Tuesday, January 11, 2005


The link to 3Jake is gone, at the blogger’s request. Her site fell victim to unwanted attention — an interesting side effect of a process that makes the private public and sets even the most unlikely of people on the path to attention-getting. While there are private blogs for communication between small groups, blogs that are creative or even intended as diaries tend to be public and available for serendipitous discovery.

In her very first post at Vermillion Fishnets, some girl named Shawnie discusses how unhappy she is that the boy she met last night — at first she cannot remember his name — is spending the night, as this is always uncomfortable for her. Over at Tasty Trixie, which is for all those who “want to know about the life of a webcam girl, amateur internet porn slut, & phone sex chick,” visitors will learn that Callie the cat has been put to sleep (a picture of the cat, when alive, is provided, with Trixie sprawled next to it, half off a couch and more than half naked), but also that Trixie has “severe PMS.” With Waterbones, readers know the bonking schedule of the kids upstairs, that Waterbones isn’t bonking and sometimes that her heart is breaking ... and that it gets tricky when she knows multiple boyfriends, ex-boyfriends and her mother and theirs are all reading.

Increasingly, we are living our lives in public, no doubt partially inspired by the exposure we get into every facet of celebrities’ lives. We know who’s gay, who’s had plastic surgery, who needs it, who’s broken up, who shared a steamy elevator ride, who fought last weekend, and with reality television, we are learning more of these things about pseudo-celebrities as well. With blogs, since no one’s asking, we reveal these things about ourselves. We’re celebrities, too. The more we reveal, the more attention we get. Even less personal blogs are about attention: Whether we’re being read, whether people liked it, whether people are commenting. We love attention.

But not from the wrong people. Each blog has a wrong reader, and knowing the wrong reader is out there, watching, has a chilling effect. Suddenly the most interesting things a blogger could write are the worst possible things to reveal.

The penultimate option becomes to write about things that are less interesting.

There’s a motivator.

The ultimate option, of course, is ending the blog, and ultimately that’s what 3Jake did. Unexpectedly, too, giving no one time to read a favorite post one last time. So I’m inviting 3Jake to send a guest posting here, every once in a while, if she’d like.

My wrong readers will be looking, but they won’t matter to her. And she still gets the attention.


Indri said...

Hallelujah brother.

Or you can just decide to try not to do anything that you're not prepared to talk about. Blogging has pretty much put the kibosh on my plans to give up catering and writing for sex work. Especially since people like Diablo Cody and Belle du Jour are just so much better at making that funny than I am.

I was wondering where Jake'd got to, and so was my mom. Sad. Her stuff is so good! Jake, baby, you can come guest at my place too if you'd like. Add some class to what is sometimes a rather sordid and maudlin little operation.

Indri said...

If I knew Java, and maybe I need to learn, I would create an applet that lets readers know in real time whether the brats are bonking or not. Why should I be the only one who gets to enjoy the performance? Seriously, I was thinking yesterday about those people who set up a webcam that's on all the time. That would completely change the way I lived; I'd have to start wearing makeup all the time, for one thing, and maybe silk pajamas.

3Jake said...

Thanks for the obit. I have been thinking a lot about what it means to broadcast yourself and how to be honest and private at the same time.

I would love to be a guest lecturer. I know Marc likes the stories of when guidance counselors go mad, so I'll find a juicy one and send it over. I have much respect for the people who live out loud, even as I grow more quiet.

agaffin said...

I think I've turned into "the wrong reader" - people post stuff about storming into their husband's boss's office to read him the riot act and it shows up on Boston Common and all of a sudden I'm getting angry how-dare-I e-mail and finding out just how much some people know about blocking referrals based on IP addresses. I feel bad for a bit, but, hey, people, you post stuff on a Web site that gets indexed by Google and Technorati and God knows what else, you need to think for a moment about what all that means! Still, I rarely link to LiveJournal posts because I get the feeling a lot of LJ users really don't have any idea most of their stuff is publicly accessible.

Scape7 said...

You're not a wrong reader; you just happen to enable wrong readers, and you shouldn't fell bad about it, as you also bring all the rest, which are right readers.

You've drawn wrong readers to me, actually, and I don't blame you for it a bit.