May I have your attention, please.
One of the hallmarks of blogging is the anonymity that it affords. We can be who we want to be online. Some do it to protect themselves, not disclosing their true names or identities to remain confident that their online persona will not reflect on their personal or professional lives. Others pretend to be someone they're not, putting on large and cumbersome masks that fool people into thinking they are someone entirely different. Others throw their online and personal lives together, and make a name for themselves in their respective communities that cross and mix together.
I purposefully have tried very hard to keep my identity fairly anonymous, although someone who really wants to know who I am can find me. I've alluded to my job from time to time, and everyone knows I live in Knoxville. I've made no secret of my theatre jobs and my band gigs. I haven't used my last name just because I don't want to make it easy, in case I post the wrong thing and make someone mad.
I don't typically post those kinds of rants - usually my posts are fairly genial and light-hearted. I like to "bring the funny" whenever I can, but there are times I have an opinion on an issue and I like to discuss my viewpoint.
I understand full well some people who read may not agree with my opinions, and that's cool. If they want to discuss it in comments or by email that's fine. We're all adults here (I assume - there's that anonymity thing again...).
Several of the people who visit here I've known online for a pretty long time. But that's the only way I know them - online. Either I've never met them face to face, or we've maybe only seen each other at Blogfests or something like that.
But others I've invited to read my site I know in Real Life, or have subsequently gotten to know well in Real Life. These are people I see all the time, or converse with freely by email when they're not in the same town. But they are people I've formed a relationship with outside the blogging realm. And in many cases, some of the more controversial topics I discuss probably would never come up.
I want that set of people to know that if I say something you disagree with, or take a position that you feel is offensive to what you believe - please tell me about it. I don't want a Real Life friendship to go sour based on something I wrote here, and never realize why things turned bad between us. I know we all have opinions, and good friends can still strongly disagree, but if I post something that offends you I hope you will bring it to my attention when you see me, or by email and not let it come between us. Our friendships are too precious to let miscommunications hinder us.