@Nords: What you are really trying to say is that he lost credibility because he was deceptive and deliberately kept readers in the dark about two important developments, correct? If that was the case, say so instead of perpetuating the "shame" of divorce. (For the record, I'm not divorced or married, I just don't think there's anything wrong with it and think that shaming divorce keeps a lot of people in bad or mediocre situations for fear of disapproval).
Kindly refrain from reading more into my words than I wrote.
I'm saying that some readers will feel that he's lost credibility and been deceptive. I'm not perpetuating anything. I'm saying that he chose to be a public figure and then tried to choose to be a private one. I think the drawbacks outweigh the perceived advantages.
I've seen my share of divorces. In most cases, the divorce was a good idea, no shame. In a few it was precipitated by testosterone-poisoned guy behavior (and they were nearly all guys). In this situation I'm focusing on the public/private aspects of the discussion of the event, not so much the event itself.
When did Nords say anything about the divorce being shameful? The closest thing I can see is "he has to be aware of the impact it has on his credibility and his reputation". To me that read much more like a statement about him being a public figure than about the nature of divorce itself, especially in light of the other half of the sentence.
I would have hoped for more sharing about the evolution of their personal relationship, how the marriage was under stress, and maybe what actions they took to try to keep things working. ... Again... not delving into the divorce issues could be interpreted as "deceptive".The notion that he owes you and everyone else the details of his (and his wife's, who may *also* have not wanted these details shared) personal life because he writes a personal finance blog seems flatly ridiculous to me.
Maybe he should have to tell you his favorite sexual position too, because that could have been relevant to the divorce, and so clearly the Internet deserves to know.
I don't think he owes anyone else anything. I think he just needs to be aware of the implicit assumptions (made by the public) that arise from being a public figure. He seems to expect that he gets to choose where to draw the line between public/private while being exempt from any public assessment of that decision. It's the Streisand Effect all over again.
It's up to him to decide what's appropriate to share. I appreciate your personal friendship with the guy, and I've just read his posts and seen his public appearances. All I'm saying is that he had one of the world's best blogger opportunities, and he chose to keep it tucked away privately. Maybe it was from concern & respect for his spouse-- whatever reason he chose is also his reason.
Let me clarify what I mean by the context of my words you've quoted. There are many times when I sit down to write a blog post, and I realize that I don't understand something. I go look it up. I talk about it with my spouse or other people. I try to figure out what the heck I'm going to say. By the time I've coughed out the blog post, I've arrived at a much deeper understanding of the subject than when I started. (It's usually a different understanding of it, too.) And if by my fault my understanding still isn't deep enough, the comments will certainly point that out.
So first JD passed up an incredible opportunity to share their divorce discussions with his readers, who I feel would have been mostly supportive. Secondly he passed up an incredible opportunity for self-analysis, let alone shared counseling, that could have provided him with more insights on the divorce. Who knows, maybe he did that analysis and decided the divorce was necessary-- again he could've posted that analysis. If he and his spouse could "amicably" divorce then they could also have chosen to make a public statement on the subject. Celebrities do it all the time, and he's certainly achieved that status where he's entitled to do the same.
But most importantly of all, by not discussing it he abdicated all control over the discussion to the people who know the least about it. As a blogger and a public figure I'd expect him to have seen that one coming and to have done something more constructive about it. He totally lost control of the subject. He hasn't done much to buttress his reputation, either.
He doesn't owe anyone anything-- except himself.
I'm not going to comment on your last sentence. If you decide to modify it then I'll modify my quoting of it to match, or however ARebelSpy feels is appropriate.
"The sale of his blog had to be kept a secret contractually": It'd be most interesting to hear how he feels today about the confidentiality clause of the sale. There were so many better ways for Quinstreet to handle that sale than to muzzle JD, and I think a business school would conclude that Quinstreet damaged their own reputation by insisting on those terms. Again I feel that JD's readers would've been supportive of the sale had he been in a position to negotiate better terms. But I've read his posts on the subject and it was clear that he was pretty tuckered out by that point. But, hey, here's an idea: maybe JD himself could write a blog post on how he feels about the terms of the sale, and whether he'd do it again in the same manner.
It'd be great to hear from JD on these subjects, but I suspect that we already have. I'd kinda hoped to learn more at FinCon13 but I doubt that'll happen either.
I have to admit that JD's example (and Jacob's) have made me much more aware of the controversy between public/private. Frankly it's probably a good thing that my little project doesn't have the magnitude of public scrutiny that you guys must contend with.