Who do you think you're talking to?

Venue determines the audience.  Some people forget that.  Some never learned.  Both groups send a message molded for a different medium.  The basics break down as follows.

The Blog - It's for general interest items.  You notice that of all the crap I post, the only things that make it to my blog are bits that have nothing to do with me?  I mean, they're my opinions or stories, sure.  But they're always outwardly directed and rarely touch upon what's going on in my life.  They don't require any intimate knowledge about my personal history for you to understand the message.  There's no cryptic shit no one will "get" save for a special friend with the secret decoder ring of shared knowledge and experiences.  A blog is there to make a point to the general population, whomever the fuck that happens to be on any given day someone clicks onto your or my page.  If you want to discuss the topic de jeur, fine, leave me a comment.  We'll talk about it in an open forum.  I don't delete critical comments; I respond to them.  And, as stated previously, it's my policy that every entry is available.  No private entries because that's just fucking bullshit.

Bulletins - Now here's a unique place.  You can have your profile wide open to the whole world, but strangers don't get access to this area, no matter what.  On the other hand, all your friends do.  That includes everyone you actually know, plus someone you met at a party last year and haven't spoken to since, and some shitty local band you added to be nice, and probably Dane Cook if he's bored and clicking through the bulletins instead of writing material that's actually funny (which is likely the case with him and that's precisely why he's not on my list).  Me?  I happen to post bulletins of whatever's currently going on in my life that A) might be of general interest, B) is timely (read: viral videos and invites to events), and C) maybe I make it personal sometimes, but it's never addressed to just one person.  Why?  Because that's fucking bullshit as far as everyone not in the loop is concerned.

The Comment section - The trend on Friendster (the site MySpace ripped off and, in my opinion, got right) was to use the comment section for "testimonials" as they called them.  The point was that you commented on your friend's page for the benefit of people who were looking at his or her profile that, "Mike's a great guy who I've known since high school."  Or whatever.  That's about as clever and interesting as it got.  The weird thing is that it doesn't matter whether it's on my page or yours, comments are left in a publicly-viewable place.  I think it's kind of silly because it's a bulletin board on your page for your friends to have their say.  Like they don't have their own profile to post shit on?  I rarely leave comments because my page is soapbox enough; I don't need to piss on every tree in the neighborhood to mark my territory.  My view is if you're going to post something to a friend's page, it ought to be a funny that their friends might enjoy as well next time they stop by.  What the comment section isn't is a place for notes that no one else will care about or understand out of the one-sided conversation they're listening in on.  That's just the loud-talker on the cell phone you're being, and no one likes that guy.  And by the way, no offense to anyone, but lately I've been getting comments in response to both the very good news and very bad news that's landed in my life recently, but I don't approve those comments for public view.  And like I've said elsewhere before, it's not that the sentiment behind them isn't appreciated; it's just that I don't like to air the personal details of my life (even referenced obliquely) in an open profile.

Mail - It's one-to-one communication.  And it's the most under-used medium, apparently, since every other item discussed here has been used for personal notes that should have landed in the interested-party's inbox instead of anywhere else.

To review:

*Blogs are not places for personal notes.

*Bulletins are not places for personal notes.

*The comment section is still not place for personal notes.

In short, if it's something you'd otherwise say with a telephone instead of a megaphone, send an email.

Copyright 2009 Alexplorer.
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