A Slight Rant

95 Comments

This post is not a rant so much as a passionate request. Maybe because I’m a bit curious, or even nosy, but I want to know more about my fellow bloggers. And you’re not giving up much information.

For example. Are you male or female? There are times when the bio info is so vague that I can’t tell. Does it matter? Not really, but I would feel closer to the blog if I knew. I might have better insight to a post of yours, if I knew from which gender it came.

Now, if you state that your name is Christina, I’m pretty sure you’re female. But some people don’t list any names – first names or otherwise. And then, there are no photos.

Trust me, you probably can’t find anyone who hates having her picture taken more than I do. But the day two years ago when I started my blog, I asked my husband to take photos of me fake-cooking in my kitchen. (Cause I’m that creative.) Because I felt it was important and made my blog more personal. It was a day I’d had my hair done. Why not? Otherwise, my hair put up makes me look like a crazy heirloom chicken – I’m sure you’ve seen some of those in various posts. That’s pretty much what I always look like, except for 2 days every month, before I have to wash my hair and get out the giant clip once again.

I went through about 500 photos before deciding on the one I use in my blog. My husband does not understand why I can’t smile on cue. And just so you know, I absolutely cannot cook with my hair down.

In any case, I’m pretty much sure that I look like a girl in my photo. Or, at my age, I might be considered a gal… And with a name like Mimi, you’re pretty sure I’m female, or a grandma, which hasn’t happened quite yet. (In the US, many grandmas are called Mimi by their grand children.)

Anyway, I ask that you state your gender, please, and I personally love photos of bloggers. It just helps to put a face to the blog. Get your hair done or not – I don’t care.

And then, where in the world do you live? Does it make a difference? Yes!!! Why are you posting about fresh tomatoes when it’s winter? Oh, you might live in Australia, although you haven’t stated that in your bio. I just read a post about Switzerland, but I can’t figure out where the blogger, who’s maybe female, lives.

Sometimes the only clues are in the words, like if you’re writing about tins of tomatoes, and faffing with pastry, and discussing the colours of the vegetables… Okay, you might be living in the UK. Say so!

I personally love blogs when the writing is really difficult to decipher. I have so much respect for people who are multi-lingual. I know some French, and that’s the extent of my language skills beyond English. (Although I can order food and drinks in many languages.) But to write whole posts in a foreign language? Incredible. But please tell me where you live. I will only have more respect for you.

So, rant over. Just please put yourselves in my sabots, and read your “about” pages. If you want to be vague, I completely understand. But if you don’t mind, please add a little information about yourself. Not your address and passport number, just who you are, where you live. That’s all I’m asking. Thank you.

And now I’m going to add that I live in the US to my bio.

95 thoughts on “A Slight Rant

  1. I feel a bit the same way when I stumble upon a great blog and just can’t figure out who is writing and where he/she lives. I just re-read my bio and realized it doesn’t say where I actually live. Though I think I make it quite clear when writing my posts! And I also can’t cook with my hair down, unless it is tied waaaaay back. :)

    • Exactly! I really think it makes a difference. I’m not sure why, really, but I like having a more personal connection! I can’t do anything with my hair down. I should just shave my head – it would be a lot easier!

  2. You may remember that I participate of the Secret Recipe Club, in which we are supposed to cook from a blog assigned to us in secret. Well, a few times it so happened that I had NO CLUE about the name of the blogger or her/his whereabouts. Some members complained about that very issue – it makes it hard to do a write up about a food blog when you no next to nothing about the person behind it.

    I am out there in my blog. I post photos, maybe too many, I love to be in pictures, and keep changing my profile photo on Facebook once/month. I feel it is a nice way for my family to feel a bit more connected to me, as sometimes 2 years pass by before I am there face to face with them.

    In a way, to me this issue is almost like “natural selection” – a great blog that has little to no info on the blogger is a blog I stop visiting. I simply cannot establish a connection. And I do love your hair up in the photos I’ve seen. You always look great and happy and pass a very serene aura. So there! ;-)

    • Well of course there’s vague, and then really vague. That’s the annoying part for me. In the past I’ve recommended quite a few blogs, and when I can’t mention a name or a place or any detail beyond the blog name, it’s frustrating to me. That’s just me.

