Blogging and that Anonymous Thing

Filed as Editorial on November 18, 2008 2:05 am

Blogging. What does that even mean? I read David Risley’s post about his wife wanting to maintain an anonymity on a new blog she was doing, and his reaction is that it won’t work.

A lot of people have the instinct of clamming up. They don’t want to share details of their lives. They want to remain super private. They want to hide. If that’s you, fine! But don’t try to be a big-time blogger.

That’s probably true if she planned on doing WifeOfDavidRisley.com, but what if it is a gadget blog with several writers? Do anyone care about Ryan Block? In fact, how many here even know who he is?

The thing is, blogging as a concept is too wide to have rules like this. You can be totally anonymous and blog anyway, and get a crowd. It might be harder, since there’ll be natural credibility issues and so on, but it is by all means possible. Think about those columnists in magazines who hide behind pseudonyms, or authors for that matter.

I say it is more a matter of what kind of site you’re publishing, rather than how much of you that gets poured into it. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be easier if you let the readers know a little something about you, at least if you’re an interesting fellow to start with, but if you do so without it really being something that is meriting the blog, then it just doesn’t matter.

What do you think? How important is it to be up front with who you are and share your personality? And how much does the actual blog/site you’re doing it on matter?

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  1. By Ted Murphy posted on November 18, 2008 at 9:15 am
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    Perhaps engadget should be considered an online publication rather than a blog.

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  2. By Melissa Donovan, Copywriter posted on November 18, 2008 at 5:38 pm
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    I’m with you. I think it depends on what kind of blog it is and what kind of readers it attracts. Sometimes when I read a blog, even if there is a name and face attached to it, I get this weird feeling like it’s an alter ego, a pen name, or just some alias. It’s easier to connect when you sense a real person behind the blog but sometimes you just want basic facts and information, and for those blogs, a persona is not as important.

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  3. By Thord Daniel Hedengren posted on November 19, 2008 at 3:56 am
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    The terminology is in dire need of clarification. Good points above.

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  4. By Stengel Signs posted on November 24, 2008 at 8:11 pm
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    Nevertheless, the article makes for interesting discussions on the whole anonymity issue of online teaching and learning, and I’m looking forward to hearing my students’ responses to this.

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