Well, first, you’re going to have to excuse me for my terse language, but fuck it. If you’re subscribed, you know how I roll. The title of this post came from my reaction after reading a pair of prominent bloggers’ posts and almost made me jump out of my seat. Not because of the shock and awe so much as it’s like I’ve been telling people for almost 5 years now: this blogging shit is no joke.
I mentioned this in my top 10 omissions back in January 1st, but it’s worth repeating: people really don’t think that my writing translates into actual interactions with human beings. I’m not here hiding behind my desktop / laptop: I’m actually writing whatever it is I’m feeling, and whether that makes people laugh, cry, scream, clench their fists, or … feel any other tingling sensation, I know that I can back that up in person. I mean, as a writer, my main objective is for that human connection, and it’s helped me meet tons of people and given me plenty of opportunities, but it’s also made me see the ugliness that comes from my own “popularity.” (Whatever that word means).
I remember five years ago, when I just started blogging, and I had a few responses to my Xanga blog (OK, maybe more than some), some of my closest friends took exception to everything I wrote. Yes, sometimes I got a little personal, but even when I wrote something simple like “I want this for Christmas, it became an event like, “So you think people are actually going to give you these gifts?” Or even when I’d thank people for commenting, it was “Well, I don’t need to thank anyone, unlike other bloggers.” Huh? No. I’m just writing. Even into these days, while most of my friends and family members have thrown their support behind me, even they get confused about this personality I’ve developed online. Is this the Jose I knew from Xavier? Syracuse? A little after that?
This blog has been my mantelpiece of reflection, and has helped me grow by taking a mirror to me and saying, “Is that really what you look like?” But sometimes, people confuse that with something else. I personally can’t call it jealousy, but two situations recently told me a little differently.
First, from Necole Bitchie:
I’ve been getting alot of emails lately from people upset that I don’t respond to them in a timely manner (on facebook, myspace & twitter). My goal is to respond to everyone but my slow response is due to SPAM, most coming from independent artists. I try to listen to everything when I get a chance but some folks are relentless. Just yesterday alone, I made the mistake of responding back to an artist name Glendell and in a span of five minutes I received a total of 20 emails from him. I deleted each one but I logged into twitter later that day to see that he had sent me atleast 20 more messages. Dude, with the exception of this time, this is NOT the way to get your music played on a blog!! You are Deranged. You are CRAZY..now f*ck off! *
Read the rest of the blog. Now you have independent artists trying to come after bloggers’ throats because they want their record played? Really? People really take liberties with our lives. Yes, I get it: she’s a celebrity blogger so she’s always finding criticism with celebs. She should be able to get it too. Yet, there’s a part of me that, after reading the comments from the creep, made me feel like she may have been in danger for her life.
Don’t believe me? Michael Arrington of TechCrunch begs to differ:
Something very few people know: last year over the summer an off balance individual threatened to kill me and my family. He wasn’t very stealthy about it – he called our office number, sent me emails and even posted threats on his blog, so it wasn’t hard to determine who he was. The threats were, in the opinion of security experts we consulted, serious. The individual has a felony record and owns a gun. Police in three states became involved and we hired a personal security team to protect me, my family and TechCrunch employees.
Arrington’s post is a must-read for anyone blogging. Regardless of what writing niche you develop, when you become successful, whether the Internet or otherwise, things inevitably change, and sometimes in dramatic fashion. Maybe we need to rethink how we think about blogging, too.
Jose, whose gotten a full range of e-mails in his own right …