The Ground Rules

I’ve been writing on this blog solidly for a little over a year now. It’s a rather short time, but in reality I’ve been regularly writing online in one form or another for about 5 years total. I’m no blogging diva but I think I can reflect on a few ground rules that I’ve established personally by now as far as the role the medium has (and doesn’t have) in my life.

So, these ground rules probably have more to do with personal blogging than with the subject-specific. It might complete the picture to know that I’m trying to piece these “rules” (or should I say “minutiae”) together only now. It’s not like any of these are hard-and-fast; they’re definitely up for revision so feel free to disagree … or tell me in any way that I’m 100% correct.

  • If you don’t already read my blog and I have one-on-one human interaction with you, I’m unlikely to tell you to “check it out online.” I don’t want to tell you how to spend your time online, and I certainly am not interested in pretending you care about my online presence, period. It would be undermining the face-to-face interaction in the now. Separating the real life from the online is like the importance of separation of church and state. You and I are right here, right now; let’s get it on with the banter already – if you can hang. I’m not about to hinge a conversation on something that I wrote somewhere else that you have to check out later.
  • If you MUST take a picture, stop with the camera flashes. Learn what ISO does on your camera and use it; if the picture isn’t still or light enough, just let it go. This has to do with online separation as well, like the previous rule. Flashes in low light with regular point-and-shoots turn out annoyed subjects, fellow by-standers and horrible pictures. I’m just going to put this out there: I have friends who call me the paparazzi and I have friends who embarrass me because they can’t stop snapping long after the moment is over. But I think I’ve achieved the balance and that is mostly through the absence of flash. Because hey – if you’re willing to annoy those around you for the sake of online documenting, something tells me you’d be better served to absorb the moment in the now than being able to look back at a crappy shot of said moment later.
  • In personal blogging, showing you’re attention-starved is the ultimate fox paw faux pas. In doing so, you lose the validity of your audience and you’re stuck in an echo chamber. There are tons of high-quality, substantive blogs out there that are devoted to particular subjects. They are valuable resources to lots of people, depending on interest. This is not one of those blogs, so I make sure that I have something else (ideas, culture, commentary) to offer. I am the source of these posts but I, as a subject, am not the end-all of it. Whether you think the material I write is interesting, entertaining, what-have-you and the feedback I get as a result is completely separate from the value I place on being able to share and put thoughts out there. That being said, I want readers who are attracted by a value or two that I’ve written about – and I’ve accepted that over time, I’ll gain some and lose others.
  • Quality over quantity. If I’ve stopped blogging for a week or more, something’s probably going on. My head’s messed up to the point where I feel uncomfortable sharing. Or I can’t sort things out. I may be in one of those ruts where I respect you guys to the point of not wanting to subject you to crap-on-a-screen. Yeah. That means I love you.
  • e*starLA is my home, but I’m accepting more and more that online presence as a phenomenon is becoming more and more decentralized. There’s a site now for everything and everyone (*cough* Facebook) and it’s a bit of overload. So if you like what you’ve been seeing here, you can check out a couple of my most important other spots on teh interwebs…
    My Twitter – for my thoughts and goings-on in 140 characters or less
    My Tumblr – for links, humor, thoughts and happenings longer than twitter but shorter than a post (complete thought) here on estarla.com

I know there are a few others floating around in my head. Maybe I’ll save them for another day. 🙂 Hope you guys have a great week!