I had been thinking a lot about this lately as more and more people in the Social Media space poke at me for not being authentic. If I blog as my dog, Rufus, I can’t possibly be authentic. Why am I hiding?
I am not hiding, but rather being optimistically cautious. Seth Simonds just published a blog post on Trent Reznor and the backlash of trolls. Previously, Reznor had PR people and handlers to “manage” his public image. But, as he found out, the more he decided to tweet out as himself, the more Internet trolls lashed onto that “authenticity” and used it as a weapon against him. My guess is as more and more celebrities are shafted by Social Media tools, they will recoil back behind the safety of handlers. That is not a bad thing; just a symptom of our culture.
When I first started blogging several years ago, I thought that DogWalkBlog would be a look at life and culture through the eyes of a dog, if a dog could talk. But, that got stale pretty quickly. You can only blog out your puppy potty habits so many times before it all starts looking like poop. And, I have a big mouth and a need to bark often about a lot of other things.
Along the way, though, I figured out that if I stood behind a dog and moved his lips, I could say just about anything I wanted and almost nobody would be offended. After all, you are going to get in an argument with a dog? Really?
The other thing I discovered is people let their guard down around dogs. Once they pet you and interact with your dog, it is kinda hard to back away from the person holding the leash. So, Rufus has become my surrogate handshake when you would have only seen an opinionated, somewhat arrogant jerk. Rufus allows me to engage you in a conversation you may have been unwilling to start without him. And, I hope we both are the better for it.
As I was putting this post to bed and hitting the publish button, Kevin Phoenix sent this tweet:
Rufus, I like your blog clean and entertaining – but I’m not quite sure where its going. Can you ask your alter ego, please?
Which crystalizes my final reason to blog as a dog. People need direction and focus. They need to be building toward something. They need goals and purpose. Dogs, on the other hand, just need to exist, wag their tails when they feel happy, sniff around what makes them curious and crap whenever they need to or something needs to be crapped on. If I blogged as a person (which I do, but that is another tail altogether, typo intended) I would need a topic, a pigeon-hole to tidy and keep on task. But, if you’re a dog, you are free to focus on following the path in earnest one day and taking time out to chase a ball around the yard the next.
Make sense? I sure hope not.