Radical Honesty: Why Do We Blog?

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Radical Honesty: Why Do We Blog?

For that matter, why do we write? Or speak? Or get dressed in the morning before going to work? Or get dressed at night to go off to….work.

Some would say there is only one answer to all of these questions.

To communicate.

If that’s the case, then how are we communicating?

I’m reading a book called Radical Honesty (Amazon Affiliate Link) by Dr. Brad Blanton. In it, the author advocates complete and utter truth, spoken at all times in all situations. No more bullshit (as the author puts it).

We could argue the efficacy of such communication. I think that finesse and tact come in handy if you are about to crush somebody’s hopes and dreams. But who asked me?

What can bloggers learn from being radically honest?

Well, to be radically honest, I’m not sure.

I just started reading the book. Maybe there will be a follow up post with more insight, but for now…Besides the obvious need for total transparency in matters of cash-flow I think we can all stand to be lot more honest.

The biggest and arguably the worst kind of lying is withholding (according to Dr. Blanton)

What are you withholding from your readers? Why?

Here is one of mine.

I really want to say to all of my readers how much I appreciate them.

I visit other blogs, I see comments (or lack of comments), I see my page-hits, and I can’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude for those that visit my blog and take time to read, consider and comment.

For a tiny little blog somewhere on the periphery of the Blogosphere, I do amazingly well.

It may not sound “cool” to say it, but I appreciate you guys. Thank you.

My favorite posts:



Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

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  • Bostin Christopher

    Well Said! If I were to word it, I might steal that buzz word from a few years ago – authenticity.I was just pondering this the other day. That if we (as humans) were more open and willing to have authentic interchanges, how much more + we would have in our lives and in shaping our world. I think you’re right, there is a place for tact when dealing with people and their “stuff” (whatever sensitive area that may be). One needs to suss out that level in an exchange in order to find the balance. I’m not a doctor or researcher or anything. I’m an actor/director who’s on a life long quest for the “moment” as in – being present and open enough to have a truthful experience filled with depth & meaning (this includes laughter btw) which creates a connected and unique experience. Cheers,Bostin

  • Dino Dogan

    @bostin there is a lot a Im liking about the book so far….I always considered myself to be blunt but man, this guy takes it to the next level. Im in total agreement btw….its all about moments. Imagine if we had a lifetime of moments for which we were fully present and accounted for…no vacillating between the past and the future…dogs make for such wonderful zen masters in this regard :-) P.S. I looked at your site…Cool choice on the posterous theme…it looks very original.

  • Bostin Christopher

    Yes. I’ve always envied dogs “in the moment” abilities. Dogs and Cows! :)And thanks for checking out the site. It’s a work-in-progress (isn’t is always!). Been playing with Posterous for a couple weeks. Got tired of Self-Hosted WP site. Trying to simplify life so I can have more “moments” 

  • Ana Magal

    Hi Dino!I love your blog, and especially this text. Sorry for my rusty English. I’m out of practice.I agree with you when he says that many people are learning to be honest with bloggers. Hmm .. Am I being honest? LOLBye! I’ll put your blog on my list of links.@ Anamagalwww.profissaojornalista.comP.S: I want to read this book = D

  • Dino Dogan

    @anamagal thnx Ana….I really appreciate it :-)

  • Anonymous

    I had to read this twice. =] First time…the coffee wasn’t helping my brain fire properly…. Ugh.I thought about writing a blog like this (using honesty in a very blunt, uncensored way) to talk about blogging, but apparently you read my mind and (maybe because you had more time!) wrote it first.Ah, your version = much better than mine would have been. (Plus, you’re just a nicer person in general. I need to work on that. You offer lessons?)You know, I don’t know about you, but I’m not into “cool;” I’m into “real” <—which>Although, I hold back most of my personality (whether blogging, in conversation, typing, etc.) because I feel that I don’t fit the “norm” and, in a business context (because I act professional…yeah…right….) that could lose potential clients. I actually have a personal blog, where I spurt out whatever, uncensored.o_oPerhaps some of us just need to figure out where the lines are (staying inside of “proper”) and get a little more creative. We only need to use our personalities…besides, that helps us connect.Why ………..Why am I rambling…?Oh, right… haven’t done that waking-up thing all the way just yet. Oops!Love the blog… now maybe I should edit this comment? *glances back* don’t feel like it…. -____-;;

  • Dino Dogan

    @jaennutter you crack me up….I think you and I need to have a chat about the Devil as per Carl Jung :-)

  • bexking

    It is always great to remember to thank your readers! I need to make sure my readers appreciate them as well :) http://tendusunderapalmtree.blogspot.com

