The personal musings on blogs usually are relevant only to — and intended only for — the blogger’s inner circle. But bloggers can go from anonymity to notoriety in an instant, as the family of Paul Berkley, who was shot and killed last Sunday, has demonstrated, reports the Raleigh News and Observer. The Clayton man and his two children all had blogs, as did his wife, who is accused of arranging his killing. They left there a chronicle of their daily lives, their fights and even an extramarital affair. In the wake of Berkley’s death, the sites became clearinghouses for condolences and provided windows for voyeurism.
Blogs, free-form journals posted on the Internet for all to see, play an increasingly prominent role in scandals and criminal cases. Some people use blogs to confess. Some people’s writings become grim entertainment after a crime or tragedy. And some people get in embarrassing trouble when they post what they shouldn’t.