I'm sitting in the plush lecture theatre of the Millbank Tower in central London, waiting for a talk about Private Lives - how much one should or shouldn't let fall onto the blog screen. From Daily Mail columnist Liz Jones about whose love life (and new facelift) I could tell you a thing or two, to Zoe Margolis, unmasked blogger of the cheeky and explicit blog I used to religiously read, girlwithaonetrackmind. Also present are Tim Dowling (strange to see a bloke up there) and anonymous blogger/journalist 'Eliza Gray'.
I'm curious. Natter natter. Lights are on and after a stunning lunch it's time to talk of misogyny, gut spilling and boundaries.
Amazing. I've just learned that original sex blogger Zoe Margolis had 8 million views and was placed as the 24th most powerful blog by The Observer. She talks about sex as 'squelchy', and doesn't agree that talking graphicslly about the subject destroys its intimacy. Brave thoughts. But she also speaks of being followed, slammed, outed and embarrassed - for her parents! Moderator Geraldine Bedell asks, 'Are you the blogging equivalent of the flasher in the park?' Poor Zoe is insulted.
She claims she had masses of comments for a post about men faking orgasms !!
Interestingly - and tellingly? - Margolis also announces that all writers are neurotic narcissists.
On to Liz Jones, who has written extensively about her ex-boyfriend, her body, lack of love. Does she have regrets?
'Yeah, all of it. Whenever I press Send, I literally have a nervous breakdown. You know you're going to set off a bomb...'
Geraldine: 'Are you affected?'
'..It makes you into a heartless, nastier person.. I've been typing during an argument, just to get some good copy out of it.
Freaky? Necessary? Liz uses her life to the max!
Columnist Tim Dowling also uses real life instances and is asked how close he is to his public persona. He mentions caution around his kids, his neighbours - and his (sometimes) enraged wife.
Anonymous blogger 'Eliza Gray' is the writer behind 'Fifty is the New Black', describing herself as a menopausal Bridget Jones. She hits the nail on the head when she says,'If you can't hack it don't blog it!'
Now off for goodbye drinks on the 29th floor over the city.. And my goodie bag!!!
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Hmmm. Now dodge this, journalist Liz Jones' ungracious view of proceedings!