  • Dino Dogan

    @bexking hey Rebecca, thnx so much for commenting. When you realize that the new scarce resource is attention it really makes you appreciate when people stop by, read your blog and leave a comment. So thank you :-)

  • Laure-Anne Visele (Canis bonus)

    Want radical honesty? Here’s my take on blogging. I think we blog because we like the sound of our own voices (or the lovely clicks of the keyboard). Truth is, I go weak at the knee at the chance of being a smarty pants and showing off my knowledge. I still am the kid in class who gets giddy everytime the trainer/teacher asks a question “Oh I know that one! Me, me, me! Ask meeee.”. Doesn’t make you many friends at school, and it doesn’t make you many friends at barbecues. So I have to be an undercover geek in real-life to avoid boring my friends half to death: your encyclopedic knowledge of the dog’s five causes of aggression don’t make for the most scintillating party subjects. Blogging is also a great platform for geeks (and I am proud to be one) to redress the world’s many ‘untruths’. Killing urban legends is my hobby, my mission, my passion, my crusade…And my keyboard is my weapon. It doesn’t matter how little impact my writing has, I would consider myself happy to have redressed an apocryphal tale with one reader only. And finally, there’s self-promotion. I want to make it as a specialist writer on dog subjects, so blogging is a great way to make a name for yourself in the writing field.Feelin’ opinionated this morning like you wouldn’t know! Time for coffee.

  • Anonymous

    HAHA I don’t get dressed before I go to work in the morning … (I work at home)I think that honesty is important, though there are times when it’s better not to be. My brother is brutally honest – about everything – about things that don’t really matter – and it just hurts people’s feelings.So I choose when to be honest and when not to be. Example? When my mom comes from a shopping spree and presents a dreadful dress she is all excited about. Do I tell her that I think it’s awful seeing how excited she is? No. I don’t like to lie either. So I’ll say something like: oh, yeah, I saw that dress in the shop window the other day! (with excitement in my voice). To satisfy my need for honesty I will wait until she comes home with something else and more presentable. A nice sweater. Then I’ll say something like: wow, great looking sweater – much better than the dress you bought the other day. Why? Because she is more likely to accept my criticism of the dress when she’s excited about the sweater instead.As much as I believe in honesty, I believe that sometimes it is not called for nor it would change anything for better (mom would just get hurt and resentful and the likelihood of her taking the dress back would be minimal).There are times, however, when honesty is vital. Then one must speak their mind regardless of consequences. I pick my fights. But some fights must be fought!***Just felt I needed to say that ;-)As for appreciating readers and friendships that sprouted through blogging – I agree wholeheartedly. I have met so many amazing people this way, I would have met otherwise!

  • Laure-Anne Visele (Canis bonus)

    Julie, thank you for your refreshing honesty. I LOVED reading your comment.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, you never answered your own question – why do we blog?Why do I blog? To save the world! (the dog world anyway)

  • Dino Dogan

    @Canis_bonus @DawgBlogger @jaennutter thnx for commenting guys :-) Jana…I think thats a great tag line (short pitch) for your blog…”Why do I blog? To save the world! (the dog world anyway) ” or some variation on it….very powerful :-) Laure-Anne – your comment was funny as hell :-) the “undercover geek” line is classic :-)

  • viviana

    to be radically honest, i blog because i chose to. it is another thing i chose to do in my life and i enjoy it. sadly, i think it shows how lonely we are, and how much free time we have. unless you blog for a living, well…you are just alone in front of a computer.

  • Dino Dogan

    @vivianaball thnx for being radically honest Viviana.

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  • http://elevationlife.com Bryan Thompson

    Dino, way to tell it like it is. It sounds like an interesting read. As a personal development blogger, I want to encourage and inspire people, but I also want to create a safe place where people can be honest. If you’ve had a bad day and need to vent it, it’s okay, I think, to say, “You know what? This sucks!” Because sometimes it does! Interested in seeing follow up comments to this post.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Its a pretty radical read. I found out about it from AJ Jacobs’ Guinea Pig Diaries. He talks about Tim Ferris in the same chapter. Tim came to AJ to get permission to pilfer AJs article for Tim’s 4hr work week. Very interesting stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/janetcallaway Janet Callaway

    Dino, mahalo for the thank you. I appreciate you as do, obviously, all your other readers. You say it as you see it, without being offensive, in-your-face. Your approach is much more “this is how I see it,” you can take it or leave it. Sounds like the book you are reading might be along the same liens as “Fierce Conversations” by Susan Scott.

    To me it’s important to state your opinions–honestly or radically–bearing in mind that someone else is not wrong if they do not agree with you. Say what you think rather than challenging others with each statement you make. Aloha. Janet

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx for your analysis Janet. “This is how I see it” is exactly how Id hope my views are coming across. So its good to know others receive it that way as well.

