Personal Posting

10 completely random bits of information about myself.

I had an interesting conversation with Molly Holzschlag and Ann McMeekin at the recent Geek Dinner where we discussed different approaches to blogging. Talking to them has made me wonder if I should tweak my style slightly.

Both Ann and Molly are incredibly open in their blogs. They share pretty much everything going on in their lives which must be really tough at times. I have the upmost respect for their ability to be that open and a part of my envies them.

I rarely share anything personal on this blog and to be frank you didn’t sign up for that anyway. People that are subscribed to this site and indeed my podcast are interested in web design not the inner workings of my personal world.

Of course on the other hand, the more I share of myself the better people can relate to me and understand my perspective on life. Part of the reason you trust somebody’s opinion is because you know them and understand their outlook.

I don’t think I would be capable of being as transparently honest as Molly and Ann but I would like to occasionally share a little about me personally. So with that in mind, here are 10 completely random bits of information about myself:

  • I pretend that I hate being called a “web celebrity” but secretly I enjoy the attention.
  • I have long since lost the ability to function without my wife Catherine around to look after me.
  • I am a committed Christian but can’t be that committed as I can’t find it in my heart to like the music of Cliff Richard.
  • I rarely sleep well and find it nearly impossible to stop myself mind from continually whirring.
  • I have the biggest personal space of anybody I know.
  • I often feel like the thick kid in the class, probably because I always used to be.
  • My life often feels like a Douglas Coupland novel.
  • I wish I could see the world through the eyes of my three year old son James.
  • I get frustrated that I cannot attract more website owners to listen to the podcast.
  • I secretly really want a mac but am too proud to admit it.

I am not sure what that all tells you about me. Nevertheless, expect the occasional more personal post. But, don’t worry it won’t become too regular.

  • SD

    Who cares?

  • Shame I missed this conversation – I guess I was too busy drinking beer out of tin half gallon pitchers to realise that people were actually talking about interesting things!
    I always think that this stuff is a difficult one to manage – my website is basically now FULL of personal posts as I always feel better and find it easier writing about these kind of things (I have realised that i don’t actually like writting about techy stuff – what if i get it wrong and end up looking stupid!!!!)
    I’m not sure how personal posts would fit in with the current vibe your site has…….

  • @SD – Well that is an encouraging comment. Thanks for the support!

  • Hey, I’m another non-Cliff Christian, so you’re not alone. Except for that “Young Ones” version of Living Doll. That was awesome.
    And you should get a Mac.

  • The company has just bought me a new laptop and i cannot afford to by a mac personally. I will just have to wait I suppose.

  • Hey Paul, I care. It’s a bit of a dilemma, isn’t it, deciding how much personal stuff to put on a blog. I’ve only recently started blogging and at the moment I tend to stick to the technical stuff because that’s what I think people subscribe for (at least, the few who do subscribe at the moment.) I’ve considered keeping a scond blog for the personal life stuff but never seem to get around to updating it.
    * I pretend I don’t want to be a web celebrity but secretly I would love to be
    * I can no longer function without my wife around, either
    * I’ve got a mac. Several, in fact, since switching. Don’t be secret about wanting one, they’re great.

  • Hey Paul! I’ve listened to every podcast you’ve posted for the Practical Web design magazine, and I’m convinced its a great way to expand my skillset. I’m glad you shared some personal info, and the family pictures were awesome. Keep up the good work!

  • It’s no secret that everyone wants a Mac, whether they admit it or not.
    I happily use both platforms, but put very simply, if I have to look at a screen 8 hours or more a day, I want to be looking at the Aqua GUI. It’s beautiful and highly usable and it puts me in a good frame of mind to create.
    I sympathize with your podcast desires. It really does seem that the Web traffic gods have the DTs and are throwing darts blindfolded; hence the popularity of My Space.

  • Thanks for sharing, you internet rock star you! Glad to hear about your faith.

  • Simon

    I like the “web celeb” photo’s Paul. Very James Dean – Rebel Without a Mac!!!
    On a side note, I’d like to do a poll to see if all webby professionals wear the same style of glasses. In my experience they (we) all wear the skinny rectangle style specs modeled so well by Mr Boag.
    My other hypothesis is this – the further East one travels from the UK, into Europe, the narrower the lenses get. Germans wear very narrow lenses. I suspect that by the time you reach Poland the lenses are like individual fibre-optic cables. Thank god Ukraine isn’t a member state yet!!
    I’m sure I have a lecture to prepare. Enough already!

