So today in hope of clarifying my existence and perceptions, I went to look.
William Safire wrote
Blog is a shortening of Web log. It is a Web site belonging to some average but opinionated Joe or Josie who keeps what used to be called a ''commonplace book'' — a collection of clippings, musings and other things like journal entries that strike one's fancy or titillate one's curiosity. What makes this online daybook different from the commonplace book is that this form of personal noodling or diary-writing is on the Internet, with links that take the reader around the world in pursuit of more about a topic.
and Anders Jacobsen wrote
Weblogs are personal, online publications that can include links to news stories, opinion pieces and commentary, used for everything from personal journals to intercompany notes to supplementary news on major media sites
So I feel better. Because I'm using blogs all kinds of ways.
What has brought this momentary angst upon me was reading in someone's unschooling blog that she usually doesn't journal on her blog, but... and then she told some personal stories. WHOA! That's about ALL I do on this blog. But then I remembered what I've done instead of use a single blog with labels and categories is to use separate blogs for separate things.
I'm used to having separate lives because of the SCA. I have my Ælflæd of Duckford life, and for that I have clothes and dishes and jewelry and hair-dos and friends that Sandra Dodd doesn't use. And Sandra Dodd has Rolling Stones albums, plastic hair clips, jeans and hiking boots that Ælflæd of Duckford has nothing to do with. So when it came to internet sharing and storage, it wasn't hard for me to keep my SCA and "real life" separate. But then I have unschooling—not just what we do at home, but the analysis and examination I share with my best online intellectual buddies who also like to comb through ideas and outcomes and glean truths and principles.
I had some early webpages, and they were rough and slow and useful but not vibrant. People were on dial-up and the best thing to do with my stuff was download and read later, pretty much. But things change. And I have an extensive and evergrowing webpage. From the first, I knew there needed to be separate paths to those three aspects of myself. And so it looks like this:
The first blog I had was through my own site, but it was spammified constantly and kind of a pain to get into to edit. And all that blog had was announcements of new unschooling pages on my site. It's still there.
In the Spring of 2005 had an idea for a collection that had nothing to do with any of my three major life divisions. That blog is called Biochemical Love, and is a beacon and antenna for others who might be interested in sharing those parts of song lyrics and other related writing that hold clues to the biochemical aspect of love, and how it is experienced and communicated. Love: Romantic Biochemistry. What's new and cool there is that since it was initiated, it has become increasingly easier to embed a player for a single song, and so it's wonderfully richer. It doesn't get much traffic, but that's just fine. It's a good place for me to have my collection where others can find it someday, or where I can find others with similar interests. It's the VLA of my webpages, and the responses might not even arrive in my lifetime, but for posterity, there it is.
Most of my online writing over the years has been done on user groups, message boards and email lists. Those conversations are the live part, the exchange, the opinion-and-feedback places. Or they were, each in their turn, the edge of where such things were happening. And some of the best writing happens in an emotional state, whether in a fray or a pep rally or a burst of recognition, and some of those "YES! I AGREE!" moments have been saved for posterity on some of the hundreds of pages I've collected about unschooling (and some, similarly, on fewer-hundredish pages about SCA philosophy and practice).
So zigging back to the present, I've created another new blog, for another new interest. The 100 Species Challenge
And zagging back to the topic: I guess I don't feel too bad about having different blogs for different topics, but I did honestly wonder if I was "doing it wrong." I suppose it's okay to use blogs differently. They're like dynamic public notebooks. It certainly makes sense to have more than one notebook.
I started to list all the blogs I have, but I can't. I have little blogs at Family Unschoolers Network and Livejournal and MySpace. If you click the "About Me" on the sidebar you can see the blogs I have (or that I'm in on with others) on blogspot. What you won't see is the one I have as Ælflæd the Anchoress, but it's here. That's my quietest blog, and I have it set so that "Sandra Dodd" can't accidentally post to it. I have to sign in separately as Ælflæd. And what's written there will probably make little sense to those with no connection to or knowledge of the SCA.
So I'm scattered about and none of these is representative of all of my life. This is the map of the moment, though, for any who might like to view other parts for a larger picture.