These days, a person's relevance is based on whether he blogs or not. Like you should have one otherwise you are sooo out of the radar. I don't know how blogging caught so many people's fancy, but one main reason that pushes us to put ourselves out there might be our innate predilection for validation from other people.
Being under the proverbial spotlight, however, also exposes us to other people's prying eyes. As readers, many of us are guilty of judging people based on their blogs, not being aware that there's a multi-faceted person behind what appears in print. So it is no surprise as well that as people read us they might be pigeonholing us into classifications and labels that are far from who we really are.
I've known a number of bloggers who were seriously criticized on their blog for an opinion they expressed. This, I believe, is definitely part of the package. Bloggers have to be ready to face dissent, after all other people are as free to express their views.
Defending your self, I believe, is unnecessary because negative comments, more often than not, are hardly personal. Some people simply do not agree with you but the comments they leave are not always about you. Telling the difference is easy. (Still there are comments that directly defame the author, and those need to be rebuked down to your last breath.)
On the other hand, I've heard of bloggers bewail the loss of their privacy because they just put too many intimate details into their posts. Sometimes, the thought of strangers reading our blog is more comforting than knowing that friends and acquaintances have access to our innermost thoughts.
For instance, I dread the idea that my parents or relatives read my blog (hell no!). Perhaps many authors have the same concern with regard to their their exes, colleagues, enemies, etc.
There is certainly no way to screen your readers (unless you restrict access to your blog). My opinion: you decided to publish your intimate thoughts, you should stand up for what you write.
Or there's always the middle path: editing... and this I do a lot; way too much sometimes that I have nearly lost all traces of "intimacy" in my blog. My thoughts here have always been watered down, as you can probably tell.
If I chose to write my uncensored feelings, my blog would be one big soap opera. Or if I don't filter the content of this blog, I would be spewing one politically incorrect thing after another.
But to be provocative is not the vision of this blog. I want to keep it flippant, bitchy, and frivolous. It is my escape, if you may.
The bottom line is: as authors, we have a vision of what our blog is all about. For others, their blog is an extension of themselves, while for some, their blog is an alter-ego totally detached from who they are.
In a perfect world, we should be writing like there's nobody reading us, but of course only a courageous few can get away with that.
Whatever the purpose of your blog may be, the important thing is to stick to your voice and keep your unique point of view consistent. If it brings in the haters... well, fuck them! Remember, you only make your mark on the blogsphere when you have your haters... that keeps you relevant.