Do you really care who I am?

by Suw on June 21, 2003

Debate has been sparked on the blogs of Joho the Blog, Horst Prillinger and Pascale Soleil about whether or not anonymous blogs are a good or bad thing.

At the risk of getting a pointy bit of timber stuck up my backside, I'm going to say that it depends. If you're publishing a serious journalistic blog which you want people reference, then I'd say yes, you should be honest about who you are. But it's more important to be honest about your sources and to actually do a bit of research on the topics that you're spouting off on, er, I mean, discussing. On the other hand, if you're blog is personal, then whether or not you add a biography is dependant entirely on how comfy you feel doing so.

There are other issues, too, about accountability, risk and self-protection, but I don't want to really repeat what's already be written on the above blogs.

However, what I do find myself suddenly wondering is whether or not you, the person reading this right now, wants to know who I am? I assume that a lot of you reading this already know me – that's why you're here. But some people are coming in via Google searches or links on blog listings, and you lot wouldn't know me if I crept up behind you and bit your bum. (Although I would hereby like to assure that I am not in the bum-biting habit these days. Honest.) So to you I ask, does my semi-anonymity affect how you read my blog? And have you any interest in knowing more about who I am and what I do? In short, should I post a biography?

Comments/emails welcomed. Or participate in the poll. Your wish is, after all, my command. Sort of.

A visitor June 21, 2003 at 9:45 pm

I guess I represent half the reading community 😉 I linked you the other day and have been coming back reading because I recognized some of my own strains and struggles in your writing about work. I think an anonymous blog is just fine, but I also like the networking aspect of connecting with real people. My two cents (worth each and every penny).

Ken []

Suw June 21, 2003 at 11:13 pm

You linked to me?! Coo!! *is all chuffed*

Thanks for your two cents, though. It's really good to know that what I'm writing strikes a chord with at least one other person. 😉

A visitor June 22, 2003 at 4:36 am

I bet you can guess how I feel about it!


I appreciate your comment about networking; it certainly CAN be valuable. There might come a time when I might want someone who knows me only as Pascale to also know my birthname ~ either because I could help them in some substantive way that would only be possible with my legal identity, or vice versa.

Hasn't come up yet. I did introduce two fellow bloggers to one another via iChat in hopes of helping them find a way to work together… but I did so as Pascale.

Pascale Soleil []

Suw June 22, 2003 at 9:58 am

Pascale, I think that successfully managing to keep your identity as Pascale separate from your real identity is quite a major feat.

In the past, I've joined groups and messageboards etc. as either Nefi or Lewis, but always my real identity seems to come out in the end. I've never actually managed to keep my identities separate for any substantial amount of time. In fact, my web identities have leaked back through into real life too – many of my friends that I've met via the web habitually call me Lewis in person. It's a name that I've had since first coming onto the web about seven years ago, and it feels as real to me (if not more real at times) than my chosen abbreviation of my given name.

I found that it takes a lot of energy to maintain a seperate web persona, and i'm quietly impressed that you manage to keep it up!!

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