mardi, mai 17, 2011

Facebooking, blogging and the Twittertease: How tweet IS it, really?

Take it off...take it all off? No thank you.

But I might expose just enough so that you will read me -- and want to come back.

I'm fascinated by the stuff that people put out on Facebook, in blogs, or on Twitter. What is it about the online environment that leads us to think we are the only ones in the room - or to trust our audience?

Think of the congressman (umm, former) recently from upstate New York who send a chesty picture of himself to a woman on craigslist. He's not the only one to be taken down by what he has done while online -- men in both parties have done some really ridiculous things.

It seems that online boundaries are fuzzy -- and all to easily crossed.

But what about those of us who troll for readers -- and don't want to look silly, or too naked?

I've been thinking about my demographics on Twitter recently. Frankly, no offense, but I'm a little frustrated by the fact I can't seem to move beyond Christian evangelicals.

Happy to have them, but I wanted to increase the diversity of those I follow, and vice versa. My tweeps include journalist friends, some colleagues I haven't met, a few atheists and secular journalists, and, for some reason the Twitter feed for the Titanic (no snickers, please).

Then there are some friends and relatives smart enough to never open their mouths.

Recently, while avoiding getting too personal, I've tweeted madly about baseball, politics and Paganism -- but I still attract conservative Christians, perhaps drawn by the use of the word "church" in my profile -- though it's attached to the word "rebelgirl."

Also, I'm not an expert on baseball (I know enough to be maddening, though) l, don't know a lot about Paganism (yet) and don't know a lot about French politics -- nor am I sure that I want to specialize in any of these arenas.

But my task, like that of other writers online, is to get you to read about things you don't even know you wanted to know. And I can only do that if you know about me.

That, frankly, requires a little seduction. And I don't think I'm the best seductress in the world (see my post about being "too nice"). But I'm working on it --commercially speaking, of course.

HOWEVER, I've been a writer and blogger long enough to be cautious. You get the truth here -- but you aren't getting the whole truth. Some ideas, and people, remain private. Don't trust that I have tipped my hand.

Generally, I won't whale on people, unless they are public figures.

If they are connected with the (large) banking industry, all bets are off.

I am hardest on myself here. I try to be kind -- forgive me when I can't quite reach it.

I won't assume I know you solely from what you reveal online -- if you do me the same favor.

Here's an illustration of a performance that shadows as much as it reveals - preceding virtual life, but calling on similar emotions.

This is one of the last videos Rosanne Cash and husband Rodney Crowell (two of my favorite songwriters) did before they split up. It's a song about a marriage in which everything is not what it seems.

So why, I wonder, did he choose to be in the video? Why did she invite him? Did they know already that their union was doomed? When he takes her hand at the end, is it hello - or goodbye?

The song works, but it works in spite of those seeming inconsistencies.

We are mysteries -- and often, perhaps, most mysterious to ourselves. We cannot assume that we either understand, or know.

But we keep, desperately, wanting to.

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