I just responded to a question from a student about whether she is allowed to use first-person syntax (like “I appreciated Plato’s argument” as opposed to “One can appreciate Plato’s argument” or “Plato’s argument is appreciated by some”). I’d like to share the text of my reply here in case others outside that class who read this blog are wondering the same thing. [I’ve edited it lightly.]
Short answer: yes, you may use first person in your blogging. 🙂
Longer answer: I’m not personally a proponent of a blanket rejection of first person. I don’t find it necessary to convey a formal tone (I’ve known many people in my life who speak very formally while still using it). Further, I find that when third person is used poorly, which I see fairly often among student work generally, it undermines the air of professionalism that was its goal in the first place.
Beyond that, though, while there are plenty of contexts where strict third-person address is appropriate, a blog is almost never one of them; it goes against the very idea of a blog to try to write only
in the third person. Your blog is your home on the web, you own domain
both literally and figuratively. (Yes, some of that is undermined a bit because we’re using the .com version of WordPress, which is technically “owned” by the company and not you. But it’s more akin to renting an apartment than crashing on someone’s couch, which was a key facet of Woolf’s original argument
So you should feel very comfortable making it your own both in terms of how it looks and what you link to there and in terms of how you choose to address your audience there. Might there be social consequences to your perceived character if you write in an overly casual or flippant way? Perhaps, with some of your audience. But you will learn that as you go, instead of my telling you how you must write or speak.
So use first-person as you see fit, and keep your eyes open to how shapes others’ reactions to your work and your own reactions to theirs.