Last night I was checking out Wendy (aka Xiaxue) facebook profile. For the record, my friendship with her started around 2004, maybe further back. I remembered helping her with some HTML codes in her blog and hosted her website images (there were very few free image hosting sites during that "era"). Back then her blog was already quite popular, and she was determined to go into full-time blogging - which she did eventually. The best part is, we only finally met face to face last year 1 Nov 2009, when I was shooting Pierre and Jane at a scuba pool training centre. Wendy happened to be at the same place practicing scuba diving for her upcoming diving webpisode with clicknetwork.tv. Pathetic, some might say, but I guess there was no circumstantial need to arrange a meet-up with her on purpose.
Back to the topic, I was a photo tag of her with another person, Audrey Ooi. at the Nuffnang Blog Awards. I thought: she must be someone popular to have a photo taken with Wendy, so I visited her facebook, found her blog, and within the span of 30 minutes, found out enough about her.
1. She's a popular full-time blogger in Malaysia.
2. Her boyfriend is a co-founder of Nuffnang.
3. She is four foot nine.
4. She has a younger brother.
5. She studied in ...
6. Her friends are ...
7. She was born on ...
OK you get the drift. A stranger like me can know half her life instantly.
Scary? Big deal? Fun!
Actually, I am probably a suaku (ignoramus) not knowing who she is (it's like not knowing who Xiaxue of Singapore is, or who Kenny Sia of Malaysia is). After all, she has a strong styling semblance with some of the top Japanese celebrities. But her blog is more than looks. She has a unique writing style and linguistic expression.
But how can you blame me? In the online world, there is no prejudice to your popularity. Be it a famous dude or a newbie, anyone can access your website. Of course, the popular sites get more coverage from other even more popular sites and thus greater awareness leading to increased web traffic.
In the physical world, you could be excused for not traveling the world citing lack of money to fly out of the country. In the online world, your ticket to anywhere in the world is simply typing the URL. So tell me, how can anyone be bored with the availability of the Internet? The only reason one can be bored is because one doesn't know where to go or what to seek.
So for my case, seeking new blogs or famous bloggers is not on my list, thus I would not have any idea of these social media celebrities. We know how popular Mr. Brown is, and his "Mr. Brown Show" is mostly entertaining. But I only checked his site once a year, and during this one-time access, I would scour through his archives enough to last me a month.
Man, I was digressing. But in a nutshell, some blogs simply reveal too much personal life about the bloggers. If it's a conscious choice, then it's fine. But if it's something they did and that they are unaware of the consequences, then it's a wake-up call to these people. Like someone said (sorry, too many people posts wise quotes that I don't know the origin), "the only way to keep people from learning anything about you is not to post anything about it." If you think keeping your sites private will prevent any leaks, you are quite wrong. As long as anyone - friends, families, spouses - can access the page, it could be used against you. Ever heard of screenshots, or page saves, or retweets? Ever heard of best friends turned eternal enemies?
As for Audrey Ooi or equivalent, I guess there is no harm sharing about her life. After all, she is a full-time celebrity blogger. Rather than getting the tabloids posting untruths (like what they do with international celebrities), it's probably better to hear from the horse's mouth. I certainly prefer to do that. That is one reason why I put my photo (albeit unattractive and somewhat egoistic) on my landing webpage, in case someone impersonates my identity (there are a few photographers by the name of "Chester" in Singapore, mind you).