Why I don't write a personal weblog
This is a Blogger/PHP generated web page. It's not a Weblog. It's a work in progress.
On May 30th 1996 I have asked my first question at comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html

Until January 2000 I didn't have a website. I have started publishing my site because I wanted to leave my job and thought that having a web presence might help me in the process. Until then, I didn't feel I needed one.

Weblogs are tools for sharing, selling and promotion.

The sharing part of blogging is very obvious to any webblog writer or reader.

People who write weblogs usually sell something , like products or services.

And/or they are promoting ideas.

Everyone who writes wants to be read, and webloggers are no exception. Weblog promotion is done the friendly way. I link to yours - you link to mine. First to an interesting item. Then add the other Weblog to the long list at the left/right column. It's a nice game, but also very important one to the writers of Weblogs. They put much energy into creating and writing and designing them. They invest in their Weblogs and want some kind of "return on their investment".

Webloggers mix business with pleasure. They mix the proffessioal with the personal.

For the people I read, weblogging is not just fun. It's serious business. It's an activity they have to nourish.

I am doing my share of sharing even more intensely than most people. I am a member of an Urban Kibbutz. We all share our salaries and split them equally. We live together and share a large part of our lives. I don't need a weblog for the sense of sharing.

When I find an interesting link I want to share, I tell other Webloggers about it and sometimes they publish it. [Doc, Dave , Ev]


When I have something to tell the world, I write in my site and send the link. Sometimes the link gets published. One of my pieces got past the first weblog and spreaded quite nicely.

I encourage readers of my site to ask me questions on how to search the Internet. I get several questions a month which I happily answer.

Once I was tempted to write a weblog myself. It was called "No Good Guys" and it lasted for 10 days. Then something personal and important filled my life and I stopped writing it.

When I decided to be known as the topmost consultant in Israel for NGO's about the Internet and computers, I started writing a weblog about the subject.

Doc spilled his guts in public because he is a top blogger and because his ethical conduct was questioned.

I wrote Doc:
Why I don't publish a personal weblog - I don't want to give others the right to know personal information about myslef.

Doc published it in his webblog, and in response a reader wrote the following about me, without knowing who or what I am:

Regarding the reluctant reader who states that he doesn't publish a personal weblog because he does not want to "give others the right to know personal information" about him: well, it seems that he's accomplished this quite nicely, although perhaps inadvertently, on his own.

His statement defines him: private, quite possibly guarded; non-particpatory, and perhaps anti-social. This latter term has, of course, two meanings: hostile to organized society (which I would not presume) and unsociable (which is a fair presumption).

We live in curious times. The older values of the neighborhood and the marketplace have been displaced. Anonymity in many social situation reigns, and this causes certain perversities within a society. I do not accuse your correspondent of 'perversities', but rather question his thinking. Everyone has a right to privacy. This is without question. But the real question is how to engage in civil discourse among many, and in a society where anonymity reigns.

The perjorative word 'idiot' has it's root in the ancient Greek for 'ignorance'. The Greeks, who prized an active public life like no civilization before and few since, would be baffled by many of our notions of "privacy". Especially those regarding our thoughts of the nation, our communities, the economy . . . indeed, the active life of thinking of our lives.

On June 2000, Dave has urged Jakob to make USEIT.COM a weblog.

Jakob's response was: "if one starts being a daily, one has to be a daily every day."

So Dave responed with : "The rule that it has to be updated on a regular basis is a myth, I believe."

To which I commented the following:

Work and love

I read many weblogs. I remember what I have read and can immediately recognize if a weblog hadn't been updated.

I like webloggers who write that they won't be updating for some time. This kind of message creates a trust relationship between us.

Reading THAT a weblog is not going to be updated makes me wander WHY.

Jakob's (Mr. Neilsen's) writing is anything but personal. It is strictly professional. Suggesting to him to make his writing "weblog like" is suggesting that he should start mixing personal facts with his professional writing. I don't think it's a good idea for everyone.

My English is not as good as I want it to be.

No one writes as good as Zeldman.

I will say it in simpler words: I don't want to be a public figure.

Reading and writing between the lines is becoming a lost art.

David Weinberger : When Dave asks, "It's a matter of what kind of blogging we want -- do we want it to be sloppy or crisp," my answer is an emphatic yes.

Just imagine, a bunch of people writing a weblog mocking you and writing thing like "Yet another case of xxx giving advice and offering commentary based on no experience."

blackholebrain - "I'm still here! Apologies to those of you who've stopped by here wondering what the hell was up with me these past few weeks... I've just been dealing with a major life-change decision over the past week or so, and just haven't had time to devote to blogging. More later."