  3. Sally, can we be friends? I mean, really friends?!!! I love you!!! Your natural selection comment has me tearing up!!!!! I really wanted to put up a photo on this post of one of the many really bad photos of me that my husband took, but they are long gone. It would have been funny. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  4. I agree – my favorite posts are those where I feel as if I’ve found a new friend – who just happens to love cooking like I do! I really enjoy reading about their trips and their latest gadgets and about their families etc. And you’ve made a very good point. I’m going to add a bit to my ‘About Me’, such as the fact that I live in Western Massachusetts (USA). I mention that off & on in my posts but I should provide a bit more info. on my ‘about’ page.

  5. I love this. ❤️…and so agree with you!

    I am a girl. 😊. I live in Wheatfield, NY.. Which is about 20 minutes from Niagara Falls. I’m 52 years old, will turn 53 on December 4.

    My picture is from a year ago.. And I wanted to update it every year, but can’t seem to take a good pic that I feel is worthy enough to share!

    I can’t cook with my hair down either… It always goes into a pony tail the minute I walk in from work!

    In no way do you look like an “heirloom chicken”.. You are beautiful. ❤️

  6. This was a joy to read! I never post photos of myself but in the last month put one on my About page & really note all that you are saying!
    Lorna (usually Dublin,Ireland; sometimes Brussels, Belgium; occasionally England and South Africa!)

  7. Haha-I had my husband do my photo when I had my hair done, too- it was the day-which happens about every three months- that I got my hair cut and colored. And I even put on make-up :)

    • I don’t wear make up so I didn’t even think about that. But I practically put on lipstick before going to bed, so that part is real. It’s funny, too, we’d just gotten back from Scotland the week before that photo, and I was a bit self concious because I’d eaten so many damn french fries/chips while there, and gained weight. I mean, I gain weight on every vacation. But I had no idea that I’d gain even more weight from blogging!!! So no updated photos for a while. I guess I’m slightly vain!

      • Come to think of it, our old wordpress address for the Naggiar blog had an about part, but the new one does not so…well, you see my picture, and my name is in the blog name, that leaves I live in Napa though the winery I do the blog for is in Grass Valley, CA. And I am soooo bad about taking pictures, too- my hair is about 6 inches shorter now than in that picture :)

  8. I have a similar problem to you with photographs. I can smile on que but I always squint because I am very light sensitive. I think it is a green eyed thing. When I got married we had to ask the photographer to tone down the flash so we would get some photos with me with my eyes open. I agree with you, one of the best things about blogging is getting to know other bloggers better. I hope Emma has recovered from her recent ordeal. Take care. Emma xxx

    • Thanks Emma! We don’t have Emma back in the states yet but she’s job hunting and feeling a little better about being deported. Very interesting about green eyes – I hadn’t ever heard that before!

  9. Oh I rant on so if you read my blog I bet you know quite a bit about me, yeah I’m female, I’ve lived all over the place, I live in Barcelona at the moment, I’m in France at the moment! When I made my photo for my blog (its still my gravatar photo, though I’ve changed my “about” photo now to something a little more incognito unfortunately), I made a few shots with my webcam, send them to a friend of mine that lives in Australia, 2 minutes later she answered back saying which photo she liked best. Et voilà! I actually made a big ranting post with regards to how I find myself sharing quite a few things about me, because otherwise what I write about might not make sense to the reader, which is what you are trying to get across too here I believe. Ok, I’ve made quite a rant here too now :) xx

  10. Great post, and a very reasonable request Mimi. I was quite social media wary when I started blogging. I chose my arty gravatar so as not to scare off potential readers with my aged face, but I probably have the confidence now to update it. Going over to check my about page…..Sandra in Melbourne, the world’s most liveable city!

    • Australia is on my bucket list. Maybe we can meet one day!!! Just put your mug up there on your blog! Hell, I’m about to become a grandmother, so who cares! I’m more proud of that!

      • It’s ironic actually. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of bloggers out there that have wisdom and experience on their side. I’d love to share my part of the world with you Mimi, you’d be very welcome, and I will work towards changing my avatar to a more realistic image.

