Ink Thinkin

Random thoughts from Dy Larson of Ink Think, freelance editor and copywriter

Thursday, August 21, 2008


What is this quandary you ask?

Personalized vs. Professional

About 6 weeks ago dh had some buddies of his in the marketing department at mega corp (name changed to protect the guilty) rip to shreds review my website.

The Ink Think site was also reviewed by a group of fellow VAs and WAHMs about a year ago.

The comments from the two groups could not be more different, even though the site has not changed in the intervening time.


I think the mega corp guys think like, well, mega corp. That's cool, that's what they get paid for. They said I needed to, among other things, get some of the personal stuff off (read that as : delete the blog entries where I let my clients know I am out of the office for the day/weekend to spend time with my family!)

The VAs... Well, they were damn near polar opposites. "You have so much personality in your forum posts, and, well, your site is just so... Safe. So unlike you..."

I will admit I am biased toward the latter because, well, I've found my site a bit stuffy and constricting, like an over-tight collar on a dress shirt, for a while now. At the same time, though, I strive to keep my personal life and my business life separate. Among the reasons for this is the fact that I am temping during the school year (can we say writer=starving artist?) I do not want potential temp agency users to Google me and find my personal life spread on the Internet like a cheap centerfold, y'know?

At the same time, the fact is, I run (in theory, I've actually cleverly delegated it all in the last year - go me!) a local online group for moms. I participate in dozens of online groups for moms, for writers, for moms who are writers, for VAs, for parents and patients with lymphedema (my daughter was born with this condition), grief support (we lost a child in 2000), cooking, and tons of other stuff. None of it is particularly inflammatory, but none of it is relevant in my work life either.

I've been conflicted about being active on the Web and wanting to keep private life private for a while now. In fact, I recently obliterated my personal blog, which was masked from all association with the business, because someone used it to track back to my husband. There are several VAs I admire the hell out of who are pretty transparent, people like Candy Beauchamp and Jennifer Gniadecki, but with the temp thing complicating my life, and a husband looking for a new job, I'm just not sure how wise it is...

So, do I open up, which is, based on the tone of this post, what I am leaning towards for simplicity's sake, or clam up and go boring professional?

What would you do?

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