Once upon a time I started a weblog. My job had taken me to a foreign land and I figured that a weblog would be a great way to keep friends and family close. Much less effort than making phone calls or writing e-mail, and no need to wonder who I told what to.

It became a sort of diary, exposed to the world. Often I wrote about things that one would ordinarily discuss only in confidence: difficulties at work, women, sex, etc. Sometimes I would think to myself "Ohmygod, my mother will read this"... but then I would post it anyway.

To cover my ass I kept the weblog psuedo-anonymous. Only mentioned first names, never my employer's name, etc. Someone involved could easily deduce the connections, and anyone could prove them with some effort, but I figured that my general white-washing was good enough to keep me from being fired over anything I wrote.

The weblog stopped when my company Dot Bombed a few months after I returned home. Later I started a topical weblog with my name attached, not focussed on my personal life. I struggled to avoid writing about controversial and personal things because that stuff wasn't what my audience was there for.

Eventually I dusted off the old weblog, got the archives online, thought about updating it again. Then came a new girlfriend, someone I had a history with once upon a time... She tracked me down on the Internet, and had come across the old weblog.

My old weblog had many things that I wouldn't have wanted my then-girlfriend reading. I wrote about things that I did that would have destroyed closer relationships. I recorded thoughts that could have soured any relationship.

Now I'm in a stronger relationship. I don't do things that could get me in trouble, but my thoughts... They seem even more dangerous now. Take a second to think about the number of thoughts you have on any given day that you wouldn't want to share with your significant other. See where I'm coming from?

So this is my new personal weblog. Hidden from my girlfriend, not intentionally shared with anyone I know.

Later on BADFEED.COM...

My girlfriend dumped me. In an e-mail.

Oh boy! Scott has published a link to this very page. Let's see what happens now.

And while I am here, below is a status report on famous weblogs.

CamWorld will re-launch sometime between late February and mid-March.
Peterme - Mothballs. I've gotta do something else with this site. I've got ideas. More essays. No blogging. New organization.When this will all happen, I don't know. Until then, this site is pretty much mothballed.
Soapbox - Give me money. I am from Nigeria [Make Donation] Thanks for your assistance.(Disclaimer: There is too much to disclaim at this point. Maybe some other time.)
EOD - ACT OF SURRENDER. Greg Knauss, the undersigned, hereby surrenders unconditionally to Life all forces on land, sea and in the air who are at this date under Knauss control. Greg Knauss will at once issue orders to all Knauss military, naval and air authorties and to all forces under Knauss control to cease active operations at 0828 hours Pacific Standard time on 17 January and to remain in the positions occupied at that time. No ship, vessel, or aircraft is to be scuttled, or any damage done to their hull, machinery or equipment.

No real point here. Just some info.

"Because I'm not like some of you people who blog every goddam day about something or other (I can't keep up; it's making me crazy; as if I had far to go). No. For me, writing is a sacred thing. Each word must be carefully considered, weighed, mulled over, its connotations and juxtapositional conjunction with previous words and (possible) meanings thought about deeply, agonized over. So losing three or four paragraphs, which is more than I've written in about two months, would constitute a loss of immeasurable proportions, a national tragedy, something to be deeply mourned by a world already enmired in sadness. Do we need that? Certainly not."

The legend stops here Now that Ross has pointed out how much this blog has turned into a tale of techno-woe (not to mention as WoE, which is a fine and wholly different thing), I've decided to stop complaining. If giant raptors swoop down and steal away my laptop, my camcorder and my cell phone or my shoes, you're not gonna hear about it. Enough already. There's too much that matters anyway. If shit happens, it happens.

I've got the wi-fi base station jacked in, and I'm typing this standing up in the bathroom (so the light won't disturb the others) before brushing my teeth and crashing.

The good news is, I can now blog from the john if it should so please me. But if I do, I'll keep that information to myself.
Now I'm off for a well deserved beer. But if have to relieve myself and have something to say at the same time...nothing can stop me now.

When I stopped writing on my website a couple of months ago, I was surprised at how... concerned some people were. "Why did you stop writing?" I realized that, at the time, I really hadn't anything to say. I was posting out of obligation to an audience, not because the spirit moved me.
I was also growing increasingly frustrated with the echo chamber effect of weblogs. A meme drifts out there, and then 38 different people post their take on that meme, and they all link to each other, and, as a reader, you bounce from post to post, the semantic feedback growing until it's deafening. I needed to remove myself from that for a while. To prune a tree. To look on as my g/f and another friend weeded my garden. To get licked in the face by a dog. To prepare my taxes. To watch work out while watching TeeVee.

