lengthy post on wood recycling on my other blog. He was impressed.

    You’re right. We do have a community of friends who read and comment on our blogs and as bloggers, THEY are the ones who count.

    Hi Sterling – Thank you for your kind words.

    How ironic is it that your friend has a popular blog and you didn’t know. We do appear to have secret lives, don’t we?

    Footnote: I won’t be publishing a post on Tuesday, January 13th as my site is still acting erratic. Hopefully my web host has the server/router problem resolved by the morning.

  36. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    LOL…so true! I can’t believe that I have a community of blogger buddies (i.e. strangers) that actually think I have something relevant to say. Not to mention, they come back every day!!! People who don’t blog just don’t get it. I am sure you understand completely!

    Caroline´s last blog post..100 Things…and a few thank you’s!

  37. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    It’s tough to explain something to somebody when they have no frame of reference or shared experience.

    Usually, it’s about finding a metaphor, or emotional picture word, that helps somebody quickly get the idea.

    I remember trying to explain part of my job at work to my Aunt. Nothing resonated. Finally I said, I help customers put the Legos together, and she said … “ah, I get it.”

  38. SvastiNo Gravatar says:

    Considering I write anonymously, there’s only some people that I’ve told about my blog.

    Some know I blog, but I haven’t told them the URL. Others have been given the URL… of that group, a handful read regularly, but most have read once and not come back. The rest – I don’t even know if they’ve read any of it. They never say a word!

    What I’ve worked out though, is that some people just aren’t into reading. Others aren’t into reading your deepest thoughts (for personal blogs). So I don’t take it personally.

    I don’t bother explaining why I enjoy blogging, except to say it helps me deal with my demons, and its also an outlet to build up my writing chops.

    Like many others, I’ve developed some good friendships in the blogging world – several I’m in email contact with, and one in particular I talk to via email, IM, Facebook, Twitter and even crossing back into RL… we’ve chatted on the phone (for 4 hours) and intend to meet up this year (we’re on opposite sides of the world from each other). I’m sure there will be more friendships to come this way!

    There is a sense of ‘two worlds’ that slightly intersect but in many cases, are very seperate. I work in the digital industry, so all my blog experience to date has been very helpful to my clients, but I really need to start a ‘public’ blog where I’m saying who I am… to build up my profile on that side of things too.

    Svasti´s last blog post..Defenceless

  39. Most of my friends get the idea of a blog, but most of them are in their twenties and thirties. What they don’t see is how I can make my blog into a business. They can’t see how I can make myself into a work happiness expert. I’m still not sure how I’m going to piece it all together, but that’s the fun part.

    There are times that I do feel that I living two separate lives. There a plenty of times I get the urge to talk about my blog, but I hold back because they wouldn’t have much to add.

    I kind of feel like Batman. I go online and people know who I am and offline I’m just the regular guy.

    Karl Staib – Your Work Happiness Matters´s last blog post..Surviving Layoffs

  40. I don’t think this is just limited to blogging. I have friends who just don’t “get all this online stuff” and why it is so interesting to some of us. It is also hard to explain to a partner what it is you are actually doing, because the default response is usually “yeah.. but why?”


    Womens News Journal´s last blog post..Woman burnt in "witchcraft" killing

  41. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Very few folks “get it” and being a person who has been in the industry for a long time, they just brush it off as something too technical for them. In fact, when you start to talk about it, their eye glaze over, the deer caught in the headlights expression is displayed and you quickly change the subject…… 🙂

    Linda´s last blog post..Have You Heard?

  42. unwesenNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t really tell anybody I blog. The more web-savvy of my acquaintances usually find my blog on their own, subscribe to it, and don’t question the habit (if you can call it a habit, I blog rarely). Those usually are also my closest friends, who get the stuff I blog about best. I’ve not seen a need to tell anyone else about my blog.

    unwesen´s last blog post..SPAM Again Believer

  43. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I tell people about it if they ask. Most don’t get it. Some refuse to get – don’t want to be a part of all this computer stuff and thinks I am wasting my time. I have one friend who was following what I was writing – for a while anyway. I’m not sure if she still is.

    Separate lives? – in a way maybe… Yeah, I guess so.

    Jennifer´s last blog post..Why Everyone Else is Always Wrong

  44. SaraNo Gravatar says:


    For people I don’t know well or meet at a party, I usually just say I’m a writer. If they ask what I write, I’ll say I write on-line articles. This is usually enough.

    For my friends, I tell them more about my blogging. This is something I love. It’s a passion for me and I’ve found most do want to know about it….within limits. As others said, I avoid the technical details!

    On the other hand, if I see someone’s eyes start to glaze over when I’m talking blogging, I generally know it’s time to change the subject!

    As usual, great post…very thought-provoking!

