So He Took Them Down

Susannah: “But tonight I’m thinking about those personal bloggers who have just decided that what’s on their blog doesn’t really reflect who they are anymore, or that what’s there is one-sided. Richard talked about having done a lot of posts that he called “thinking” posts—they were introspective, but not reactive, and he just didn’t want to be that kind of blogger anymore. So he took them down.”

The discussion was personal (though not private), she refers to me and links to two of my 'professional' sites, that is to say my 'brochure' site and the site of my current employer. I do not track inbound links to those websites—not directly, anyway: I subscribe to PubSub feeds for both my name and my employer's company name. (Matt also recently linked to my 'brochure' site, though I take full blame for that, neglecting to include my China-related website in my .signature file.)

All through Friday I felt a little resentment. Initially that resentment came about because she cited a personal (to repeat, not private) conversation that came about while I was a little drunk. After deciding that didn't matter, instead of replacing that resentment with acceptance—if I'm going to have a public online persona, I have no right to tell people not to link to me or not to link to any public site of mine—I replaced it with resentment for mentioning my employer in the same breath as my name while discussing a topic unrelated to who I work for. Rational thought finally returned and triumphed: my employer is public knowledge, and besides the employer is a blogging-plus-plus company. (For today's purposes, please ignore that it's actually a whole-bunch-of-stuff-plus-it-does-blogging company.) So it's not like what I do with my weblog is completely unrelated to what I do for a living.

She does not quote me, but she accurately and adequately summarizes my part of the conversation. I did remove from online publication a thousand entries to my weblog, some because they were and are a lot more personal than I thought they were at the time, and some because they don't really make any sense. It's my space, so I get to decide what to do with it, of course recognizing that everything once published still exists in somebody's archive.