Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Compendium of Posts about Blogging under a Pseudonym

I am bored by conversations about whether it's appropriate to blog under a pseudonym, whether anonymity and pseudonymity are both just "hiding," and about the link between writing under one's legal name and "accountability" or "authenticity." I am bored by them because apparently, I have done at least 6 or 7 substantive posts (perhaps more - I didn't actually go digging with a great deal of zeal) since I started blogging in this space in 2006. That's right. This whole line of conversation is three freaking years old. Actually - older. Indeed, way back in olden times when I had my old blog I even posted about this stuff. So really, is it possible that I have more to say?

For the moment, no. Other than that I can't believe some people are still equating anonymity and pseudonymity, and that I am extremely irritated by the suggestion that people who blog under pseudonyms should be pitied, for "they're not beginning to use the power of this new medium."

For those of you who may wonder what I have thought about issues of pseudonymity, back when I actually thought it was something interesting and new about which to think and write, check out the following links:

These posts will give you hours worth of material about which to think. They talk about blogging without tenure, blogging as a woman, the conventions of writing under a pseudonym, the stupidity of people thinking that one is not authentic if one doesn't use one's legal name, the freedom and constraints that come with pseudonymity, pseudonymity and community-building, etc.

If there's anything I've not covered, I'm at a loss for what it is. And thus, this will be my all-purpose post from now until the end of time related to these issues.


Caroline said...

This might interest you - The Times outed yet another blogger.

GayProf said...

Sometimes I forget that GayProf isn't my real name.

Flavia said...

(Was about to comment on your Fb page, but decided to do it here--which proves something, I think, about how permeable the boundaries between the pseudonymous and nymous really are!)

I was bored reading this, too, for all the reasons you note--but esp. because Soltan seems weirdly oblivious to the fact that ALL BLOGGERS are exposed in the sense that they gain or lose readers solely on the strength of their writing. Indeed, a case could be made that it's more difficult--and thus more of an achievement--for pseudonymous bloggers to gain a readership than nymous ones, because no one's Googling for them or attracted by their reputation or presence in another field.

Dr. Crazy said...

Caro - Thanks for the link. Definitely an interesting read.

Gayprof - Your name isn't really Gayprof????? I am SHOCKED! I feel so... BETRAYED!!! How dare you misrepresent yourself this way?!?!? :)

Flavia - You know what's funny? The reason I mentioned this first on Fb is because I actually have less need to be accountable under my real life identity (because I'm in no way important in real life) than I do under my blog identity (where I'm still not exactly super important, but where I do have a voice with a wider daily reach). I was so irritable at first, that my initial response was basically an ad hominem attack - one I felt completely comfortable making under my own name to friends but not as Dr. Crazy. I wonder what critics would make of that.

And as for your complaint? Yep, I totally agree.

Susan said...

I was going to send you a link to the story in the Guardian about the blogger case in the UK: I thought of your posts on this subject as I read it this morning. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jun/16/blogging-cop-found-out