By in Writing

The Importance of Not Being Homeless Online

On most online writing sites, like Persona Paper, there's a section in your profile where you can give people a clue where you are. You don't have to write your full address (nobody does), but a small clue is a help to people who are skimming down the list and wondering whether to pick you to check out!

When faced with this morning's 1271 active members on Persona Paper I was looking for articles to read - and, when any of us do this we apply certain preferences, Our own little prejudices, desires, needs, wants and all the other mini decisions that go into making a selection.

So, it was rather disappointing to realise that 571 out of those 1271 active members had not put anything in their location box at all! It really is important - people might pick you just because you live in their town, county, region, country or continent! So why not fill it in! You don't have to be very specific, it's a free text space, so you can type anything you like in there!

The irony is, of course, that it will be mostly people who HAVE filled in their profile who ever read this post :)

C'est la vie!

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Image Credit » My photo, my beach glass, my wire wrapping, my camera took the photo

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Koalemos wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:59 AM

This is a fair point because it is difficult to relate with someone from an unknown place. I can appreciate a desire to be anonymous to some degree, but an approximate locality is not exactly sensitive information.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:59 AM

It is important to me , so is a little about the writer. Most of the time I will not connect to someone or even bother checking them out without this detail.

MelissaE wrote on January 24, 2015, 6:45 AM

Oh, I so agree. I always look at location first. I'm an avid Anglophile, so I love following those from the UK and Republic of Ireland. I also love reading posts from those in Australia, New Zealand, and Philippines.

bestwriter wrote on January 24, 2015, 6:49 AM

This issue has come up even earlier. Sometimes it is not knowing how to fill a form could lead to this. I see some of them merrily talking about not just their country but even the town they live in their posts :smile:.

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:22 AM

Yes, I am drawn to those who are local to me (England/Scotland, etc) - and then people are "picked" based on their title/writing :)

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:23 AM

Yes, it's important that the person's life is like our own - and some write up of some sort's handy for that. I won't be following any 18 year old football fans, or Justin Bieber fans of any age, but if somebody's in my country and shops at Asda then I might be interested in what they bought this week :)

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:24 AM

Yes. We use the same words, but with such different meanings! It's also hard to enjoy, say, American recipes, as they cook differently to us, with different ingredients, different measurements, different names for gadgets etc - and so often rely on US-based packets of stuff we don't have.

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:25 AM

Writing about your town/village in your post is fine, if people have got that far. But, from the member list, they might not get picked to be read from 1200 active users.

bestwriter wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:54 AM

There is no harm in picking users regardless of where they come from and later one decides on the quality of interaction rather than the country the come from.

Madcanman wrote on January 24, 2015, 8:07 AM

As I've stated before several times, I'm right there with you on this.

scheng1 wrote on January 24, 2015, 9:10 AM

Our first post is the introductory post. That's why I do not bother about profile page.

Maplewinter wrote on January 24, 2015, 9:47 AM

This is a good point to make. I have already had a good connection with a couple of members just because I filled in the box with the county and country that I live in. I never go into much more detail in the box but the general county and country always seems to be enough without giving away the sensitive information.

celticeagle wrote on January 24, 2015, 10:59 AM

I follow folks on here for the same reason as are stated in or responses but I would sure like to know that little bit more about each of you if everyone stated where they were from.

Squidwhisperer wrote on January 24, 2015, 11:17 AM

It's funny, I'm kind of the opposite. Since I deal with Canadians every day, absorb Canadian media, try my best to not threaten Canadian politicians, I'm more interested in knowing how other people around the globe view things.

Squidwhisperer wrote on January 24, 2015, 11:35 AM

Tricky with the issue of anonymity vs disclosure. The more identifiable you are, the more delicate you may need to be on a lot of subjects that strike "close to home." Conversely, full anonymity - as seen on many comment boards - demands less responsibility from the poster and [I believe] can lead to far more friction. By the way, am I wrong to sense that there seem to be an awful lot of Brits on this site, given that it was generated by Americans? No offense to either - just curious. [I fully realize that Canadians can't dominate everywhere... heh-heh...]

