A few days ago Om Malik blogged about his writing advice, ‘write like a human‘, saying there’s no need for more bland mediocrity like ‘freeze-dried news reports’. Being real will always be as unique as yourself.

It coincided with me rereading something I blogged around this time in 2003, saying ‘blogging is about people first and people only, personal relationships are the stuff of our lives‘.

Om Malik also writes that writing in your own voice means your words will reflect who you are, that there’s no hiding behind fancy words.

I think it is even impossible to hide behind fancy words, or even freeze-dried reporting, the longer you sustain a personal blog. Through the years your blog will always reflect who you are, as your interests move with your own life and experiences, regardless whether you chose to limit yourself to non-personal topics and interests. It is very hard impossible to portray yourself as anything other than you over the course of many years, or not have your self be revealed through your writing during that time. (For instance Peter and Frank have been blogging for 2 decades or more, and I’m coming up on 18 years on this blog.) Even more so if your blogging leads to face to face encounters, repeated meetings a few years apart, and generates distributed conversations. It’s the reason that when a couch-surfing initiative for bloggers was suggested by Henriette Weber in 2005, I added a requirement to my profile there for anyone interested in staying with us would need to have a blogging history of at least a year. It would let me see you, to decide upon your request.

Your blog is your avatar, not in the one-dimensional sense of a profile pic, but in the original sense of a god made flesh in terrestrial form, in the sense of Ultima IV, where your own ethics determined the outcome by presenting you dilemma’s with short and longterm consequences attached to your choices. Your blog is your avatar, a full representation of yourself, made manifest online in HTML texts. Whether you want it to be or not. Time makes it unavoidable.

27 reactions on “Your Blog is Your Avatar

  1. Thanks for this article, Ton. This picks up a lot of the web spirits from years ago before everybody went into full self displaying mode. I’m glad that there are still people writing and not just looking for the next cheap Likes acting “a life”.
    Also I’m very curious about that couch-surfing initiative for bloggers you mentioned but the server doesn’t seem to deliver any more. I assume this project is gone?

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