Strong opinions, weakly held

Embargoed for one year

I’m thinking of trying a new experiment. Since I don’t have an anonymous blog, it’s rather difficult for me to post stories about what I work on, people at work, and other related topics. Once, a coworker posted at length about a conversation we’d had, and I found it slightly strange. I wouldn’t want someone I work with to learn what I thought of them through a blog post when I haven’t made those feelings clear to them in person.

I’ve been thinking about composing posts and then just sitting on them until some sort of internally imposed statute of limitations runs out. Any ideas on how long that should be?


  1. Interesting idea, but will you really care a year or six months down the road? It sounds like a worthwhile exercise, particularly in those instances where you really need to mull over some difficult or upsetting situation, but where’s the real value in that? Is it in your putting your thoughts to ASCII, as it were, or in the eventual posting? I suppose it would largely depend on the topic, but I can imagine a lot of the former, not so many of the latter.

  2. I think that posting these things very far down the road can only worsen the effect. How would you feel if you learned how they felt about your conversation in a blog post a year after the fact? At best all you’re thinking is that not only did they not make clear how they felt in that conversation but (quite likely) didn’t make clear how they felt in the intervening year. Any kind of time delay still needs your honesty at the time, and preferably consent of the conversation participants; I don’t understand how delaying the post would possibly change that. This embargo is in no way a substitute for anonymity.

  3. I think I’m agreeing with JMS when I say, go ahead and write down the situation. Get it out of your system. Then delete it. Those kinds of worldwide posts tend to come back to haunt the author.

  4. I think this is a great idea, and I’ve toyed with it myself. In the end, I’m too paranoid about security to try it, given that such “futureposts” would need to be resident in the database for the blog during the period of the delay.

    The thought I had was actually more about posting about family, specifically my stepkids — when there are ongoing situations that are highly sensitive and not public, but which are meaningful to me and I think would be to other people, but to post them in the near term would be too much too soon. What I envisioned was a post to the deep future — more like 5 or 10 years. So that down the road there would be a stream of these retro posts, sharing details and lessons that could not be shared until then.

    I’ve talked with some other bloggers about this scenario, usually as a response to their desire to post something anonymously about specific frustrations. But the problem with posting anonymously is it takes away something from the totality of a blog — you miss this chunk.

    I suppose LiveJournal or Vox allow graded access to more sensitive material, but it does not solve the specific use case you’ve identified.

    Sorry for the late reply on this post.

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