  11. Honestly, my rant would be on bloggers being more anonymous and never commenting or even visiting a blog, just clicking the like button. I get to know bloggers by comments, and have met quite a few face to face. I even travel with some I met through blogging. It would never had happened without comments first.

    • Agreed wholeheartedly. I started deleting blogs I follow recently. It’s just not fair if it’s unrequited blog love. I don’t follow “famous” bloggers.

  12. Hi Mimi, My name is Linda, I’m 53, I live in Reno and I’m a female. Now, I’m going to go review my about page. Thanks for the post. You make some very good points.

  13. Well hello Mimi, your slight rant makes good points. I do say I am in the Pacific Northwest, but not specifically the US. AND that I’m a transplanted Texan, for sure! I’ve made so many connections by following your blog, such as Richard and Stefan, and the infamous Conor! It’s very valuable to know from whence people hail from and are blogging from. I have a pretty realistic photo of me fishing on the river, which is not even foodie-related except for the fact that we actually cook the fish we catch there! Keep up the good work Mimi! I can’t wait to get moved and back into foodie blogging!

  14. As you know, beautiful Mimi, I did my big “reveal” the other day (haha) after 3 years of playing it rather anonymously. I still have Scandinavia as where I live, but may change it to Stockholm to be more specific ;) If you really want to know more about me, my latest post is probably my most “disclosing” yet (without getting into TMI territory, I hope!). Best wishes and <3 to you- Marisa

  15. Rants are good every so often. I hope mine isn’t vague! Now I have to go and look at my ‘About’ page to see if it needs updating. Probably a good idea. I grew up in the Mid-Hudson Valley of NY (beautiful Mid-Hudson Valley that is) lived in DC and now live in Chicago.

  16. I also cannot smile on cue, when I try to I get what my fiance affectionately refers to as my “crazy smile”…. so yeah. There’s that. I live in Phoenix, AZ (actually Scottsdale, but it’s like the same thing) and before that I lived in Columbus, OH and before that a teeny town called Lambertville in Michigan. Hm, might be time to check my bio…..

  17. What a great post. I definitely started out vaguely but I regret that and over time have revealed more. I think I posted my picture once but im kind of afraid of that. I like some anonymity. In due time in sure I will. It took me about 6 months to figure out who one of my favorite bloggers was. .ie boy or girl and what she looked like. Great post!

  18. Fair enough! I live in Buckinghamshire UK.. travel a bunch.. started my blog for no other reason than to try it out.. am quite happy with how it’s going.. and love reading posts that are from across the globe! great to read what is in season when it for sure isn’t over here!

  19. I find that some people reveal very little of themselves with their blog like no photo, no mention of whether they’re married, have children, are employed, etc. I do find it more difficult to build a relationship with these types of bloggers because you don’t get to know them. But each to their own as there’s no rule book on blogging xx

  20. Oh MiMi, that doesn’t even qualify as a rant…maybe a sweet request, but surely not a rant. When I go on a rant, the neighborhood knows about it! Speaking of neighborhoods, I live about 30 miles in a teeny tiny town west of Boston. I’m somewhere in the neighborhood of 63 :)
    I’m with you though, my favorite bloggers seem more like pen pals and I just love hearing about where they live and what their other interests are. I love reading about the different styles of cooking in other countries and I just really had my eyes opened when I read on Celia’s blog in Australia that they pay $20/lb for free range chickens! I won’t even mention what they pay for lobster. It gives you a better appreciation for why meals have less meat.

    • Oh, I somehow missed seeing that. That’s a crazy price. We need to send chickens to Australia!!! Thanks for your lovely comment. I like the personal side of blogging as well.

  21. Absolutely with you Mimi. Before I started I read that the only way you will get followers is if you disclose a few personal details – where you’re from – where you live – what your passions are. My ABOUT page is constantly evolving (although it hasn’t evolved much of late). And this year when I run a food writing seminar – I’m going to keep your comments in mind. I believe this is an important topic. Thanks for posting.

      • What a lovely thing to say Mimi. Thank you. Truly all of that applies to you too. I remember thinking how much I learned about you when you did your France trip – and how much I liked you as a result of that. Reflecting on this topic – the topic of balancing revealing oneself and yet maintaining a degree of privacy – is incredibly useful and important for all of us. Obviously this really resonates with me. You’ve given me some great food for thought!