    Sara´s last blog post..Practice Mindfulness: Safe Driving

  45. I started blogging for business purposes, and the topic became all the rage at various networking events I attend. People have mixed feelings about it and most don’t get it. I don’t know what they don’t get – there is a fear associated with it – perhaps of being “out there”. Some say they don’t have time. I’m currently writing a book and a lot of information I’m using comes from my blog. I’ve already done the work. People are shocked when I tell them that.

    I only talk about it with my other “blogging” friends…although a lot of my family and friends do read it without ever commenting. It is interesting to say the least.

    Stacey Shipman´s last blog post..Got Stress? Use it to Your Advantage

  46. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I love writing and with the blog I know that folks are reading what I write and commenting that they have read it. I never had this feeling at giving speeches or sermons…I think it is more because I am a woman, intense, and right now hard to look at- people are afraid they will “catch something” other than what I am saying. None of that gets in my way of communicating right now when I write.

    My kiddos understand blogging well but don’t subscribe…one is my IT person.

    I no longer feel like I lead a duel life…3 or 4 local friends subscribe but I feel like I have made a greater connection with people on my blog…a more real connection.

    I tell people what I do is writing and on a blog…if they truly do not get it, I say that lots of people read my words like a newsletter or magazine article and understand what I am trying to communicate. If they still don’t get it I say, it is like reading a magazine without wasting the environment with paper.

    Yesterday I was in the hospital all day and I told Vered on a borrowed computer…she was there for me all day – in another city….It took me 4 hours to find someone local to drive me home after the tests were completed…That Vered was there for me all day was a great feeling of not being alone. It was fabulous. I think I need a phone that can hook up to blogs and the computer…

    Patricia´s last blog post..My Heart is Strong and it is Misshapen

  47. Hi again, Barbara —

    After reading through these, I think you could use this as the start of some interesting press releases or new articles to local and national media, perhaps even a few big-name magazines. You could title it, THE SECRET LIFE OF BLOGGERS or WHY YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND BLOGGING YET, BUT WILL.

    SpaceAgeSage — Lori´s last blog post..Good and evil not so black and white

  48. I’m amazed at how few people I know read any blogs at all, yet they seem to spend a lot of time on Facebook, etc. (not my thing).

    I think my husband “gets it” to the extent that he knows I need some sort of meaningful hobby or creative outlet. He reads a few political blogs, too.

    SOmeone else said they feel they lead two lives; I feel the same!

    Vintage Mommy´s last blog post..Lucky Seven?

  49. So true. It’s one of those things that’s difficult to explain to people, until they’ve tried it themselves. That sense of community surrounding a site that you contribute to, but which is also contributed to by people you don’t know. And all the other little details that go into creating a blog, personalizing it, and launching and promoting it. Still, as blogging becomes more and more common, I’m sure that more and more people will understand what it’s about. Also, it helps that it’s now so easy to set up a blog. 🙂

  50. No, I don’t feel as If I’m living 2 separate lives. I tell most everybody I know about my blog. Total strangers in the park sometimes.

    I think it’s writer’s thing, those who love to do it will gravitate this way if they are already on the Internet.

    Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Ukulele Me!

  51. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Caroline – That part is amazing isn’t it? Our blogging buddies get it and will faithfully read our work. I find blogosphere to be a find group of people, many of whom I think of as friends. Who knew, hey?

    Hi J.D. – How true. It is tough to explain if they have no reference. I like the metaphor you used to describe what you do.

    Hi Svasti – Writing anonymously seems like it would even be more difficult (in the real world). It’s sad to think people wouldn’t be into reading as there is so much information that is shared in the written word.

    Hi Karl – I love how you said you feel like Batman. I’m guessing most of us feel the same way. We’re just regular guys/gals in the real world, but online we’re sharing all we know.

    Hi Womens News Journal – “Yeah, but why” is a common response. Especially when we see the potential or get enjoyment from being online, and others don’t.

    Hi Linda – “and you quickly change the subject” Yup! We know when others just aren’t interested, don’t we?

    Hi Unwesen – Yes, web-savvy folks seem to get it, but when we know others don’t, it’s often like wasting our breath.

    Hi Jennifer – It is like separate lives, isn’t it? But…, we’re still the same person.

    Hi Sara – Thank you. Saying we write online articles is a good idea. At that point, like you said, people are usually satisfied and don’t care to hear more.

    Hi Stacey – Good pint. Being “out there” may be one of the reasons many don’t want to blog, or even show an interest in it. Could it be a fear? Maybe. With you attending networking events with other business people, I find it fascinating others wouldn’t want to gain as much exposure as possible – whether online or off.

    Hi Patricia – I like that analogy, “It is like reading a magazine without wasting the environment with paper.”

    You’re right. Our online friends are often there for us when our real ones aren’t. It’s amazing how close we all get, isn’t it?

    Hi Lori – **smile** I read these comments late last night and have been thinking about your great idea. It’s one I’ll definitely think of pursueing. Thank you.

