When I first started this blog I thought it would be wise not to use my real name. I don’t remember why but it was important at the time. One thing that I found out a long time ago was that you can not keep up a lie with out looking like a fool, eventually. So I have never tried to portray myself differently than I really am in person. Maybe more articulate, and I don’t cuss as much in my blog as in person, but not different.
I guess it is a habit from the days when I played D&D; you just do not name your character with your real name. No one fears a great barbarian named Carl, or Phil. “And Phil decapitates the Minotaur with his +2 scimitar!” Will anyone care if the mighty Prairieflounder turns out to be just another geek with a pc? I suspect that most everyone who read my blog know who I am. The people who don’t know probably don’t care.
Now I am starting to question if I should remain anonymous. I find it interesting that there are so many words to describe it. (Assumed name, false name, pseudonym, sobriquet, incognito; pen name, stage name, nom de plume, nom de guerre; rare allonym, anonym, or moniker.)
Apparently I am not alone, if you look around you will see all kinds of interesting and descriptive names linked to my Blog, Archvillian, Caveblogem, Wenchwisdom, etc… Even e-mail addresses don’t include real names. This is due in part to the fact that there are more e-mail addresses than different names. You can tell who is an old hand at web surfing if they have a short AOL address with out numbers. Same with web forums, most people do not use their real names when posting.
Why do people use monikers for e-mail, forums and blogs? Is it to protect you or is it to protect others? Is it the freedom to re-name yourself with something more descriptive? Is it a way to create a different personality or to avoid responsibility for your actions?
This brings up the subject of blog etiquette.
Some things are simple, don’t steal photos. Don’t link to other sites for photos with out permission, as it uses up bandwidth. Don’t make anonymous comments on other peoples blog. Give credit where credit is due. Don’t be a dick.
Then there are other behaviors that are more difficult to define.
Is it considered rude to talk about other people on your blog and use their real name? I would think that if someone wishes to remain anonymous you should refer to them by their blog moniker. Or is it cool to use their first name to refer to that person if what you’re talking about happened in real life as apposed to comments about their blog:? I am not talking about public figures but private indivisuals that we see on a day to day basis.
Anyway I got off track; it comes down to four simple questions:
Should I remain anonymous in the blogisphere?
Is there anything to be gained in remaining anonymous?
Or more seriously:
Is there anything to loose by coming clean and using my real name?
Am I making a big deal out of nothing?