  22. Good point Mimi! Great push to put a little more info! I have lived in 2 different countries since I started blogging and that is defnitely reflected in the posts – but not on the profile and not everyone will want to go through the last 150 posts to get to know me :-). Let’s all share our new (gender-specific) profiles !!

  23. Strange happenings, Mimi . . . For some reason, this post just popped up in my INBOX as “new”. Only when I got to the end did I notice that it is from 2014!

    I totally agree with you that it is really nice to know something about who/where your readers are, but the internet being what it is . . . well, it is difficult to know where to draw the line. I’m free with my photos of myself and husband, but less so with our specific location. I mention southeast Arizona frequently, and I post pictures of my area at times, or of places we have been recently.

    Privacy on the net is probably a fiction, but we like to think there is some to be had. That said, I do immensely enjoy the few conversations that I have with some of my regular readers that I have come to know and love. I have a very small following, and that’s cool. More is not always better; and I do cherish quality over quantity.

    For the record, my photo at my blog site is current. I am 74 years old, love to cook, and do not like cold/cloudy weather. Hence apart from my first six years of life, I have always lived where the sun shines most of the time.

    My husband has Multiple Myeloma, which is a non-curable cancer of the blood and bone marrow, and we spend a lot of time dealing with this disease. We were told his lifespan would probably end along about mid-2010, so since that did not come to pass, we continue to treat every day as something very special.

    And, yes, my long hair is ponytailed before cooking begins! It’s a must!!!

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    • Oh, that’s really nice, Judie. So sorry for what your family is going through. I posted this originally 4 (?) years ago, and probably wasn’t aware of how crazy things could get online. Live and learn. It was just frustrating how I didn’t know if I was communicating to a male or female, where in the US, or elsewhere that blogger was from. Some told me they chose to be anonymous and I understand that. But it’s so much more fun to put a name to a face!

      • Yes, I’ve been gradually redoing every link – when I bought the business version of WordPress, I lost everything. Thanks for telling me this because I didn’t know it affected links within posts as well!!! Sheeesh

    • You don’t like to travel very far, do you?!!! This was an old post that somehow published, but I still love to put faces to names!

  24. I’m from Melbourne,Australia Mimi, though I think you know this MImi. I’m about to turn 68 and wish the grandchildren would call me Mimi- I might suggest it. There’s enough about me on my ‘about’ page though it may need revising. As a retired teacher, I tend to prefer writing more than most things I can think of so La Blog is mostly an outlet for that. Pics of me are so bad they get deleted when no one is looking. My granddaughter took that one of me three years ago- it’s staying.

    • Thank you! I didn’t know you’d been a teacher. Blogs are such wonderful creative outlets. Your photography is wonderful. I’m pretty sure that most of us don’t like the cameras turned on us! The two I use were taken by someone else…

  25. Like Judie, this popped up in my email this week. Although 4 years old, the subject is timeless! I only have a few bloggers about whom I am unsure if their gender or name… some careful googling found me some of them, but some remain a mystery!

    • That was a mistake, and how it occurred makes no sense, but that’s the strange world of computing. I think I’m nosey, or maybe curious is a better word? But we have these wonderful virtual relationships with bloggers and it’s nice to have some kind of story to associate with their blogs.

  26. Thank you for this post, no seriously! I actually went back to my About Me page to see if I’ve mentioned where I live. Haha!

    I loved reading this post. It reminds me of the time I was typing my ‘About Me’ page for the first time in 2015 (when I started my blog) and thinking to myself “Is this too long? Should I shrink it to a few lines only?” I’m glad I didn’t!

    And oh yes, I too cannot cook with my hair down! :)

    xoxo
    Sumana
    http://www.anartsyappetite.com

    • How do they do that on tv cooking shows??? It bugs me watching men and women with their hair hanging over the stove!!!

  27. It’s definitely a skill set I don’t have and totally okay with it! My hairs up when I’m cooking, photographing for my blog, and generally doing household errands.

    Don’t know how and why tv cooks do that on their shows. For effect, I believe? 😊😉

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