Look who’s stalking


I was recently telling John (my husband) about something I’d read in “one of the blogs I’ve been stalking.” To which he replied “it’s usually called ‘reading.'”

Oh, right. I suppose it is. But it’s just that I’m only now getting used to this business of dropping by and getting a glimpse into someone’s life and thoughts, without them knowing. I feel like a voyeur. Here I am, sneaking around behind the bushes (following links). Peaking in windows (clicking on old posts). Eavesdropping on conversations (reading comments). Tiptoeing back in the middle of the night to see if anything’s changed (hitting refresh). Wondering if I’m leaving my footprints in the mud (a residual ip address).

Now that I’m actually writing a blog of my own, and learning more about the whole blogging process, I’ve made the following startling discovery: bloggers intentionally leave the blinds open. They actually generally want other people to read what they’ve written. Even total strangers.

So while I still feel like a stalker, I’ve decided to try to be the sort of stalker who clumsily waves hello. And perhaps who leaves the occasional calling card. (I’m adding to my blogroll…)

6 thoughts on “Look who’s stalking

  1. yeah… one of the neatest things is coming across the blog of someone you knew way back when, in what seems like another life. catching up surreptitiously. (or perhaps not so much, if they’ve left their URL in your comments.) reaching out and commenting.

    and then there are the people you wish would blog, so you could google them and find out what they’re up to. so much sneakier than asking mutual friends.

    funny how technology has transferred the art of letter writing into the art of posting. nice how it casts a wider net – posts with in-jokes are read by anyone who stumbles across them. fascinating how the patterns ebb and flow.

  2. “Now that I’m actually writing a blog of my own, and learning more about the whole blogging process, I’ve made the following startling discovery: bloggers intentionally leave the blinds open. They actually generally want other people to read what they’ve written. Even total strangers.”

    Soooo, Alejna, do you mean then that you actually hadn’t wanted total strangers to come and have a look at your blog? Or was it more that you previously hadn’t given this facet of the blogging all that much thought?

    FWIW, blogger (which is the blog host that I use) actually gives bloggers the option of having their blog be private — i.e., open only to invited guests — or public. Just wondering: Doesn’t wordpress give bloggers that option as well?

    Anyways, am glad that you’ve left your blog open to being visited by total strangers. And that you’ve taken to waving hello and leaving the occasional calling card. :)

  3. YTSL: Really, when I say “They actually generally want other people to read what they’ve written,” by that I mean “I actually generally want other people to read what I’ve written.” (Even total strangers. Perhaps even especially total strangers!) So, I have left the blinds open intentionally, too. Strangers welcome!

    My discovery is also about the realization that others might want me to read their blogs. And it also relates to the fact that my other blog is written for a very narrow niche of an audience (my daughter when she is old enough to read, as well as friends and family). And it was only once I started this blog that I fully appreciated the appeal of a broader audience. And getting a few comments (like the ones from you) is a whole lot of fun!

    And actually, WordPress does let you pick a private blog–in fact, I have recently started one for work that I share with my coworkers/bosses. Not that the work we do in our lab is that secretive. Or that the world must be shielded from the deep dark depths of prosody research…or maybe that’s what we’d like you to think [evil laughter].

  4. jenny: this blogging business sure is a cool way to make contact with someone. (Especially if you no longer have a valid email address for them, and haven’t managed to dig up a phone number, and haven’t talked to mutual friends in some time…)

    By the way, I like your analogy to letter-writing. I’ve sometimes been a bit sad to think of letter-writing as a lost art, but it’s interesting to think of things in terms of an evolution. (Email has seemed like a shoddy replacement for letters, but perhaps blogging is a more worthy descendant.)

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