Thursday, February 26, 2015

Filtering and Blog Honesty

One of the many (many, many) reasons Lauren at She Moved to Texas is a great read is that she so often posts really thoughtful statements about horses and blogging.

Today, she wrote about "filtering" your blog, ie, how does your blog reflect your life? should it?

I've been thinking about what she said on and off for a little while and trying to honestly reflect on how I approach writing about my horse and my life in this space, and here's what I've come up with.

I always write openly and honestly about my own experiences and feelings. I can't think of a single time I've left something out for fear of the internet comments. I started a hoof thread on the COTH forums, for crying out loud. I have a (perhaps unusually) thick skin. (Or I just don't give a damn, which can be both a good and a bad thing...)

What I do make deliberate choices about filtering are other people's experiences and feelings. This is my blog and my space. I'm not going to use it to intrude, speculate, or otherwise impinge upon someone else's life. I will write all day about my own lessons, but I don't feel the need to write in detail about other lessons around the barn, or horses in training. They're not my experiences, and my interpretation of them would at best be sketchy and presumptuous. I don't post openly about my trainer, her horses, or her actions and statements that don't have anything to do with me. I haven't about any of my previous trainers, either.

The most obvious example of this is the Vermont Moonlight 50 ride I went to last year. I crewed for Hannah. Here's my recap of that ride. It's entirely my point of view, but it is not everything that I did at that ride. While I was intimately involved throughout the ride, it wasn't my story to tell.

Hannah later wrote about the ride (which ended in a completion but her horse, Tucker, on fluids for a dehydration colic) and after she did, I posted again here to let people know where to find the rest of the story.

I'm not going to say I wasn't impatient to see her story, but I never had the slightest temptation to blog about it myself. I am not the center of attention of everything! Very far from.

Of course, I write this from the perspective of a fairly small-time blogger, with a relatively limited audience, and I blog for reasons that tend to fall more on the personal side than the public. Would I change my tune if more people actually read my blog? Lauren probably gets 10x as much traffic as I do (and deservedly so!) and anytime you increase your attention on the internet, you increase your chances of attracting assholes.

So, there's my point of view. I'd love to read more about what others think, though, and how they approach this question. I think it gets at a lot of the fundamentals about why we blog.


  1. I filter very little. There's some things I don't talk about, usually because they're personal. But I definitely make an effort to be as open and honest as possible, even when it's possibly going to make me or other people uncomfortable.

  2. Your Blog Your Rules. Alli's response to Lauren's post was really good.

  3. Great comments at Lauren's blog. Interesting to see everyone's take on this.

  4. One thing (which maybe I'll write about in the future) that I noticed in the comments of my post was that many people seem to associate filtering with dishonesty. To me those are NOT the same. I try to be very honest, but avoid things that I don't necessarily want to be public to protect myself or others. I agree with your paragraph about not dragging other people onto MY blog. It's easy to want to write about this horse at your barn or your trainer or barn owner, but they didn't make the choice to publish content on the internet - you did. Good follow up post!

  5. i like your point about keeping it all from *your* perspective too - and think that's a great use of the blog space

  6. I'm a pretty cynical/sardonic person and I filter 100% of that out of my blog. Primarily because I only get along with a select few people and if I wrote my blog in the way that I act, I would probably have zero readers. So, I tend to just write what happens in either a neutral or a positive manner. In the end it tends to make me feel better about everything too, so win-win :P

  7. Someone once said my blog was whiney and too wordy... They just couldn't read it. I was shocked... Hurt for about a minute... Then I thought, it kind of is... And it might not be for her... Filter? Maybe. But I think I wrote what on mind and then, if someone gets it, great! If not? So be it!

  8. I'm about the same as you. I'll occasionally mention others on the blog, but I try to keep those to the times when it's directly relevant to a training issue/key point I want to make that centers on Fetti and I. I won't talk about barn drama and I try to keep it pony-oriented.

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