Monday, April 16, 2007

Internet Identity - -Comments Enabled

When I started writing on Internet, I assumed I would use a pseudonym forever, thus never revealing my true identity. Although one of my blogs deals with the area I live in, I tried to be vague about my exact geographic locale.

Since nobody I knew wrote a blog -- at least nobody over the age of 16 -- any feedback I got fueled my decision to opt for anonymity. "You've got to be careful with all those nuts out there" seemed to be the conventional wisdom.

Little by little, though, lines got fuzzy. My blogs allowed readers to write emails to me, and when answering, I found myself wanting to use my real name. Then, of course, some of these contacts started to leave nominative comments on my posts.

I knew the gig was up when I had lunch with a local writer and he started to talk about posts of mine that he had read -- even though only my immediate family "officially" knew about my blogging life.

Finally, with the publication of a freelance article that linked to my blogs, I had to drop my secret identity and come out of my blogger's closet. I'm more comfortable this way, but find that my lack of anonymity carries a certain responsibility.

What's your Internet identity comfort zone?

This post was inspired by Sunday Scribblings and its writing cue for this week: Secret Identity.

Thanks to Meredith of Poppy Fields for the link to this site. Or maybe you'd rather look at her secret identity?


Samantha said...

Thanks for opening up the comments, I'd tried to leave one yesterday, but couldn't.

I have mixed feelings about this whole blogging thing, as I really like the anonymity that it provides. I never post pictures of myself, nor my full name. None of my family or friends know about it.

But on the other hand, if any of them ever came across it, it wouldn't be hard to figure out it was me. And I really enjoy the support I get from the blogging community, and I've actually met some great people because of it.

minutechaser said...

I think names are ok, any number of people can have the same name.
Great blog, thanks for stopping by mine :).

colleen said...

I've used my own name from the beginning, probably because of a friend in the same town who is a known blogger. He gave the whole thing credibility. Also, I knew I was ready to create a docuemented record or my writing, organize, and store it. It has made me more careful about how I word things, which is probably a good thing. I have to look at every post as a published piece I would stand behind.

There were times when I felt very vulnerable and still do on occasion, but I question what the difference is between people reading something I wrote online or reading it in print. I don't use people's last name unless they are already "out." There are always ethical questions like that that come up for me.

Betty C. said...

I actually find myself preferring contacts with known entities now -- at least a first name.