The “things you don’t know about me” blog format: ego or engagement?

Is your ego causing you to fail?

I recently came across the suggestion to write a blog post titled “20 things you didn’t know about me”, and I had a very mixed reaction.

Hmmm….Time to do some research on Google.

I managed to NOT get sucked down that particular rabbit hole, for which I was grateful. I was less grateful for the fact that I got such mixed results: For the top six organic search results, number of comments – which is a pretty darn good indicator of engagement – ranged from 1 to 92. Another interesting thing I noticed was that the most recent of those six top results was written nearly two years ago.

Basically, it turns out I have more questions now than when I started. Maybe you can provide some insight for me.

And the last question: Are you going to read my list? I hope so; otherwise, it’s going to feel like a classic case of “I gave a party and nobody came”…

  1. I couldn’t decide on a major for college, so I double-majored in French and Biology.
  2. I was 30 years old before I felt I’d grown into my full name and was ready to discard my childhood nickname of “Kathy”.
  3. I love attending high-energy conferences, but I absolutely insist on a private hotel room so I can take a break from people at night.
  4. I have never watched an episode of any reality TV show. Ever.
  5. That’s been easy to do, since I got rid of my TV in approximately 2005.
  6. Fortunately, my sister lets me hang at her house to indulge my current guilty entertainment pleasure: the TV show Lucifer.
  7. I’m the director of my church choir, even though I have no formal training for it. (Exciting, yes, but not in a particularly good sense.)
  8. I’ve been camping twice in my life. I figure that’s enough for anybody.
  9. When I was in fifth grade, my mom allowed me to play hooky the day after we got a new puppy.
  10. I believe mushrooms should be outlawed. Anything that grows on rotting logs has no place in a kitchen.
  11. While I was on vacation in France, my car broke down and the owner/chef of the B&B we were staying at came out to fix it.
  12. When I was little, I once spent 45 minutes washing out one of my big sister’s nylons because I wanted to make sure it was really clean. (Since I was supposed to be in bed at the time, Mom was not happy with my sister for having conned me into doing her job. Big sister was not happy with me for being so slow.)
  13. Chocolate candy is easier for me to walk away from than chocolate cake.
  14. The most confusing etiquette situation I ever faced involved steamed asparagus served directly on a linen napkin, accompanied by a gravy tureen of Hollandaise sauce. I still have no idea what’s considered the proper way to eat something like that. (I ended up cutting the asparagus and dunking it. Awkward.)
  15. Two of my dogs flunked out of basic obedience training.
  16. When I was in college, I was not permitted to donate blood because I didn’t weigh enough. (Fortunately for the local blood supply, this is no longer an issue.)
  17. The only broken bone I’ve ever had was the result of being pulled off my feet when my two Goldens decided they really needed to go say “hi” to that squirrel.
  18. I love hand drums and other percussion instruments, and own a total of five.
  19. I can switch-hit between most soprano parts and alto. If I don’t think about it, I can hit an F above high C without sounding like someone’s squeezing my throat (or any other body part).
  20. I still don’t know how to pop a clutch, but I look forward to learning sometime.
  21. Back in fifth grade, I took part in a city-wide song-and-dance show. I got to perform the national dance of the Phillipines, the tinikling. (No ankles were crushed in the performance of this dance.)
  22. I’ve drunk coconut milk right from the coconut just minutes after watching someone harvest it. Really cool experience; icky flavor.
  23. I’d had my first car – a manual transmission – only a month or so when I got stuck at a red light at the top of a hill that felt like Mount Everest. Because I had such visions of rolling down backwards if I couldn’t get into first gear quickly enough, I set the parking break, put the car in first, then released the brake and gunned the engine when the light turned. Ungraceful but effective.
  24. When I was about 7 years old, I wasn’t paying attention while getting into my jammies, and I stuck both my legs in one pajama leg. I started to correct the mistake, then realized I could work a good con on my mother. I reinserted the second leg into the jammie, then pitifully called out to Mom for help. It worked on her, but not my big sister (yes, the same one who asked me to wash her nylons).
  25. Soon after moving to Iowa, I got pulled over by a cop for having outdated tags. (I just overlooked renewing them in the press of getting settled in a new town.) Apparently I and my older sisters looked like dangerous types, because a second patrol car pulled in behind the first. Seriously? You need back-up for three mid-life women, two of whom are laughing hysterically at the third?

