When I started blogging in 2003 or so, I set up two different blogs: an “official” one (about stuff having to do with school, scholarship, teaching, etc.) and an “unofficial” one (about family, friends, politics, goofy stuff, etc.). I was initially concerned about saying something that Eastern Michigan University might find inappropriate– some sort of political rant, a sexist comment, a bad joke, whatever. While I have blogged before about these dangers, the fact of the matter is I do have the protection of academic freedom and tenure and the union. So I think I would have post something pretty crazy to even get noticed by some administrator, let alone get fired.
Still, I continued to maintain this “official” blog and an “unofficial” blog split, I suppose because it helped me keep things in perspective. Sometimes, it was (and still is) useful for me to remember that work and life are not the same thing.
But then some kind of interesting things started to happen.
For starters, I realized that family members, parents, in-laws, friends, etc. have been reading my unofficial blog for a while now, which means I’ve been sort of been self-censoring myself/watching my Ps and Qs for a while now. Not that I have any big, huge, dark unofficial blog secrets. Really. Honest.
But this already artificial division of blogs really started to break down for me in early January 2008. I don’t remember exactly what day it was, but I do like to think that they were all on or about the same day:
- Someone I have known for well-over 20 years was in the midst of an email conversation with me about my book project/sabbatical proposal, which I had posted on my official blog.
- A colleague of mine at EMU in political science stopped me in the hall and said he thought it was interesting to read my perspectives as an ex-pat Iowan on the Iowa Caucus process on my unofficial blog.
- My wife, who is also a faculty colleague of mine in the English department at EMU (perhaps you can begin to see why separating my official and unofficial life is all the more challenging) stopped me at almost the exact same time in the same hallway and told me that she had a student right now who read my unofficial blog all the time.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea: this split between the official and the unofficial had become a fiction to everyone else in the world, including me.
At first, I thought about figuring out how to merge the databases that support the unofficial and the official blogs, but a little bit of research revealed that that would have been very difficult to do. So I settled on the next best thing: start over.
And thus, this new blog/portal/web site was born, just simply my domain name, stevendkrause.com