Blogging: talk about yourself, but don't talk about yourself
October 19, 2011 4:50 AM   Subscribe

Are there people who've written blogs about their work and personal lives, and have done it well, and not gotten burned? Any examples?

It would seem difficult to reveal intimate details about themselves, as well as friends and colleagues, and present it in an interesting way (and still avoid being lurid or gossipy), AND not have that potentially negatively impact their work or social lives. Are there people who've completed the trifecta?

And to top it all, is there anyone who's done this, gotten a lot of readers, AND remained relatively anonymous?
posted by Busoni to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I've always enjoyed, but it's really fallen off on updates. He never revealed names, but refers to his spouse as #1GF! and their child as #1Baby! instead. But pretty intimate details of their lives are revealed, everyday normal stuff included.
posted by InsanePenguin at 5:09 AM on October 19, 2011

Waiter Rant did this for a long time. I don't think the restaurant where he worked was ever officially confirmed.
posted by dogmom at 5:52 AM on October 19, 2011

Although I haven't read it in years I believe things worked out quite well for the guy from Waiter Rant. I'd plan right from the beginning to know that if you gain any kind of notoriety at all your identity is sure to eventually be revealed.
posted by any major dude at 5:53 AM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Waiter Rant kept the setting at work though. Or at least 97% work-related. There was not a lot there about his friends and family outside of work. Maggie Mason at Mighty Girl does the mix of work and personal well, but she's not anonymous. I'm not sure how a person could stay anonymous while putting so much identifying info out there.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:15 AM on October 19, 2011

Fed Up With Lunch was remarkably successful recently, and only just revealed herself due to her book launch. Whether there are repercussions at her school remains to be seen.

Back in the day, Mixerman seemed to do it pretty well.
posted by peagood at 6:26 AM on October 19, 2011

Mimi Smartypants is widely read, delightful, and, I think, still pretty anonymous.
posted by little cow make small moo at 6:31 AM on October 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

Jennifer Cisney of Kodak has kept a popular work & personal blog since 2000. Over the years many details of her career and personal life have been posted. I don't know that she ever tried to be anonymous, though, so she doesn't do a whole lot of ranting or reveal terribly intimate things. On the other hand, not only has she not been burned by her blog, but she has benefitted! Kodak promoted her from a generic graphic-design job to head up their corporate blog when it launched.
posted by apparently at 6:50 AM on October 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Sounds like Pioneer Woman to me - though her work may not be the sort of job you had in mind.
posted by Mchelly at 8:14 AM on October 19, 2011

Copperbadge on livejournal and dreamwidth? I'm pretty sure he's not unmasked yet in a first and last name sense.
posted by Hakaisha at 8:18 AM on October 19, 2011

Gus Mueller has been at it since at least the mid-90s. (Some might quibble and say his journal postings aren't actually a weblog.)
posted by Rash at 8:57 AM on October 19, 2011

Melissa Lafsky of Opinionista wrote an anonymous blog about her experiences as a lawyer at a large firm in NYC. As far as I recall, she remained anonymous until she chose to reveal herself after quitting to become a full-time writer. I'm not sure that she ever wrote much about her personal life though.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 9:32 AM on October 19, 2011

I would venture to say that many blogs venture into these topics and very few ever get burned in any public way. I used to blog more often and I wrote about workplace experiences, but I did it under my name and I used discretion. The ranters and loud complainers probably need to keep anonymous about it. There are plenty who do it but they do so with such tact that it is a non issue.
posted by dgran at 2:25 PM on October 19, 2011

There are a ton of good EMT/Ambulance blogs.

Not Anonymous:
Random Acts of Reality (defunct)
Trauma Queen

Insomniac Medic
Rogue Medic
posted by troll at 5:52 PM on October 19, 2011

The Angry Pharmacist. I read him/her occasionally to figure out what life will really be like for the students at my college's new School of Pharmacy.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:54 AM on October 21, 2011

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