The one problem I have with this site is that the more it grows, the less I can write. My life is essentially an open book, but I try to respect the privacy of my friends. If one friend does something funny but slightly embarassing, I don't write about it. But it's not just my friends. My sister reads the site, so I don't want to write about my dating life. The family of some friends read the site, so I don't want to write about certain adventures that they don't want their parents to know about. Further, if I write certain things, I worry that people will think that they're intentional manpulations. I was working out the terms of my employment with a friend who I'm going to be working with soon. I didn't write anything about it because I didn't want him to think that I was trying to use the site as some passive aggressive method of negotiating.
All in all, I probably only write about 25% of what I'd like to write here. My friends in real life end up hearing way more funny stories than readers of this site - and I think that's a shame.
In a way I think I should just write EVERYTHING. The first month could be a rough ride, but eventually people would get used to it and would probably stop being offended. Or maybe then my real life friends would become more reserved because they'd be concerned about what I might write.
I've thought about charging a monthly fee and manually checking every name who signed up, but it probably wouldn't take long before someone I knew got a friend I didn't know to open an account. Also, friends might become paranoid that I was writing about them because I wouldn't let them see the hidden site.
I even considered starting a new blog somewhere with a fake name. Somehow people are able to tell when it's me, though. I used to put a bunch of personal ads on Craigslist. Each one was a hail Mary - no real expectation of meeting someone great through it, but still worth the glimmer of hope it provided. I would write very different types of ads - funny ones, demanding ones, tame ones. Somehow people always knew that I had written them. They wouldn't even question it.
"How's your new ad going?"
They all claimed that it was obvious that it was me, even though I'd change my age and leave out any identifying characteristics.
The good news is that despite self censoring, I still have a lot of things to write about. I still wish that there was a good solution to the problem so that I could write about more of my stories.
I know exactly where you're coming from, there's some funny things that have happened that I'd love to share but there's some that I just can't talk about, ever.
Besides that, a friend of my dad's (a woman) googled me for some weird reason and told him about a website of mine she found (was a tech site, now defunct) and sent him a picture off of it, but the whole thing seemed creepy. A lot of bad stuff went down between my dad and I that I talk about openly so others can learn from my experience, but at the same time, he doesn't need to read about it or hear it from someone else. I've learnt not to do that again.
So I feel where you're coming from, the whole situation kinda blows.
Soon, same thing is going to happend to me, I started putting my friends and adventures in my standup act and they can recognize themselfs although the names are changed.
Pavlina went MONOPHASIC!
True True, or you could have the people that take offense whacked by the texas mafia.... only kidding
Why dont you ask permission from your friends to post stories? Have a story that involves a friend? Ask him/her if you can write about it and post it on the site. Its your site and your stories, since you own a part of the story I think you have full rights posting it.
I applaud you,
I've thought of similar problems/issues for my own writing on the internet, but my sites aren't big enough to attract the attention of people I know (at least I don't think so); nevertheless there are things I wouldn't write about. But to proclaim it out loud is a very sincere gesture.
And so I say that I understand, and don't think any less of your blog because of it.
Thanks Tynan, your blog is one of those places I can attribute with being instrumental to some great changes to my life. (one of the others being stevepavlina.com, from which I actually stumbled across your site)
Maybe by definition, but not in spirit.
I've been thinking a lot about BTYB / LN over the past couple weeks, which lead to the survey from yesterday (please take a minute to fill it out if you haven't already). Tonight I had a conversation about all this with Carl Zetterlund, a long time reader who is doing a segment of LN with me right now.
So, I think it's time to make some changes. Here are the problems, as I see them:
It was a few years ago, and I walked into the dining hall and sat with my friends. Pretty routine day. I was a freshman, and my first year was winding down. I was one month into my new frat and life was good.
My friend, a class senator in student government, had a piece of paper laying on the table. I picked it up and read the big title "Run for Student Government", and I immediately joked that I was dropping everything to run for President. I was just joking of course; I had seen a bunch of other Baylor freshmen run for various positions earlier in the year during freshmen elections, and I had no interest in running.
But then my friend said bluntly, "No seriously you should totally do it. The current president is an idiot, and the senators don't like him. We need someone smart." (Note I think pretty highly of the other guy, these aren't my words) That got me thinking that it would be cool to put up a bunch of posters with my name on them around campus. See, I realized nobody gave a shit about it, and every campaign I had seen didn't take advantage of that fact.