Bonus “don’t know”: The most outrageous thing I’ve ever done in my life is something I haven’t shared with another person. (It was not illegal, by the way, just crazy.)

Since I really am curious about others’ opinions regarding this approach to blogging, I’d appreciate your input on some of the questions I asked earlier. And to thank you for satisfying my curiosity, I’ll send you a no-charge version of a handout I use in my How to be Powerful, Not Pushy workshop: a collection of wimpy language and its more powerful counterpart (what I call “victim and victor” language). If you’re curious about how much your language choices support you – or not – you’ll get some powerful insights from it.

(And if you’re curious where I found the picture of the ego banner, Rhonda Liberman posted it in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

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10 Responses to The “things you don’t know about me” blog format: ego or engagement?

  1. I’m inclined to agree that writing about oneself — especially a list of 20 items — is a bit much. Twenty of just about anything is too many.

    And I share your sense of seeming self-indulgence.

    I believe there are better ways to personalize blogs that help you appear human to readers: in bites, not a smorgasbord.

    • Kathleen Mavity Kathleen says:

      LOVE your “bites, not a smorgasbord” comment, Kathy!

      Also, I have to confess that I had a moment of utter confusion when I read that there was a pending comment from “Kathleen Watson.” You and I have already laughed about having the same name, so I’m not normally surprised to hear from you/me. However, I’m not quite in my body these days — something to do with having broken my foot while redecorating — and I think that’s why I sort of went deer-in-the-headlights when I first saw your comment. Thank goodness your email address was clearly visible; that may have been all that kept me from wondering if I’d totally lost it. 🙂

  2. I love your “list of 20” — of course, I’m one of those who’s a sucker for lists anyway 🙂 . Well, maybe except for those that are an obvious come-on that only recycle already widely-known and really basic information.

    I do like learning more about people, although there needs to be some tidbit or something that catches my interest if I don’t already know at least a bit about them.

  3. Jeri says:

    Kath, I have exactly the same thoughts you did about this type of column. I had GREAT fun reading your list, and I’ll think about writing my own. No promises. I just really want to know about that one crazy thing. LOL

    • Kathleen Mavity Kathleen says:

      Glad you had fun with the list, Jeri; I did, too. 🙂 I found it interesting that virtually all (or maybe really all) of the items I chose to include related to the non-business side of me. Apparently, this is one situation where it wouldn’t have felt right to me to do some marketing by including business-related items as part of the list.

  4. Pat says:

    Interesting question, Kathleen. I can see how it would be easy to view this as an ego feast. I find that I’m curious to know new things about you because I already know you. If we were strangers, I would not be compelled to find out more.

    • Kathleen Mavity Kathleen says:

      That makes sense to me, too, Pat, although I will admit I read the lists of the people who came up on the first page of that Google search I did. Still strikes me as self-indulgent.

  5. Deb Brown says:

    Kath,

    I sing in my church choir. I am clearly an alto, though. Things start getting challenging at the high C or D, but I can also sing with the tenors, sometimes as low as a E or D below middle C. Thanks for the fun facts!

    • Kathleen Mavity Kathleen says:

      Deb, as the leader of my church choir, I can tell you I’m smitten with tenor envy. One of my tenors is the keyboardist, so he rarely sings, and the other is father to three little girls, one of whom has special needs, so HE rarely sings. Thank goodness a woman who can handle tenor just joined the choir!

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