MADELEINE BRAND, host:
Back now with Day to Day. You're 20-something. You're a blogger. You talk about everything, every little detail of your life to thousands of strangers. Whoops, maybe that was a mistake.
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
And time now to fess up, but not on a blog. How about in the gray lady herself, the New York Times Sunday Magazine? Emily Gould has the cover story in the upcoming issue. She not only has the cover story. She's also on the cover of the magazine lying on a bed, wearing a camisole, tousled hair, tattoos. She writes about the two relationships that ended because she revealed too many intimate details in her blog posts.
BRAND: Also, she writes about her time at the popular New York gossip and humor blog Gawker, where she admits sometimes incorrect and often hurtful information was posted about prominent people. I spoke with Emily about her upcoming self-revelatory article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine.
Ms. EMILY GOULD (Former Co-Editor, Gawker.com): This is isn't the story of me doing all these things, and then realizing, oh, what I've done is terribly wrong, I'm disavowing this entire world, and I'm shutting down my blog, and I'm going to go live on an ashram. I mean, I still have a blog. I'm not saying no to this. I'm just describing my experience with it because we have - this technology evolved so quickly, and we haven't really evolved the social rules or even the legal rules to deal with some of the things that are now possible online, and it's something that we all really need to think about. I've spent a lot of time thinking about it, so...
BRAND: Well, tell me some of the conclusions that you've come to after this experience, and how - you know, you say there need to be some social rules. Have you created any for yourself?
Ms. GOULD: I do have rules for myself now, yes. I don't know. I mean, I do feel sometimes like I'm censoring myself in a way, and sometimes that feels bad but sometimes it feels good ultimately, like I'm protecting myself. I'll have an impulse to write something, and I'll not write it, and I'll think about it a few days later, and think, wow, I'm so glad that I didn't put that out there.
BRAND: I guess, what's wrong with expressing yourself, and expressing yourself freely, but doing it privately, you know, in a diary, to your best friend, to your therapist, and not to hordes of strangers?
Ms. GOULD: Nothing! Believe me, I do that, too. I do think that there is something special about putting things out there in a public way, that is - I'm making it sound like I'm a compulsive exhibitionist, and I really don't quite think that I am. I just - ultimately, I guess it is about community, and wanting to sort of create a space online that is, sort of, like your little publication that you can send out into the world, and people can respond to it, and you do want that response.
BRAND: Don't you worry that you come across as very narcissistic, and maybe a little too self-absorbed?
Ms. GOULD: I'd be an idiot not to worry about that. But, I think that's a really facile way of looking at this article like, yes, there is a big picture of me, there are a couple of big pictures of me. I say "I" a lot. I'm writing about myself. But, I do think that I'm writing about myself as a way of getting at some really important, larger issues, and it's a story that hasn't been told, and it's hard for me to imagine how it could be gotten out in any other way. I tried to make it clear that I was reflecting on this experience of sharing too much about myself, and in doing so, I had to share a lot about myself. Do you think I'm a narcissist?
BRAND: Well, I mean, you do have a picture of yourself on the cover of the magazine.
Ms. GOULD: Of course, I specifically asked them to put a picture...
BRAND: Well, yes. But I mean, it does make the point that it is all about you.
Ms. GOULD: It's all about blogging, which is all about individuals. I don't know. I'm sort of a stand-in for everyone who has done this, I think. I mean, what's more grandiose, to say that I'm like a symbol or to say that I am just talking about myself? I don't really know.
BRAND: Well, Emily, thank you very much and thanks for coming in.
Ms. GOULD: Oh, sure. My pleasure.
BRAND: That's Emily Gould. Her article is called "Blog Post Confidential." It's in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine. You can read all about it, all about her, in the article.
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BRAND: Well, apparently, a lot of people will think Emily Gould is a narcissist, at least the ones who have already commented on the New York Times website. The story hasn't even been published in the newspaper and it has already drawn more that 800 comments, many of them critical.