Status Report 3

This blogging business is fascinating.

I created the website and blog in an orgy of shameless self-promotion (words borrowed from friend and fellow writer Cindy Phillips). People warned me about the seductive nature of the online universe, and as they predicted,  the effort quickly developed a life of its own.

But it has also opened a door by creating a platform upon which to expand the original concept of sharing with others my fascination with aviation through the telling of my personal story. I’m currently writing the initial blog about the concept behind my first novel. Rather than write a memoir, I wanted to use fiction as a way of illustrating the four stages of a pilot’s career.  One day I hope to continue that effort, but in the meantime, the Words On My Wing logbook will serve as the stage for a journey back in time when being an Air Force pilot consumed very waking moment of my life.

On another blog topic as mentioned in a previous status report, dealing with spam and trash comes with the territory. The real junk is easy to spot, and it’s not so intrusive that I need to add a plug-in like Askismet to screen the stuff before it gets to my site. Other comments aren’t so obvious, and in one case yesterday, they simply make me curious about how it happens.

It showed up on the post, “Blog Backstory (CAUTION! Info Dump). The comment:  “Strange this post is totally unrelated to what I was searching Google for, but it was listed on the first page.  I guess you’re doing something right if Google likes you enough to put you on the first page of a non related search.  :)”

I have no reason to believe this is anything other than someone submitting a sincere comment. But this morning, I received another comment on the same post that causes me to hesitate before approving it. The comment: “I seldom leave comments on blogs, but you really impress me, also I have a few questions I’d like to ask, what’s your contact details?”

I would love to consider this as evidence of sincere interest. It might be, and bless the visitor for taking the time to comment. But my contact information is clearly published on the site. Is this nothing more than someone not noticing it? Am I being paranoid by viewing a compliment from a stranger as possibly containing devious intent?

I’m not yet experienced enough in this world of online networking to know the answer to these questions. Maybe it’s the horror stories of some that counsel caution, and yet that reminds me of a TV commercial last year for a product I can’t even remember, so maybe it was too cute to be effective.

A mother is preparing to send her young son off to play tennis. As the poor kid turns and walks toward the camera, you can’t even see the him under all the protective gear that would be worn by a baseball catcher. From face mask to shin guards, the kid is encased.

I don’t want to run a website and blog hiding behind armor plating, nor do I want to be the victim of those who seek to damage others who populate the online universe. Somewhere lies the middle ground, and hopefully I’ll find it.

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