Sex and Money Still Taboo, Even on Blogs
The same professional bloggers who say they benefit from personal transparency in their blogs still think some topics—sex and money—are too hot to touch, according to a recent quantitative survey of women bloggers on the BlogHer Network. BlogHer’s anecdotal survey, “Blogging 'Naked' at Work,” was conducted in February, 2006. More than 185 respondents—95 percent of them bloggers and 84 percent of them female—shared their views on the benefits and risks of personal disclosure.
The same professional bloggers who say they benefit from personal transparency in their blogs still think some topics—sex and money—are too hot to touch, according to a recent quantitative survey of women bloggers on the BlogHer Network. BlogHer’s anecdotal survey, “Blogging 'Naked' at Work,” was conducted at http://blogher.org in February, 2006. More than 185 respondents—95 percent of them bloggers and 84 percent of them female—shared their views on the benefits and risks of personal disclosure online.
The most sensitive topic? Money, with 77 percent of business bloggers, and 68 percent of personal bloggers, stating that they do not discuss salary or income. Of the bloggers surveyed more avoid discussing income than discussing either their religion or sexual orientation.
Despite high-profile examples of bloggers being fired, 83 percent of professional bloggers who responded to BlogHer’s survey indicated that they had never received negative feedback to the personal opinions, feelings and experiences included on their business blogs. Still, most bloggers draw distinct boundaries between public and private information.
The results of the survey provided the foundation for a panel BlogHer produced for the South by Southwest Interactive Conference (SXSW) March 11 that explored personal, or “naked” blogging on professionally-focused blogs.
“While many respondents reported positive business outcomes from sharing their personal lives, most also made it clear that there are still taboo topics,” says Jory Des Jardins, a BlogHer co-founder and SXSW panelist who writes Pause, a single blog combining personal and professional content.
The positive outcomes for business bloggers who share personal information on their business blogs include building online communities (42 percent), positive customer feedback (39 percent), favorable press (35 percent), and writing or speaking engagements (28 percent.)
The top subjects that were considered not suitable for business blogging include romantic/sexual feelings (84 percent), salary/income (77 percent), religious/spiritual beliefs (63 percent), and sexual orientation (57 percent). Surprisingly, the personal bloggers were also likely to consider salary/income (68 percent) and romantic/sexual feelings (50 percent) off-limits. In addition, personal bloggers showed reluctance to discuss feelings about events at work (54 percent).
55 percent of respondents consider themselves primarily personal bloggers; 36 percent of the respondents consider themselves both personal and business bloggers. The rest are purely professional bloggers. Of the professional bloggers, most consider their blogs to be “a professional platform blog” (49 percent) designed to establish them as a thought leader, artist, writer, or author; 37 percent are small business bloggers, 12 percent write public corporate blogs, and 5 percent write internal corporate blogs.
The SXSW panel, “We got naked, now what?” included moderator Elisa Camahort (BlogHer co-founder; http://workerbeesblog.blogspot.com/), Laina Dawes (http://www.lainad.typepad.com/), Jory Des Jardins (http://www.jorydesjardins.com); Elaine Liner (http://phantomprof.blogspot.com/); and Evelyn Rodriguez (http://evelynrodriguez.typepad.com/).
Contact: Elisa Camahort, President, Events & Marketing, BlogHer, LLC; firstname.lastname@example.org
BlogHer, LLC, (http://blogher.org) exists to create opportunities for women to pursue greater exposure, education and community. Online, the BlogHer Network, found at www.blogher.org, provides the Web's only easily navigable, comprehensive directory to the latest, greatest blogs by women. The BlogHer Network has 60+ editors covering more than 20 popular topics, writing the definitive guides to the hottest blogs written by women in a range of categories, from parenting to politics. Offline, a second annual conference for women bloggers, BlogHer '06, has doubled in size, expanding into a two-day conference and targeting 750 attendees and press. Companies such as Microsoft and Yahoo are participating as premium sponsors. The conference will take place in San Jose, CA, July 28-29.