Mirror Mirror on the wall


As bloggers I am sure all of us have wondered and carefully considered how much of ourselves (our true selves) do we want to reveal on our blogs and how much do we want to keep for ourselves. After all, our blogs are in the public domain and for consumption by the general online readers, and I am sure that all of us have our own self-defined limits as to where exactly we want to draw the line with our blogs.

Having said that there are more than enough elements in our blogs which provide hints to our readers, either explicitly or implicitly regarding our personalities, our likes, our dislikes, the genre(s) in which we blog, the topics we are passionate about and write about. And these likes are reflected in pretty much every aspect of our blog. This post will try and discuss the rationale for some of these elements in my blog per se.

The URL – When I started blogging, anonymous blogging was the way to go and I therefore chose a name which reflected what I felt my posts in those days would be – boring. And then when I migrated from the blogspot platform to WordPress, I went ahead and chose the same URL for the sake of continuity.

The blog header and title – To be honest, the only reason for my blog title being what it is today is because I wanted a word that would go with Mahabore (which itself is dictated by the URL chosen). Given the limited choice of interesting words that begin with M, I went ahead with Mumbles as it somewhat represented my ‘boring’ posts via my ‘mumbles’.

Layout – I have always believed in functionality being accorded a higher place than looks and this mindset translates into my choice of templates as well. I almost always opt for templates and layouts which highlight my content rather than the other odds and ends that decorate the sidebars.

Sidebars – Apart from the (almost) mandatory Social Media connectivity buttons such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ links, most of my sidebar widgets revolve around Calendar Archives, Latest Posts, Top 5 Posts, etc. Once again, the idea here is to highlight recent posts, posts which have seen some traffic and also provide easy access to my older posts as well.

Some of the other widgets I use are the GoodReads widget (given the number of books I read) and some other smaller badges declaring my affiliation to blogging groups that I am part of.

Now, the question is whether the URL, name, the layout and widgets reflect my personality? For which the answer would be resounding YES. All of these reflect a part of my personality which have a relatively compulsive need to be organized and methodical in my approach to life in general and blogging in particular. While the entire blog might not make too much sense aesthetically at first, as I had mentioned before, I always place a high premium on functionality rather than beauty and I believe that shows in my blog’s layout.

Of course, a huge disclaimer to this post is the fact that since I use a WordPress.com hosted blog, I live with the limitations imposed by this choice.

It would be wonderful if readers took this opportunity to describe the reason behind their own choices when it comes to their blogs. What is it that made you choose the particular template you have for your blog? How much of your personality is reflected in your post and on the blog itself? Go ahead and leave behind your reasons in the comments section.


This post has been written for Project 365 : A post a day where the intention is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was “Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal? Consider your blog name, theme choice, design, bio, posts… what does every element tell you about yourself?”

18 thoughts on “Mirror Mirror on the wall

  1. I’m probably the wrong person to answer this question because I change the look of my blog more times than a chameleon would probably change on a rainbow. But I agree – I prefer a more minimalistic look (kind of like what you have now) with just enough widgets on the side. If it’s a personal blog, where the focus is on writing – it should stand out; and in your case, it does 🙂

  2. I started out going for anonymity too. For a very long time my name didn’t feature anywhere on my blog and there was some comfort in doing that. I felt protected from judgement 😛 I know that sounds a little silly but it’s true. I haven’t changed the look of my blog in the longest time and I think this theme I’m working with right now suits my needs. It’s quite plain, white background and black text kind of thing but then, there is little to distract the reader from the post. I think my blog is me..I’m subtle just like the theme, but can be as vocal, opinionated and loud as the colour fuchsia (which features in the name) when you’ve pushed me long enough.
    Great post Jairam! 🙂

  3. Hey Jairam, my blog reflects my persona and the way I am in real life. In the start, was writing for self and after ages, I started following people who read my stuffs. I agree with ur points here on the reflection of one’s own persona. But, then I guess, online forum, there is no such things as anonymity, though I would like to keep some stuffs to myself.

    • @Vishal, good for you if your blog reflects your real persona as well, at least you don’t have to put in too much effort to try and live a ‘dual life’, one online and one offline 🙂

  4. Wow ! I had heard of palm readers, face readers.. but blog readers ! That’s a new one 🙂 I would love to know what you can deduce of me through my blog..considering we are not connected through any social network medium ! Ready to take a shot ?

  5. I de-cluttered a lot.. its better now I think. the theme is simple as well and loads quickly.
    I enjoy writing under a pen-name. It suits me even though I’m not anon to anyone anymore! 😛

    I’ve always liked your themes.. but then I’m not very good at the particulars..
    for me as long as its not too cluttered and the post width isn’t too small, I’m good.
    Also, I don’t like it when the blogs are cluttered with Ads because it takes a long time to load but I do understand the need or the want to monetize one’s blogs..

    • @pixie, I like the new look of you blog, the decluttered clean one where the focus is clearly on the content of the blog more than anything else.

      And regarding monetization of a blog with ads, to each his own I guess 🙂

  6. Good post. I think my blog reflects my real persona as well. I was never keen on anonymous blogging partly because I never thought anyone would read it (and it worked fine because for first two years no one read my blog). Now also I think my blog reflects me, my likes, and dislikes, and my life in general. However, these days I do my best to not reveal too much personal details, and opinions.

    • @Nish, yes, the recent changes on your blog clearly reflect your content more than anything else on the blog and I really like it quite a bit as well.

  7. I am on for clean clutter free themes and yours theme reflect that..
    I am yet a novice to blogging and I blog annonymously as I do not want people who know me to read my blog and I can be more free ..
    As I am new with this whole blogging thing and like simple, clutter free themes, have tried to keep the same look in my theme also…

  8. Yes, my blog completely reflects my own persona. I have a simple, minimalist theme. I have tried to organize my blog posts under categories as I have almost 600 posts now. Interestingly, my blog name came about inspired by the chat window :). But it reflects my blog personality completely. Since I am a Content Writer and my blog in a way helped me get into this career, it has been a showcase for writing even though it is personal. I straddle many genres and try to keep it professional yet warm.

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