Posted by: Ken Brown | January 14, 2010

Who Reads Your Blog?

I recently learned that my parents have started reading this blog fairly regularly, something that never used to be the case (hey mom and dad!), and it made me curious how much real-life crossover is typical of a blog. To me, one of the best things about blogging has been the friendships it has enabled with people from all over the world whom I would never have met otherwise, with whom can talk about things that few of my real-world associates care about. Though I’ve had the chance to meet in person quite a few of those I first met through blogging, I haven’t seen much cross-over the other direction–even my wife only very occasionally reads what I’ve written–and I wonder how common that is.

So I’ve got two polls here, one for everyone who reads blogs (that would be all of you), and another for those who have a blog of your own (feel free to answer both). Do people you knew first in person read your blog, and/or do you read the blogs of people you know in real life?

I’m also curious if your online persona is significantly different than your real life personality, perhaps because you think that family or friends do or do not read your blog. Are you a Jim West, whose online personality bears little resemblance to his soft-spoken offline self, or are you more of a James McGrath, who is pretty much the same in person as online? (And yes, I mean that as a compliment, James!)


  1. No one in my family or circle of friends consistently reads my blog that I know of.

    You are the only blogger I have ever met.

    My online persona is more overstated and hyperbolic than I am in person, though, there are probably a couple of profs at TWU that thought I should talk less in class, and probably in less overstated terms!

  2. I thought you knew a couple bloggers from your last school?

    My online persona is different than I am in person, but I’m not really more overstated, I’m simply more open and (dare I say?) eloquent in writing, whether online or not. I’m willing to say things in writing that would feel extremely pretentious in person (then again, maybe people think my writing is pretentious!

    For instance, if you asked me in person about a movie I’ve seen, I wouldn’t go on and on about its Christian themes and symbolism like I tend to do in my reviews; I’d probably just say “it’s fun and thought-provoking” and leave it at that. I’m much less likely to critique someone’s ideas in person than online.

  3. That’s the way I took it! 🙂

  4. Since the world should have only one James McGrath, I will simply say that I would mimic him. I change not.

  5. Only reason I know anyone is from SBL. I have one or two colleagues, but they seldom post, so I seldom read them.

    Soon, however, Ken, with your visit to Baylor, I will be adding you to the list of folk I know and read. Congrats, and good luck.

  6. I read one blog from someone I know: Charles Halton’s My family used to read my blog, and they still do, though not as much as they used to. And, as far as I know, my offline friends don’t read it.

    As far as personality goes, I really don’t talk offline, so my online and offline personalities are different in that sense.

  7. Yes, son I do read your blog (and most of your tweets too). That’s not really recent though. I’ve tried to keep up on your writing since helping you edit your articles for Salvo. Anyway, as far as I can tell you might be a little more verbose on subjects you blog about but I’d say your online personality well represents the corporeal version. Although you do seem taller online. Hmmm, I wonder why that is 😉

    • I guess you’ve just mentioned that you read it more often lately. For a long while I didn’t think you did.

      I suppose it wouldn’t be difficult to seem taller online, though I can at least say that I am not the shortest person on my blogroll, not by a long shot. 😉

  8. I run three wordpress blogs that I’ll own up to publicly … couple of others sitting quietly in the background … and one noisy one on blogger under a pseudonym where I’m … well, let’s say the tulip lovers wouldn’t approve … mind you, that’s not difficult, is it… and then there’s facebook, of course…

    I know one of my sisters looks in occasionally, but mostly it’s folks I’ve picked up along the way in the twitbooksphere…

    Appreciating your comments over on the anti-McLaren place, btw 🙂

  9. I think (certainly hope) I’m the same person in both worlds … though, in real, to spare some social friction, I’ll leave unsaid things that I might be less hesitant to say online.

    I don’t think any of my siblings has ever looked at my modest blog.

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