Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dilemma

Here is the issue as it stands.

After the developments with my birth-mother's family, I exported my blog, created a new Blogger profile, and then imported and published the blog under a new name. I gave the old blog a new URL and marked it private, then transferred the old URL to a new blog which I promptly deleted.

The effect of this is that my old blog still exists, but that if anyone types theblackenedboy.blogspot.com into their address bar, the account will come up as deleted.

My new blog, BrightBoy, is not searchable through Google, and neither is my new Blogger profile. My family all believe that I have ceased blogging, and I can write here with the guarantee of total anonymity and safety from detection.

The downside, however, is very large.

When blogging is what it's supposed to be, it has community at its center. Community is what makes this worthwhile, what distinguishes it from simple journaling. Blogger did not import any of the comments that had been left throughout my blog's history, meaning that the coversation we've had over the past year was effectively erased.

I can browse through archives to see what I wrote last spring, but what I can't do, and what no newcomer could do, is see what you wrote, what my readers said, how we interacted.

On BlackenedBoy, I had two thousand profile views, fourteen followers (some of whom I didn't even know), and regular visitors from over a dozen countries on six continents. When I switched to BrightBoy, all of that history was lost.

A first-time visitor to my new site will see a blog that's been active for over a year with thirty-four profile views and three comments total. On a practical note, that creates a very bad impression.

As I said, the profile for BlackenedBoy still exists. I could transfer my current URL to the old account, and all of my comments would be restored. There would still be some confusion among readers as to my sudden address change, but it would be far less extensive than it is now.

With a different URL, any potential snoops in my birth-mother's family would be unable to locate me by typing in the old link.

The problem is this: a Google search for BlackenedBoy still links to the old profile, even though the name has changed. If anyone were to look up my old username, they could potentially find my profile and with it my new blog.

So what should I do?

I'm soliciting advice here.

I can either stay where I am and build up a new readership with a huge chunk of my history ripped away, or I can go back and risk discovery. What do you think?

I want to make a decision one way or the other and stick to it, because going back and forth between profiles will only make this situation worse.

5 comments:

Beth said...

It’s a toss-up – do you want to be able to write whatever you want or have to censor yourself? I wouldn’t worry too much about lost comments. And I know other bloggers who have had to change blogs and their readership faithfully followed.
If you’re concerned about the impression your new profile makes, put something on your blog to the effect that’s it’s new – briefly explain the situation for new and old readers.
Let me know if you change the url again!

(And - ha! – as to you thinking I was so young! I guess I “write young”…)

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

If you go around to people you trust and tell them who you are, your history will return without the danger of exposure, or--with less of it--but it would be a lot of work. I for one remember you. My inclination is to remind people, slowly, as you have time--that you still exist at the new location. Would any of them fink on your?

Good luck working it out--not an easy choice.

YourFireAnt said...

My suggestion: start from now. We who know you already will go wherever you are. I'm glad to know you're here, wherever here is.

FA

otherworldlyone said...

You're not the same person. Why have the same blog?

lanes123 said...

I followed you here through a comment on someone else's page (Berrybird's). To be honest, I was saddened when I clicked on your old site and saw that it wasn't anymore. However, I also switched to a new blog last year, once I realized that I'd probably shared too much on my old one. Not everyone followed, but enough did that I still feel like other people are reading my words. Maybe not as many, but that's ok. Good luck with the new site!