Unsound blogging advice

Nearly a month ago, it seemed everywhere you turned, Nigerian bloggers were closing down their blogs because they (the blogs) had been discovered by friends and/or family. I can understand how, with the topic of some of the blogs, or the images used therein (hi Afrobabe!), it would be hard to be blasé about your friends, siblings, or worst of all—your parents—finding your blog. (Hard sha, but not impossible: I can see Afrobabe and sting pulling it off, no problem.)

(In my case, I keep the topics I write about pretty tame because guess what (and this will shock you): I’m very tame. And boring. Seriously, nothing exciting happens to me. I don’t meet guys who have packages worth taking a second look at (or verifying through a ‘touch test’), I don’t get picked up by hot, muscular men at clubs, I don’t do anything naughty that I’ll admit to. I’m jejely holding on to my title as the most boring Naija girl out there, with no competition in sight!)

If you really love blogging though, and don’t want to feel like you have to pack up your blog when loved ones find out, here are some things you can do for the purposes of damage control:

Deny it’s your blog
“Geez, sister,” you can say, “do you really think there is only one Nigerian woman who is 23, born on April 16, with a nose ring and a tattoo of the Nigerian flag on her upper left shoulder living in small town Indiana? I mean give me a break: I can name 12 right now!” and rattle off some common Nigerian names. Try not to look horrified as you realize how much detail your blog has revealed about you over the years; it’ll increase the chances that your denial will be believed.

Move the blog to another location
This always worries me, because if you move the entries, someone might think to google something they recall from your old blog and find your new blog. This is the thing about the internet and its long memory.

Write an entry directed to the family remember or friend who has discovered your blog, calling them out
This can be fun from a drama point of view, especially if the family member or friend reading your blog doesn’t realize you know they’re reading your blog. There are two ways you can do it, both of which will guarantee you lots of drama (you may need to down some vodka before doing these):

  • Shame them into coming clean by writing an entry that’s basically a personal letter to them, and address them by name (full name if you don’t mind divulging your own surname). Include things that no one except you would know about, the juicier and more salacious, the better. Tell them you think they’re cowardly (or whatever word fits) for reading your blog and then pretending not to know about the contents when they speak to you next about something covered on the blog. The purpose of this is to incite them to anger. Some precautions you should consider: buying yourself some running shoes and filing a restraining order.
  • Write about them naively, as if you have no idea they read your blog. It’s best if you write about a surprise you have planned for them, describe it in great detail, and tell your readers when it’s supposed to happen. Go through the trouble of soliciting advice from the blogging community because you “want this to be the best surprise for someone so loyal and honest“. When you see your friend in person, drop hints about the surprise, but act like you’re really trying to be sneaky about it. If your friend or family member isn’t overcome with guilt, and doesn’t confess that they read your blog, then they have no heart.

    It goes without saying that if you’re dealing with a friend who doesn’t fess up, you’ll enjoy the dismay he or she will feel when the day passes and no surprise happens!

To those of you considering leaving because you’ve been discovered, don’t! A lot of blogging software (I don’t know if blogger is one of them sha) has an option where you can lock some entries and require readers to enter a password to read your more salacious or personal entries. Blogger allow you to open your blog to invited readers only, and something about that irritates me, but it is an option. You can always minimize the descriptions of where you live and any distinguishing characteristics on or about you. Or you can just say “screw it!” and hope that any friends or family that come across your blog will realize that no matter how often you write, even if it’s three posts a day, your blog still represents only a fraction of who you are and if someone’s going to judge you as a whole based on only half of the story, well, that’s their decision!

***

Thank you all for your good wishes for Oladiran’s family. It’s a long road but it will be well…God and time are the best healers they have with them. And the community of course.

32 thoughts on “Unsound blogging advice

  1. Hmmm…you know while I would like to be your competition…Being boring, or having a boring life is just, well, plain boring. The one thing I struggle with is how much of everything that happens should I blog about…One of my friends reads my blog, and I think she's surprised about a part of me she "thinks" she doesn't know. I'm slowly learning to say, screw it, to whoever decides that they read my blog…I'm more than the sum of all parts.

    As per moving your blog to another location, I think that will work for a short while, but just a search for a particular string of words will bring it back. I think I will be (since I've already considered it) going private if I start writing things that the entire world shouldn't be allowed to see about me.

  2. Girl if I had to secret code my "salacious" posts I might as well close down the blog cos all posts are salacious…..

    I dont care who knows its me to be honest…even made a lot of friends from blogging who have met me or found me on fb..