      Opinions are beliefs and beliefs are not facts. In fact (pun kind of intended lol) , not even facts are facts most of the time. Which is why I always try to find the intention behind actions and opinions. Its a radical (pun not intended this time) shift in focus, at least it was for me.

      Fierce Conversations looks to be a combination of radical honesty and Arbinger’s Self Deception in the workplace thang. Have you read Arbinger’s Leader and Self Deception?

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    Radical honesty dictates that I admit that I blog for the chicks. Chicks dig bloggers. On a serious note I fell into blogging. I started it on a whim almost seven years ago and then found it to be an incredible experience. Personal blogging helps me hold myself accountable.

    The act of writing down my thoughts, feelings and ideas clarifies my positions and provides a foundation to work from. I am a big believer in honesty but radical honesty might take it too far. It sometimes seems juvenile but we work with tiny fictions that people like us. If everyone knew exactly how others felt it might impede work from getting done.

    Some people don’t care if others like them, but enough do that it could be problematic. And even if you don’t care much, there is a real concern that negotiations could get uglier in far less time. I think that there is a line that needs to be drawn.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Back in the 17th century, there was an explosion of published books. Part of it was due to the invention and widespread availability of the printing press. But the other part, which was prob just as important, was this tradition of well-off gentry to keep what they called Commonplace Books.

      Commonplace Books were notebooks they kept with quotes and ideas they found in other books. Many wrote new books based on their Commonplace log and some were even published as-is.

      So this practice of blogging goes back for centuries. Sure, technology is different, but the intention is the same.

      You are engaged in a long and lustrous tradition my friend.

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  • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

    Brutal honesty?

    People can’t handle brutal honesty. They don’t want it either, or there would be a lot more of it.

    It’s funny how fear and greed dominate the reason’s people do the things they do in our culture… Nonetheless, its the way it is.

    You certainly can’t have transparency and brutal honesty in spoken or written communication when it’s motivated by either of these two things.

    When any blogger (I haven’t found one yet) writes from pure brutal honesty, I’m sure there would be many things to be learned; but until then I guess we’ll never know.

    Dude — it’s that freaking voice that captivates your growing audience — people want to listen to what you have to say — OK, so you have some pretty cool s$%t to say too, that helps – but there are some vids/ podcaster’s I will never turn on again because I literally couldn’t stand to listen to them again, regardless if it was good content or not!

    Cheers Dino – have a great weekend : )

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx Mark, so…who are these bloggers? C’mon..you can be radically honest lol

      • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

        Not going there Dino (instigator – haha) — See what I mean though… and that decision is based on fear honestly. I don’t want offend anyone — for what purpose? What kind of backlash would I have to deal with? Why do I care? I’ll just turn them off and be done with it… simple.

        But what about their close friends or associates? Ah, probably the same reason. I mean, telling your bud that “your face really isn’t made for video bro,” or, “your really smart, but you sound like an idiot” — you know, radical honesty… their friends won’t even be radically honest.

        Sure, you could put it a different way, but it wouldn’t be radical honesty, would it? And most people won’t even give their tactful opinion… Again, most assume they’ll just figure it out, so better left alone, yes?

        ** I don’t where I got brutally, but in the same lines of radically **

        To me, finesse and tact don’t reflect genuine transparency or honesty, nor do they jive with radical or brutal.

        It will be interesting to hear your take on this — Cheers Dino!

        • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

          I learned about Radical Honesty from AJ Jacobs, in his book The Guinea Pig Diaries. Great read btw. In it, he spends 1 month immersed in various self inflicted experiments. One month he spends being radically honest with his wife, parents, coworkers etc. is conclusion? He doesnt wish t on his worst enemy lol

          My take? I think we can stand to be more honest. And I think we can be radically honest in a constructive, affirming way..sometimes …I think…I hope…I try :-)

          • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

            I’m in Dino — and inspired by the conversation here in the community – now get busy on the next post – haha!

            Have a good weekend sir – see ya soon :)

  • http://www.thesaleslion.com/ Marcus Sheridan,The Sales Lion

    Honesty is one of the great keys to blogging IMO Dino. It’s what sets us apart and truly gives us an identity, a voice. Without it, we’ll just gets lost in the clouds, unable to break through the rest of the chatter.

    Keep doing your thing Dino.

    Marcus

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx Marcus. I dont mean to sounds all preachy and shit, but if we can be radically honest with ourselves the rest of it will fall in line.

      Its always great to hear from you my friend.. :-)

  • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

    Honesty helps you find out what you really have to say, and forces you to dig deep into your gut to find it. It forces you to develop courage, thick skin, and the ability to stand tall. It also allows you to find out who actually appreciates what you have to say. If you’re telling the truth, agree with it or not, people will know where you stand. Honesty is an amazing sifting force that filters out your own BS and filters out those around you who aren’t really in to the real you. It’s the truth.

