About My Blog: Notes of Interest

Jose 6 Comments

mrvking.jpgBack 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 …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 6

  1. Ms. Whatsit

    When I started my first blog two years ago, I used my real name and told the real people in my world all about it. Unfortunately and without really meaning to, I found that I would make people angry for the things I would write. It was as if seeing my thoughts in writing came as a great shock and threat to them, and it was awful to feel so misunderstood by the people I cared about. That prompted me to shut down my blog (actually, I just changed the URL and template) and start over as Ms. Whatsit. Since then, I’ve mentioned the blog only to a few people who I’m pretty sure are cool with me being myself, but generally speaking, I keep the blog to myself even though I often hear myself talking about the same things I write. Go figure.

    Ms. Whatsit suits me, but it really is just one aspect of my personality. I do have other blogs that reveal me in a completely different light. I started them partly because I just had to express myself differently and partly because some of things that I needed to write about would get me in a lot of trouble if they were read by the wrong eyes. I am definitely not interested in shaking up my world right now, and that’s reason enough for me to use a pseudonym or two or three . . .

  2. angelamichelle

    well spoken/written/typed. you know i can’t help but write from a personal stance and to broadcast not only my daily/thoughts/commentary/rants candidly, but to broadcast who i am in the process. i try my best to be complimentary to readers and the people i may post about but in the end it’s my life that i script, so hurting feelings really doesn’t enter my frame of mind. although, most times hurting feelings is not my intention. HA!

    i could not see myself being totally “incognegro” with my blogs because i take great pride in who i am and what i do. fortunately i don’t have the “fear” of my blogs causing a conflict of interest with my primary source of income… since they are my primary source of income.

    i’m liking the “real”you blog, although i’ve always seen the “real” you in everything you script, so i might be a bit biased. as always.

    blessed be…

  3. LuzMaria

    I never even knew what people meant about writing blogs two years ago. Now, I am an addict. Constantly I find myself writing from either a personal or objective stance. It has become a tool for me to become more self-aware, share experiences, give and seek advice, and to record moments of my life. If it wasn’t for you, I never would have dared to embark on this writing adventure. Thank you for guiding me to the world of blogging.

  4. Miss Profe

    Blogging has been a transformative experience for me, not only in terms of what I write and share with others, but also what others write and share with me. At the present time, I am comfortable with my “Miss Profe” persona. Perhaps in time I will reveal the real name behind it, and, maybe even create another blog. Who knows?

    Thank you, Jose, for your candid and deeply insightful post.

  5. pre_k

    this post pretty much says it all.. I pretty much think it is futile for people to try to distance themselves from that which they put their energy too.. alright i wont get into the esoteric here.. Just glad to see that you have come into your own for real this time though i will have to agree with AM that the real you has always been there regardless of how well you thought you masked it. even the mask an artist chooses speaks of them in the most intimate of ways.. I say its like the god that is within you talking to us we just have to pay attention to the details… piece and blessings..

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