A blog is like a tattoo

I was reading a story the other day how (again) somebody posted something on the internet, then heard he shouldn’t have and pulled the post offline. Of course this didn’t go without people noticing it and they dug up the post of the the search engine’s cache. This made me think of how a blog in many ways resembles a tattoo, here’s why:

  • Personal expression

Just like a tattoo, a blog is a way to express your thoughts, feelings, ideas, … about everything you can think of. You find both in all colors and shapes, languages etc. And you’ll find them both used by people out of all layers of the population, no matter what their level or interests are.

  • Identification & status

Think of how tattoos where used (unfortunately) with the Jews during the holocaust, or how the Maori use it… or some criminal gangs. Tattoos are part a way of saying who you are, to what group you belong to and in many cases also what your status is in that group. Blogs aren’t that much different. From this blog you can tell at least to some extend who I am and with all the social ranking (Technorati and others) attached to it – even if you didn’t ask for it – there is a status system in place as well.

  • Conversation starter

A tattoo, especially a really good one is a conversation starter pretty much like a blog is. When you see someone with a great tattoo you want to know where and why this person got it, what it means, how people react to it, etc… A good post on a blog is a bit the same, it’ll ignite people’s mind and quickly enough you’ll be in a conversation with people you know or don’t know about what you’ve just written.

  • Infinite

Finally – and this is probably where most people thought of I guess – it’s pretty infinite. To use a famous Vegas quote: “what happens on the internet, stays on the internet” and although it might not mean exactly the same as what they meant in Vegas, it says pretty much what it means. Once something goes online, it’ll be there forever. Once a blogpost is there, don’t think you can delete it… meaning you could on your own system but that’s about it. Just like a tattoo, everything you do online is pretty much there forever. And now I know you can get rid of a tattoo, but it takes a lot of effort and time and you’ll always see some trace of it. I think that counts for the internet as well.

Maybe you can think of more, add them in the comments if you do.



  1. Kris,
    Enjoyed talking to you tonight. I like the idea of a tattoo. I suspect at some point in the future salvage companies will dig through old data to find long abandoned photos and emails that show any and all of us in a silly light.
    I wonder too if, like my cousin, or soon David Beckham, you will be able to pay someone to erase all your tattoos.
    I’m sure there’s a spy novel in that idea somewhere.

  2. Mark Goren says:

    Here are a couple, Kris, but perhaps it’s getting redundant:


    Anyone can get “ink” – people with tattoos and blogs alike. In the tattoo sense, getting ink means using your body as a soapbox, letting your message be heard. Same as writing a blog. It’s like using a blank canvas to get your message out. And, in both case, you’re the one who decides what gets written.


    The more tattoos you get, the more you’re covered. The more you blog, the more chance you have to get covered in the press, on other blogs, wherever. (Okay, this one may be a stretch!)

    Fun post, Kris!

  3. [wallie] says:

    I run a personal blog on a private url, only for a few people to read, just like a tattoo being shown to a happy few.

    btw: Does that mean a man with a list of his former wives on his arm is running a blogroll? ;-)

  4. Kris, I love the imagery of this post!

  5. Kris Hoet says:

    Thanks Mark, CB – and Wallie, sounds like a blogroll indeed :)

  6. Idetrorce says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

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