    I dont lie in my posts and I dont carry grudges so if a friend saw it she would probably just laugh…

    my parents on the other hand seeing all those errrrrrmmmm nice pics is a whole new ball game!!!

  3. this is funny…

    considering i moved twice, then linked to myself again, i know there's only so much 'i know 10 girls that live in flats overlooking the atlantic who work with children and have red hair' you can do!!

  4. Hmmm I feel you on the post.

    When I first started my old blog on bravenet

    I use to blog about what I was feeling and all

    My blog got discovered, it didn't stop me from blogging

    I just changed my style of blogging

    I blog about everything/everyone but me

    Not saying that works for everyone

    but I can understand why some quit

    Blocking some posts is just too much work.

    Blogging is like a stress-free zone

    I don't know why some just ruin it for others

    by using what they type against them.

    If I stop blogging today, it's because I have no time.

    I am at a point where what I do is what I do

    whoever finds out …na them sabi

    I blog about whatever's on my mind

    Oh well, I thank you for stopping by mine.

  5. Yes oh, I believe I have been discovered by someone 4rm times past.

    & 4 a minute I was bothered, but after a while I just did not really care.

    3 people I know read my blog, but not often. I will say I am also boring, but I come up with a few interesting things sometimes.

    I blog because I want to, and I'll stop when I choose too.

  6. lol..nice one..

    well i cant say my blog is anonymous…cuz i know some family and a number of my friends read it..wasn't my intention for it to be a secret. in a way it confines me from writing "dirty".

    and i think i also have a boring life too..lol

  7. Funny coz this morning i've had some1 hack onto my blog and post a video..but that wont even stop me, i've just changed passwords and all that jazz!! thanx for this GNG

  8. you know, the fear of being discovered is the reason why I don't write a lot of personal stuff in my blog but I don't see the point in making the blog private cos it's my chance to vent.

  9. Lol. I know people who read my blog, but I don't think there's anything to hide. lol.

    Plus, I think I'm a pretty un-boring person.

  10. Funny enough there's nothing on my blog I would be fearful of letting people who know me have access to…at least not yet, lol. To me it's about what I wish to share. If someone wishes to 'snoop' and thinks that by doing so they have some power over me or can use it against me, they'd better think again!

    If I think someone's snooping and they let me know they are, I would surely mess with their pysche by using my blog to poke fun at them…But they would be left wondering if I'm really talking about them or not.

  11. Hmmm, i'll definitely be bearing all these tips in mind, just in case. For noe nobody knows i blog, & i'd rather it stayed that way. I'd start thinking and proof reading all my posts, and that wouldn't be fun. I could prolly go the private route as well, but i love comments to much to do that, so…………

    I'll jus keep doin my thing, hopefully no busy body will find me out.

  12. aww that must be really sad to have a blog you intended to be anonymous (though its the internet) to be found out, thats what just happened to a popular lady "girl with a one track mind" after she turned her blog into a book.

    hmm anyways Ive blogged anonymously for people, and some mostly kept their ethnicities vague, and patners names vague, thought they might name where they met them. I also blogged for stores etc. with domains they have to make sure its anonymous, but with blogger, delete!! edit!!! deny deny deny!!!! even cache's deny!!!! or find a way to delete.

  13. You see me pulling it off ke?! Just in case u 4got, i have deleted 3 blogs. This is my 4th, but the good thing is after all that drama, i really don't care anymore. If someone thinks they know who i am, fine!! I'm not blogging because of them.

    I love blogging (writing) cos it helps me sort my thots and helps me calm down when i'm stressed. Right now, i have so many stories to tell about my new job and my siblings don't have time to sit and listen to me (i don't mean they are busy), so of course i'll blog about it when i have the time cos i know my darling pple of blogsville always have time for my gist. Abi?

    Bottom line is i have stopped caring about whether anyone i know discovers my blog. As i've said earlier, read at ur own risk. Now, it would be nice if someone i knew told me if they discovered my blog, just so i don't end up talking about them and their maama (insert evil grin).

  14. @archiwiz – I think a lot of bloggers struggle with how much of their life to put out there. No matter how much we share, readers have to remember that they can't paint a complete picture of the blogger from their words alone.

    @Afrobabe – Have any of your friends been shocked in person after reading your blog entries?

    @geishasong – lol so true

    @Olamild – Now this is a very interesting concept: "I blog about everything/everyone but me". I guess this shows the flexibility of blogs: I think personal blogging is good for the soul and a really powerful way to connect but it can also be entertaining to read the blogs of people who are entertaining or communicating important/useful information to you.

