Public vs Private, 2003 vs 2005

I was following the b3ta thread about Cillit Bang and it’s viral marketing (hey an intentionally bad advert! That’s NEVER been done…sigh) – in a nutshell marketing types have been posting on serious blogs ‘in character’ as a promo for their crappy product; raising issues of where and when blatant advertising is appropriate.

It’s a bit like the endless current spam going on in blogs at the mo with ‘I like your site…’ – I got 30-40 such comment spams in one DAY recently…grr.

But following the thread I stumbled on this post – from 2003 from Danny O’Brien (ooh NTK? I used to read that!) about the boundaries between public vs. private and how the internets and blogging (and duh – podcasting – but he wouldn’t know that then) will break down the distinctions.

Sample quote:

We’ll learn a kind of tolerance for the private conversation that is not aimed at us, and that overreacting to that tone will be a sign of social naivete.

Question – has this happened? Did the public and private merge somewhat or did new fences arrive? ; I’m not sure that the sneering sarcastic subset has gone away (thinking of a podcast I used to listen to last year that repeatedly mocked one blog by a teenage girl, gave me a bad taste in my mouth so I stopped listening, the guy’s sneering tone put me off)…but broadly in the blogging/podcast community there does seem an unusual tolerance and different tone – try writing about say, your cleaning efforts in drag (Wanda) or just your day-to-day bikeride in Amsterdam (bicyclemark) on a messageboard and see what happens…lack of content, dead air, or crossing the private/public divide is not a crime in this space it seems.

Is podcasting a part of this breakdown of the public vs private or are new distinctions emerging, like a sort of privic or publate (as in I’ve got to write this blog I’ll be late down the pub :-D)? I’ve been background-thinking about this recently and that post just brought it to the fore.

Podcasting seems like the battleground of public vs. private – I could write you a thesis on public vs private on land usage, squatting and rambling since that’s one of my partner’s favourite political footballs and I get the earbashing; but to some extent those areas have been delineated over time even though there is a constant tug o’war there. Podcasting and blogging are so new in comparison; that the private can become public (such as being dooced) and can cause bigger erruptions, like losing your job.

Certainly there is a list of things I generally don’t talk about; work being one, family being another (although lack of interest on my part for those 2 is more of a reason!), or talk much about other people without their knowledge. It’s access all areas for other subjects though…as if there is a 3rd space, a grey area between private and public that constantly fluctuates.

The other reason I’m thinking of this is that I’m editing show 50 and it’s sounding good, but parts of it I wonder ‘what’s other people going to make of this?’.

Question is, should I edit for public or private?

The jokes even the in-jokes are part of mine and Kirk’s world, not intentionally exclusive but part of our ‘patois’ I suppose. To edit them out gives a false impression of how we are, and I probably am underestimating other people’s references/experiences/tolerances.

But there is always that fear that I’ll put out a gibbering mess that no-one will understandand, and will put people off…the private (it doesn’t need to be explained you see, it’s for an audience of 1 or 2, not more, exclusionary, smart but maybe geeky or cliquey, but can connect in a ‘real’ sense) or the public (it’s explained in words of 1 syllable, ultimately accessible but can devolve into public radio, dumbed down or so general it loses it’s edge).

Hmm. At the moment I’m kind of walking the thin line (or slash!) beween public/private, especially when I involve other people…that’s what sometimes makes it a headache of an edit job…

One Comment

  1. Helena Handbag
    October 24

    I think those around you have a right to believe that their privacy will be respected, but, as part of their life as well, they can easily consent to letting innocuous parts of your interaction be mentioned.

    Or …

    You can keep things oblique, and just focus on the music (which is the real reason why we listen).

    Banter and some personal references humanize persons, and can give us another level of perspective on how you see things. (HH)

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