    I first subscribed to your blog after your blatantly honest post about the social media examiner top 10 blogs. And I’ve been hooked ever since. Keep cooking up the good stuff, Dino. I’ll eat it up. Honest.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      lol..”honest”…thats funny :-) and you got yourself a god damn deal :-)

  • http://www.expatlifecoach.com/blog John Falchetto

    Dino, this is a big question and thanks for starting the conversation. I like your no BS approach to blogging and site design. I found your site through your comments on Gini’s Spinsucks (is there a site where is not guest posting yet?)
    Thanks for the refreshing approach, no sycophantic rants here.Great point about Content is King My ass.

    Real honest blogging? Well I think before we are honest with others in our blogs we need to start being honest with ourselves. That’s the real hard part. Can we take everything we say to ourselves? Are we being honest or simply making up excuses for ourselves, to avoid facing the truth?

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Yup..Gini is everywhere these days and she’s threatening to concur my blog next. And I thought Genghis Khan (real name Temujin btw :-) was bad :-)

      At the risk of sounding sycophantic, I must say that we’re in total agreement. In fact, I made the same point (being honest with ourselves) in Reply to Markus The Sales Lion.

      Anyways..Im glad you found me…Im looking fwd to check out your stuff my friend :-)

  • William Tha Great

    Hey Dino,

    Thanks for the awesome article!

    I think your right on point that people should be honest. Shit, people should just be themselves and be happy with the progress they have made. I also look at other blogs much older than mine and see lack of communication and thank God that my site is rapidly progressing. I also thank the people who actively participate by writing and article just to give them my thanks.

    P.s how come when I comment I can never get a my avatar and website to show up correctly? Your comment box doesn’t ask me for the name of my website.

    Thanks again!

    God bless,
    William Veasley

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hey William. You were probably expecting the system to pick up your email and insert your Gravatar. Alas, Im using DisqUs commenting system. So in order for your avatar+website to show up correctly you have to log in with DisqUs, Twitter, Facebook or OpenID profile.

      I hope that helps…give it a shot and let me know how it works out. I prefer to see websites of people who comment on my blog, that was I can stalk them back :-)

  • http://www.guidegoods.blogspot.com Edwin

    People even though how hard they may try will probably by radically honest. Its just the way we are, and the way everything is set up

    P.S: Your comment section is acting buggy in Firefox for me.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      DisqUs tends to get slow sometimes..thnx for letting me know. And youre right man…people are people…for sure :-)

  • Anonymous

    Cool, Dino!

    True – I also appreciate every comment and every email I get. That’s what keeps me going I guess.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Would you still do it if there were no comments?

      • Anonymous

        Now, you’re being smart! :-)

        Asking questions to encourage comments.

        I guess I’d still do it – I don’t get a lot of comments on my blog anyway. What keeps me going are the traffic stats and the emails. Answering emails is my favorite part of being a blogger.

  • http://live-your-love.com/ Brankica U

    I am subscribing to your iTunes podcast updates. The first one ever. I just don’t use iTunes unless uploading s..t to my iPod. I guess I am learning, lol.

    I like the idea of being honest. I think it gets you further than just writing/saying a lot of bulls..t.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Im your first podcast? WHoo hoo :-)

  • http://twitter.com/StartYourNovel Start Your Novel

    I blog because I was tired of the opposite, which is not blogging, not reaching out to anyone, and withering in silence. I feel much better now, connecting with people and having real conversations online. There, my radically honest two bits.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      That was a great piece of radical honesty, thank you for that :-)

  • http://www.dogtreadmilltraining.com K9 Coach

    I’ve read the book. Good stuff to be reminded of. Maybe it’s why I made the decision to sell or give away most of my “stuff” and move to Hawaii! It’s very exciting… and not normal, but truly what I want to do.

    Wag!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I think you hit the nail on the head. The most difficult thing is to be honest with our own selves. The rest just comes naturally.

  • mark1baskin

    Thoroughly enjoyed this. I appreciate your forthright approach.

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      thnx Mark :-) I appreciate it @mark1baskin

  • KolchakPuggle

    I feel the same way! There are days when I look at my stats and comments and I am simply overwhelmed by the fact that people actually come to read what I have to say. I am so grateful. My absolute favourite part about blogging is when readers feel comfortable enough to reach out and email me to ask for advice or an opinion – or even just to tell me what they liked or didn’t like. It means a lot to me.

  • http://4theloveofanimals.com/ Aimee

    And thank you for putting it out there. Never too much gratitude in the world. :)