NorthernLight wrote on January 24, 2015, 12:49 PM

It is nice to know where someone hails from but I do tend to read before I look. Perhaps some are embarrassed to admit where they do come from!

JeanC wrote on January 24, 2015, 1:03 PM

I do wish more people would put in a location. It doesn't have to be specific, just state, province or country is good. I do enjoy reading folk from around the world, but sometimes it is hard to understand exactly what they are writing about when it is place related and I don't know the place.

LeaPea2417 wrote on January 24, 2015, 1:15 PM

I never thought about it that way (being homeless online). I live in the south east of America.

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:06 PM

From a UK perspective, we find Americans, in particular, too obsessed with politics. No idea if Canadians are too, but your comment sounds like it. We don't know about our own politics, we've no idea about yours - and we care less. Give us Brits kittens, tea to drink, something too to watch on the telly and we're happy to read/post about that stuff.

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:07 PM

It's often the case that people in other countries are writing about things that we've no idea about. So local writers are often more preferable if you want to read a lot of their writing and really feel a connection with them.

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:08 PM

Good, I'm glad somebody is :) It's just nice to know something about somebody before you choose them - otherwise you might as well just close your eyes and click on any random profile.

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:09 PM

But if somebody is on the member list looking at 1200 people they could click on, they won't get to your profile page.

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:10 PM

Yes. There are regional features and stereotypes - and we all have connections with various parts of the country, so are keen to check those people out first.

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:12 PM

Well, giving your country or continent isn't so hard to do. Maybe other nations are more paranoid and/or maybe some people are being contentious. I don't think there are a lot of Brits on here, maybe there are a lot of Brits who identify themselves as being Brits - and who are on in the same timeslots that you're here. Or is it that we're not swamped by, say, those from other countries that dominate other sites.

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:13 PM

LOL/embarrassed. And so some of them should be! It is odd how some are so paranoid that they won't even put their country.

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:14 PM

That's it - everything from local customs/events, to politics - and food .... there's no joy reading stuff that's very specific to a location that you'll never visit and aren't actually interested in. I like generic posts from other countries, but a lot of the more personal stuff uses vernacular terms or local words that make it a dull read as I'm clueless what they're on about

UK_Writer wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:15 PM

I asked on another website about this "America" - and where it was.... how people perceived it. Some said it included Canada, some said it included South America. Some only used the term to refer to North America. I'll assume you're nearish to Carolina/Floria then, rather than Argentina.

Squidwhisperer wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:48 PM

Can't speak for Americans of course but for any Canadian "America" ONLY means USA. "The Americas" would include North, South and Central.

Squidwhisperer wrote on January 24, 2015, 5:51 PM

Sounds a bit insular, no? Half my favourite writers aren't English-speaking, so I have to read them in translation. I'm sure something gets lost and something wonderful also gets found...

chrisandmark wrote on January 24, 2015, 6:49 PM

I've just gone and added my location after reading this emoticon :smile:

LeaPea2417 wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:00 PM

Yes, we live real near South Carolina and not too far from North Carolina.

bestwriter wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:05 PM

As I said we have choices. I like to interact with those that interest me. I have so many of my connections that are not from India. More the merrier emoticon :smile:

bestwriter wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:07 PM

If I were to only depend on Indians for interaction I would be at sea as I hardly find any emoticon :smile:

WordChazer wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:21 PM

I have the members sorted in a spreadsheet, and it is unfortunately true at almost half of us here haven't even mentioned our country of location in our profiles even if you can tell from some of the posts where the member lives.

WordChazer wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:25 PM

I expect there are those who use an assumed name and no location in order to hide their real location, because they know if some people knew their exact location they wouldn't follow, based on that alone.

Squidwhisperer wrote on January 25, 2015, 12:55 PM

Which places you where - in Almost Carolina?