    Hi Ann – I don’t get that either. With Facebook being so similar to blogging (sharing online), you would think more “Facebookers” would be reading blogs. Apparently they are spending their online time on Facebook, whereas we spend it blogging.

    Hi Lance Ryan PA – Good point. Blogs can easily be set up. And I agree with what you’re saying, blogging will become more popular. There’s hope, isn’t there?

    Hi Jannie – You’re too funny…”I tell….total strangers in the park sometimes.:. 🙂

  52. Mike FosterNo Gravatar says:

    I love my wife, and we have a great relationship, have been together 16 wonderful years, and enjoy each others company more often than not…and she shows zero interest in my blogging. Oh, well…


    Mike Foster´s last blog post..New Look

  53. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Mike – Although your wife has zero interest in your blogging, I’ll bet she supports your love of it and doesn’t mind that you blog as it makes you happy. She sounds like a great gal.

  54. ShellNo Gravatar says:

    One of my best friends said she felt like reading my blog was like spying on me. So with that said, some of my friends read my blog and I think some don’t even know i have one. My other best friend really loves that I blog, so at least I have her in my corner.
    I love blogging. It is so fun for me. Even if all my friends don’t get it, I have a whole new world of blogging friends who do.

  55. It’s hard for my non-blogging friends and family to understand the amazing community I have on the blogosphere. Some actually give me looks like I’m crazy when I explain my authentic connection with people all over the world.

    They don’t get it but think it’s amazing that I am writing in public.

    And yes, I do feel as if I’m living two separate lives.

    Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..To Enjoy Life

  56. MarissaNo Gravatar says:

    What a great topic. I’m one of the “secret life”-ers. It’s strange, the response I’ve gotten from people who I expected to support me. I’ve asked my closest friends and family members to check out a couple of my posts and leave a comment. Response: (insert cricket sounds here.)

    Okay, these are the SAME very vocal people who have an opinion on everything in the world and share it profusely in regular conversation. These are the same people who’ll take a joke email or sentimental poem and send it on to 53 others on their massive mailing list. But what do I get from them? Comment By Phone Call: “That’s nice.”

    So, basically, if I can’t even endear my blog to my own folks, I can’t imagine trying to let co-workers or acquaintances in on my blogging world. Oy vey.

  57. StevenNo Gravatar says:

    I am just recently active again in blogging. Twitter service kindna made me to get started again. Almost none of my friend had a blog, or may be I just don’t know, but blogging is just not their thing.
    Most of them are pretty knowledgeable about blog, but they just don’t have the desire to share something through blog.
    However, if someone ask me what a blog is, I would just show him an actual blog and explain it from there, so we are learning by doing. That’s the best way to explain what a blog is, I think.
    I also don’t mind sharing my blog with my other friends. That’s actually what of the reason I have a blog, so that I can post pictures and stuff with my friends.

    Steven´s last blog post..Blogging 101 – Know Yourself

  58. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Shell – Oh, how funny. Your friend feels like she’s spying on you if she reads your blog. Blogging is a lot of fun, isn’t it? Fortunately we have many cyber friends who understand why we do what we do. That makes it worthwhile.

    Hi Stacey – Can you imagine the reaction of your friends and family when your blog skyrockets and you end up with world wide fame? WooHoo!

    Hi Marissa – Thank you. ***smiles at the cricket sounds***. Yup! It’s amazing isn’t it? Like you said, others will partake in emails “chains” , but when it comes to reading our blogs, we get a ho-hum and a yawn. What gives?

    Hi Steven – That’s great to hear you’re getting actie in blogging again. That a great idea to show your friends your blog. Maybe they’ll get excited about what you’re doing and start one, too. You’ll have to keep me posted.

  59. One thing that helped my parents “get it” was a very specific example. My father had shared with me a story about when he was young, going with my grandfather to the ghost town of Dawson, New Mexico. It was a mining town that was closing down, and the company was selling the whole town. My grandfather bought the hotel, his friend bought the hospital, and they went out with a bunch of relatives to disassemble them, sleeping in abandoned homes while they were there. My grandfather built a family home in Texas with the materials they salvaged.

    I loved that story, and did some research on the town before and after the mine closed, and found photos of the hotel and the resulting house. I wrote about it on my blog. Before long, I started getting twitter messages and blog comments from people who had lived in Dawson, or been born in that hospital, or had relatives who lived in the town. It was incredibly cool to see.

    When I shared all these results with my parents, I think that’s when they “got” blogging. It opens things up in an amazing way, and you never know who you’ll touch with it.

    Deanna Keahey´s last blog post..The man who never makes mistakes

  60. I keep my blog life separate from my real life. I don’t like to talk about money with people I know, so my blog allows me to do so within a limited construct.

    Over the Cubicle Wall´s last blog post..Frugal Charity