    @Oluwadee – You are not boring at all! I honestly have a theory that if you are a)married or in a relationship or b)single and living a "sex and the city" life, you cannot be boring. People love hearing stories about relationships/partners/kids. And bloggers who are brides-to-be always attract a lot of attention.

    @aloted – Your blog is one of those ones that is really inspiration and anyone who knows you and knows you're writing it would be proud of you. I'm sure you don't have a boring life! lol

    @ruthie – I hide it well? I never said these are things that I would do…just things that could be done!

    @pink-satin – come back to blogville!

    @ShonaVixen – Wow, that's serious o! I've never had my account hacked…hope you're safe new with a new password.

    @Buttercup – lol, the title of this post is "unsound blogging advice" o! Try at your own risk!

    @Iwalewa – I agree! And when you're venting, you sometimes wnat readers, no matter if it's a random person or a regular reader, to be free to comment abi?

    @isha – Hooray for not being boring! There is so much time when we're older to be boring that I really have to work on getting out of this rut.

    @naijalines – I see what you mean, but it's tough too because once you know a friend is reading your blog, if you ever write an entry and mention a friend who did something to you, I bet the friend who reads would automatically think it means her…it can be complicated. I agree though that anyone who is trying to use your blog's contents against you somehow can think again.

    @mizchif – Use these tips at your own discretion, ma'am! Or better yet, don't let anyone you know catch you blogging :)

    @Bombshell – Ooh, I've heard of a couple of high profile bloggers who have lost their jobs because of their blogs because someone found out about their blogging habits. But in other cases like the one you mention, being discovered isn't always a bad thing!

    @sting – See? So I was right in my assessment of you (that you could totally pull off having family and/or friends read your blog without freaking out).lol "I don't mean they're busy": that sounds like my siblings! And of course, blogville residents always find time to listen and comment on what's going on in fellow bloggers' lives. lol "and their mama"!

  15. aww…thanks girl…

    Actually that was always my intention to make my blog inspirational so I am glad it comes across that way! LOL (although i think have had a few rants sometimes)..

    Have a blessed week :)

  16. I beg to differ oh. I don't think you are the he most boring Naija girl. I think the title belongs to me.

    However, if someone finds my blog – i will use my favorite line..

    Hiss** " like i have the time to blog"

  17. @aloted – Well you're human right? So a rant every now and then is more than permitted :)

    @AlooFar – we sure are! :)

    @Allied – you can try and claim my title but when I'm standing on the podium accepting my gold medal for boredom, I'll just point and laugh at you.

    I LOVE your line! But can you deliver it in a convincing way? ;)

  18. That's exactly why I refuse to be anonymous. I blog with my real name, so that way, I can always remember to not write anything I will be ashamed of admitting

    S'up boring babe! LOL.

    We need 2 get together and talk about our most boring moments. LOL

  19. Oh well, a lot of people have really been talking about being discovered, tbh, i'm not sure if my blog is anonymous or not, i only know i try my best to keep the things that are very personal out of it! But if anyone discovers me, fine! I won't stop blogging cos of that

    I think i share your boring life! lol

  20. We blog 'cos we love to. But more importantly, it affords an opportunity to share thots, ideas……with like minds (without apologies to anyone).

    Moreover, friendships (based on the depth of ones thots rather than the initial fronting in the real world)) have been birthed and sustained via blogging.

  21. @Vera Ezimora – You're brave o! I bet your blog is the #1 result for your name search on google. Also, since you're going to be famous this is a good way to get your name out there abi? ;)

    @tobenna – that would be wicked! Remember this is unsound blogging advice! good naija girl cannot be held responsible for any untoward occurrences as a result of following this advice.

    @Writefreak – I'm like you in a way, but I doubt my blog is anonymous. I don't have my full name on my blogs, but I don't deny that I blog or anything. Some friends read my blog, some know about it but wouldn't spend time in front of a computer reading it if I paid them.

    @Rethots – So true! This is such an important part of why blogging is such a great thing.

    @Charizard – Oh, what did you do? And here I thought this was BAD advice! I hope it didn't backfire on you too badly.

  22. Thankfully it did not..

    Here's what I did…

    1. Played stupid

    2. Moved ma blog address…

    3. Changed ma blogger profile

    4. Removed all ma tracks on google…

  23. LOL @ your blogging advice. I think I'm still trying to hold on the the illusion that I'm anonymous even though I know a few of my family and friends read my blogs. But it's too much work to be worrying about what your friends will think when they read your blog. Just be you! Although personally I won't slag someone off on my blog, I'll rather approach them face to face.

    I'm sure your life is not boring! Your writing certainly isn't…

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