Back when I started blogging my life away back in 2003, I never thought I’d actually continue it with the intention of addressing issues of interest to me. I felt it was more a personal thought journal, something I’d use to emulate the last sequences in Doogie Howser M.D. since I didn’t have his word processing program on my computer. Now, 4 years, a few pseudonyms, and millions of blogs later, I’m doing it under my name, and that’s immensely important. I now claim my own piece of the Internet under the name that I use in the real world, and that’s something people have slowly started to see as important.
When I started out on Xanga, I never had the intention of using it for anything other than personal. It was limited in scope to a few of my good friends and anyone who ended up running into “Latino,” “Black,” and “Syracuse University” in a search. For any writer, that environment becomes addictive because I wrote, and a bunch of people respond in the way they see fit, a perfect way to test one’s skills.
Soon, though, it became a vehicle all its own. I wrote, and massive amounts of people responded. I got subscribers from all over the world, and more anonymous hits than I thought were possible. I would write about any and everything that came to mind, and people would respond overwhelmingly.
But then something weird happened. I began to meet the personalities behind the pseudonyms. I met scholars, models, students, poets, people with dreams and ambitions, huge Yankee fans, aspiring entrepreneurs, and people who just needed a direction. I’ve been all over the country, and met hospitable people along the way, most of whom I’m definitely seeing again. I’ve even had people stop me on the street and ask me if I was that “blogger.” They all had a common thread: they were honest people who found a freedom within the Internet that they were not afforded as they grew up.
By this time, I found myself responsible to my subscribers, breaking down current events and esoteric themes into words that the “people” could understand, and that drove me to become a better writer, polemicist, and person. Amongst many people, I found a position as a vocal piece … but under an identity that was me, but not under my name.
Then it occurred to me how we all used these cover names to deflect that attention from their real world persona. I find it almost ironic that people have become increasingly scared of employers and the government finding out about their Internet matters when the Internet for so many of us is a primary source of liberation for not only bloggers but anyone with a keyboard, mouse, and a hook-up.
After more than half of my subscribers in that last site met me on a personal level, I began to write for what interested me, and not for the vast comments I might get. And with the inception of this new blog, it was important for me to show people the “real” me, whatever that means. It means now when I write, it’s attributed to my real life persona, just as the world intended. It involves a huge risk; what would happen if I said the wrong thing or two, and Bloomberg and Co. decided my checks should stop coming in from the DOE? Or if my former stalkers connect the dots between my blogs and send me crazy shit over my blog? Hmm …
Fuck it. I’ll deal with it when the time comes. In the meantime, thanks for reading. I got an education post coming up this week. I’ve been trying to not talking too much about my actual school, but I realize that for teachers, that’s an impossibility. Peace …