Reflections

| 8 Comments

mirror2.jpgThis is the photo I didn't submit to the Mirror Project. The one I sent in was added yesterday as number 16,449.

According to their website, "The Mirror Project is a growing community of like-minded individuals who have photographed themselves in all manner of reflective surfaces."

In blunt words, a bunch of narcissists and exhibitionists. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

I've been reflecting lately about the nature of people with personal websites. Why do they have them? Why do they choose to reveal themselves (or not)? Why do they keep up the effort?

All I can do is answer for myself.

Why do I have a website? My first website was an experiment in 1994, when the web was new and we were still inventing Telerama. My site incorporated my resume, some recipes, and a reading list. It's morphed into this site over the years, but I've always aimed to use my site to educate. For now, that includes Hello Tokyo, course materials I've developed (like the DW4 workshop), and recipes.

Why do I reveal myself? My goal in life is to express an experience so that the audience understands it and relates to it. Perhaps this site remains an experiment because I find it interesting to see which posts resonate with comments--usually the ones where I reveal something about myself or ask questions. I have a thick skin, so people saying my site sucks or they think I'm useless really doesn't hurt (anymore).

Why keep up the effort? Because you can't build a body of work without expending effort and you don't earn a good reputation in your field without a body of work. I spend from 10 minutes to an hour every day writing, photographing and preparing entries. Maybe it's a compulsion or perhaps just a habit. Judging from my site stats, it's an effort my audience approves and from time to time an e-mail saying thanks buoys my spirit.

8 Comments

Hello,

I am a brazilian living for the time being in Japan. Visited and enjoyed your homepage in a boring-rainny-nothing-to-do saturday afternoon in rural shiga-ken、while listening to The Smiths!

Cheers,

花と梨の木 (Orozco)

Hi! I wanted to let you know that I think you have a great web site and your 'Hello Tokyo' project is a fascinating concept so I look forward to your progress with every visit. Also, I know that being open on the web can be a gamble since everybody can see/read your life, but its a phase in a person's life that can allow them to grow and have new experiences I think. So the whole idea can be very rewarding and satisfying to the person doing it, such as yourself. Just keep up the great work and take care.

-Eric H.

well, I go to your site when I need comfort food for thought!

I come here to read the excellent writing and like the frequent pictures of you :) lookin good

I'm the first Blogshare investor for this blog. I have no idea why I did so, but I certainly don't regret it. Keep up the good work.

My site sucks and I'm worthless.

UB, it only sucks when UltraMom's not posting. ;-)

What nice comments from everyone (except UB who is worthless). I wasn't fishing for compliments! I was trying to think through why I do this. After a while it becomes rote and I forget the main point of it all.

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