I've been thinking about this topic lately as it relates to blogging.
My blog is a personal journal for me that I like to share with others. It helps me learn, rant, share my kids lives with my friends and family, talk about startups and share ideas. Mostly it's fun or I wouldn't do it.
Sometimes I hold back on sharp issues as it relates mostly to startups or products. But I think that my openness is how I've met a bunch of people. Here on this blog and all of my various profiles around the web.
But I know there are lots of folks that don't like sharing their thoughts publicly or being part of the public conversation. I know my wife reads my blog but she has never posted a blog comment. I get them at home :) In fact, the vast vast majority of the feedback I receive from my posts come in email or offline chats.
It seems that this is happening all over the web. There is still a big difference in the number of public voices vs private voices. Think about reviews on tripadvisor or amazon. Clearly most people read vs write.
I wish that some of my close friends would start blogging. They have such a unique, intelligent perspective. But to date they have held off. And some have started but they haven't kept up. Maybe blogs take up to much time. Fortunately there are new, easy options like Tumblr that should bring these folks online.
But privacy is important as well. I see it at home with my daughter Sophia (8). She keeps a diary that she writes in several times a week. It's extremely valuable to her and extremely private. She even hides it when she's not writing in it. It would be tragic if she lost it or if someone else read it. Lauren keeps a private journal as well.
I wonder how many private bloggers are out there. Folks that are active at blogging and linking but keep their posts behind a password. Their voice and content however valuable is comfortable under lock and key. And yet they wouldn't trade this privacy for anything.
In a world that is opening up faster than ever before, there will always be a place for privacy.
Sometimes its easy to overlook something so basic and so important.