Fear and Loathing in the Blogosphere

10 Mar

Ok, so maybe ‘loathing’ is a little extreme, but fear – now that is something very real; particularly to a budding PR practitioner who is totally new to the blogosphere. A while back I was reading through Bob LeDrew’s blog and he was referencing a post by PR student Meg Roberts, who listed 4 reasons she suspects students don’t blog. 

She lists:

1. Lack of Time
2. Lack of Ideas
3. Lack of Knowledge About Blogging
4. Apathy
While I find them all to be adequate explanations, for me, the most influential reason is actually fear. I know that it somewhat ties in with #3, but I think it’s much more than that. 
I’m doing my best to educate myself by reading other blogs (with the list growing longer everyday), trying out various social media tools (twitter, Google Reader etc.) and reading the odd hard copy bits of advice (David Meerman Scott) but I still feel I need to tread very lightly. I’m unsure of myself in this new found territory and uncertainty is not a feeling I enjoy. So as a new blogger, at this just over a month now, here are a few of my fears in the blogosphere. Oh, and a few things I’m not afraid of.
Fear:
What I write will forever be inked in cyberspace. Yikes.
Non-Fear:
Others questioning my thoughts and ideas – in fact, I welcome discussion.
Fear: 
I will unknowingly commit any number of blogging faux pas’. Should I always link to a person’s blog if I mention them in mine? What should I tag/label in my posts? Is it okay to ‘borrow’ YouTube videos or photos from other sites?
Non-fear:
That no one is reading. Maybe they aren’t, but I like to think someone is. If they’re not, that’s okay too, I’m just starting out.
Fear:
I will write something that perhaps I shouldn’t. I’m very opinionated and open – I’ve put my foot in my mouth more than once.
Non-Fear:
Not having enough to say. Anyone who knows me very well knows I’ve almost always got something to talk about. 
Another reason I stayed away from blogs: A publication once quoted me out of context and then it was picked up by a blogger. It forever popped up as the first entry when you Googled my name. It drove me nuts and I’ve been afraid of blogging ever since – but I’m getting over it obviously. 
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6 Responses to “Fear and Loathing in the Blogosphere”

  1. Rachel .:. A Step Ahead March 11, 2008 at 2:54 am #

    My biggest thing is that it is forever in cyberspace. I am often searching my own name on Google to make sure that nothing new has popped up. So, to counteract this fear, I have not given my full name. I plan on blogging for awhile before putting my actual name on it. And, I figure I can always give employers a link to the blog if I want them to see it.

  2. David March 11, 2008 at 8:55 am #

    This is a terrific blog post. If you write like this, you have no reason to fear. David Meerman Scotthttp://www.webinknow.com/

  3. PRkeener March 11, 2008 at 11:16 pm #

    Hi Rachel,Thanks for the comment. While I completely understand your fear, I have to say, I’m not sure that not wanting people to know who you are because of what you’re saying, is the best route to go – in my opinion, of course. I think it’s important to stand behind your words. It’s scary, that’s for sure, but I think so long as you believe what you write and can back it up, you shouldn’t be afraid to put your name on your blog. I admit though, I struggled with whether or not to put my full name on my blog. But more out of privacy reasons – I’m still not entirely sure I’m comfortable putting all that information out there – but in this digital age, people could likely find all that stuff on their own if they really wanted to! Thanks again for the comment, I’ve taken a quick peek at your blog and will continue to have a look!-Kerri

  4. PRkeener March 11, 2008 at 11:18 pm #

    Hi David,Thanks for the wonderful comment. I’m quite flattered – especially since your book was my inspiration for starting a blog in the first place.I’m glad you’re enjoying it.-Kerri

  5. Meg Roberts March 19, 2008 at 1:29 pm #

    Hi!I agree with David, I really don’t think you have anything to worry about. You share many of the fears new bloggers, especially students, have, which is actually great when you think about it. You are completely aware the impact your blog can (and will) have, and this will make you more meticulous when posting, which some young/new bloggers don’t consider. As long as you thoroughly edit your posts, link back, and keep commenting on others’ blogs– you’re going to do fine! I look forward to reading more! Meg Roberts

  6. PRkeener March 19, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    Thanks for the comment Meg. It’s a little sad, but I get so excited to see people commenting!-Kerri

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