Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Anonymous Blogging

One of my close friends has been bugging me about blogging pseudo-anonymously. This has really made me think about my descision to do this. On my previous blog, I certainly blogged anonymously, and several of my favorite blogs are anonymous. In fact, many academics choose to blog anonymously. Why is this? I'm not totally sure, but I think its strongly related to being able to speak your mind and not affect the sometimes very biased process of earning Tenure. Jane is able to fret about her mid-tenure review and FemaleCSGradStudent is able to complain about grad school with worrying about getting into trouble. It allows these bloggers to be more open and honest about what is going on in their lives. I think I can agree with that thinking. I want to be able to be honest without effecting my future. In the internet age, its more common for things like this to stick around. I just finished reading The Unwanted Gaze which talks about how privacy is changing in the digital age and touches on how the traces we leave in cyberspce paint an inaccurate picture of who we really are. For example if someone were to read my blog today, they might think that all I ever think about is religion which isn't really true.

On the other hand, I'm sort of excited to get involved in the Methodist Blogosphere and the Emergent Blogsphere where pseudonymity is frowned upon. This is because it often looks like people are hiding behind a pseudonym (which they are) and therefore don't have much credibility. Then again, who am I to say that gavin really is who he says he is... because on the internet, no one knows you're a dog*

If Dad were to read this post, he might say, "well, don't post about things that might get you in trouble." I certainly don't intend to do this, but you never really know what might come back and haunt you.

Anyway, for now I think I'm going to stick to a pseudonym, but I'm probably going to constantly re-evaluate that choose. Until then, I'm just going to have to work on building credibility for myself in cyberspace.

*I actually do believe that people are who they say they are, but I also don't think using a psuedonym makes you necessarily less credible. Then again I usually give people the benefit of the doubt.


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