I am a Cuckoo, laying my eggs in other peoples’ weblogs.

... but really 90% of the stuff in blogs [mine included] is brain fart material that is only of interest to yourself, some friends and the overly voyeuristic.

The Naked sponsorship deals are not working well. Not at all. One publican - whom I cannot name for legal reasons - has taken on a completely frosty attitude towards NB. Now (after two years of free, prime publicity) he looks down on me like the trash he serves his drinks to.
Another gentleman I was chatting to tonight came up with stuff like, "You'll have to prove how many hits my site is getting from Naked Blog."
Fair question. Except that now that I've deleted his pub, there won't be any at all. Fuck them all. I really don't care. No more mentions on this weblog. Our stories will progress perfectly well without the backgrounds. There's no such thing as a free mention. Too late, senores y senoritas - I never gave a shit in the first place.

Philip Greenspun's Weblog- "an interesting idea every three months; a posting every day"

If you made it up (down?) to this point, you might also want to read Are RSS newsreaders such a good idea?

7 Habits of an AntiBlogger

  • Think before posting
  • Write for tomorrow
  • Google is a means not an end
  • Traffic isn't everything
  • Write clean, valid markup
  • Add value, not links
  • Memes don't need your help

See, this is a problem with writing every day. I only have something smart to say once a month. The rest of the time I keep writing for myself and to keep my hands used to the idea that they are supposed to type words.

Let me make a suggestion. Do not assume, not even for a second, that because you read the blog you know who I am or who my parents are. And you are definitely not entitled to be disrespectful. Not everything that goes on in this house ends up on the blog, so please go play Agatha Christy somewhere else.

Thanks Scoble. It's really nice being linked to, once and even twice.

Amy Wohl made me very proud when she wrote about this very page "It brings up a host of issues you may find interesting." I hope that after reading all the way down to this point you find yourself agreeing with her.

Because of this very page, and many bloggers linking here, a search for my first name in Google (Hanan) brings my homepage as the first link, while Prof. Hanan Samet comes seccond. First it made me proud but then it made me think of how Google measures "importance". I mean, Hanan Samet is a Professor of computer sceince, and what am I?

In the vast majority of cases, when we use extreme rethoric we don't really, really, really mean it. We are just trying to make a point, and we know it's not a matter of "life and death".

But we forget that.

Let me try to say this again more concisely and in a slightly different way: we forget that what a person says is not who the person is. The mapping between what's in our heads and what comes out of our mouth (or fingers!) is imperfect. It takes a while to get it right. And some things can't be expressed at all without totally missing the point (It's not a coincidence I like Taoism so much is it?).

Case in point, while we're at it: Blogging.

There are a number of great bloggers that have the ability or the psychological endurance or the need or all of the above to be a lot more open than others about their personal life (put me in the "others" pile there, at least that's how I see myself). Examples don't really abound, but some immediately come to mind: Halley, Dave, Mark, Russ.

If your reaction when seeing any of the names linked above is "why the hell is he putting so-and-so as an example of anything? they're [insert expletive here]!", then, I'd say: thanks, you've made my point.

You see, as open as people can be on their weblogs, there is really no substitute for knowing the person. A weblog is a slice of life. It is not life. Sure, this is obvious. We tend to forget it anyway. It's the double-edged sword of expression: you can never make it truly objective because interpretation is a step in the process. But we treat them as if they're objective anyway, which is probably one of the single greatest flaw of the decontructionist approach of the western way of looking at things.

The day started like any other day — get up, dink around for a bit, bus into work, and start working through the stack of jobs. Just shy of an hour after I got in, my manager came in and asked me to step into his office when I had a chance. Sure, no biggie, and I headed over as soon as I finished the job I was setting up.

"Okay, here's the first question. Is this page," and here he turned his monitor towards me, letting me see my "Even Microsoft wants G5s" post from last Thursday, "hosted on any Microsoft computer? Or is it on your own?"

"It's on mine. Well, it's on a hosted site that I pay for, but no, it's not on anything of Microsoft's."

"Good. That means that as it's your site on your own server, you have the right to say anything you want. Unfortunately, Microsoft has the right to decide that because of what you said, you're no longer welcome on the Microsoft campus."

And that simply, as of about 2pm today, I once again joined the ranks of the unemployed.

Envy at the writing of other peoples' weblogs is quite a good reason too.

Always write like you are speaking on behalf of your company. Why? Because despite the disclaimers, you really are. That's scary if you think about it.

How Not to Get Fired Because of Your Blog

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