  • Hey – I’m a Cliff Richard fan but can’t find it in my heart to like Christianity! I’m doomed!! ;-P
    Of course a psychologist would say that these are not randomly chosen at all and in fact they were subconsciously chosen to say a great deal about you. As an armchair psychologist I would say that you have a deep rooted desire to be accepted and appreciated – possibly eminating from an early childhood experience. You have a very high IQ and a great deal of mental energy which you channel into your work and interests – but no matter what you achieve you may always feel you are second-best to others. Don’t condemn this aspect of your nature – it’s your driving force.
    You find it hard to balance work/life, but know that if push came to shove the family wins every time, and that is how it should always be (you have a beautiful family by the way).
    For what it’s worth, and as someone who holds you in the highest esteem – if I were you I would keep my private life and work interests as separate as possible. As an individual you need to strengthen this separation most in your life and once the door is open it will be hard for you to reclaim the privacy.
    Total respect as always,

  • Hey there Paul,
    It was an excellent conversation. My feeling on this? Be yourself. Sometimes our “selves” change, too. So maybe it’s not so much about changing your style, but that you are changing, opening up more.
    I have always thought that what makes a blog interesting is if its content is authentic and real. Whether that means being personally open, or keeping it real talking tech, is a very individual choice.
    A pleasure to have met you, finally :)

  • All good man, adding personal content adds some erm… humanity to the site. It also makes you a lot more credible.

  • @adam – Wow thanks, normally you have you pay several hundred bucks for that kind of analysis ;)

  • I’m with you on secretly wanting a mac, except I’ve been coming out of the closet on this one a bit, lately.
    I’m also with you on the Douglas Coupland novel.
    First one to buy the grossest thing on ebay under $20 wins this …uhmmm …. bag of chips on my desk (buyer pays shipping on the chips — which are Doritos, btw)

  • You lucky man! Molly and Ann are both excellent people to talk to – I’m quite jealous that you got the honor of seeing both at the same time.
    Perhaps if you wanted to keep the content on this site in the same manner that it has been so far, that you could consider launching a personal blog that doesn’t need to be so professional all the time.
    Then, if people make the effort to visit a site covering a more casual Paul Boag, they get what they expect. No need to change the content here at all, I think.

  • Eric Gauvin

    I find it very hard to believe that the co-founder of a successful web development company and a “web celebrity” can’t afford to buy the computer he wants. Something’s wrong with this picture.

  • Something tells me Eric doesn’t have a wife and kids :S

  • Eric Gauvin

    I didn’t mean to pry into Paul’s personal finances. He’s certainly welcome to spend his money as he pleases. Just don’t whine about wanting a mac.
    I have a wife and two-year-old daughter. I work at a fairly normal job and have fairly normal expenses. I just recently bought a new mac (not on credit). I’ve owned many macs and I also have a windows computer. I’m not rich, but I work a lot with technology and I think it’s standard to put a priority on all this stuff.
    I really don’t give a crap if Paul likes macs or can afford one. He obviously doesn’t really know much about them, so he shouldn’t be pontificating about them.
    Put up or shut up.

  • I like the personal stuff it does add another dimension to the site.
    Get yerself a new Mac for Christmas, after all it’ll run Windows as well so you can ease into it gently, I agree with Brett, the Aqua GUI is something else.
    Anyhow keep up the excellent work I find the whole Boagworld package really to be really valuable while studying for my CIW!

  • It’s not web celebrity. It’s ce-web-rity. :-)

  • I don’t think you need to worry too much about making your blog or your podcast intentionally ‘personal’. I think your personality and personal style comes across all by itself, especially in the podcast.
    Having said that, it’s nice to find out a bit more about you, and I hope you’ll continue to share, whenever it seems appropriate.
    Your post has reminded me that I need to track down a copy of ‘jpod’. Although it is years since I read ‘Microserfs’ it remains a favourite novel, and I think ought to be required reading for all webmonkeys!

  • Love to see more posts like this. Thanks for sharing Paul

  • Awesome Post. I add this Post to my bookmarks.