Blogging Anonymously

While surfing the web this weekend, I saw a curious question from Kev Quirk on Mastodon, attached to a blog post: What About Anonymous Blogging?

Have you ever thought about blogging anonymously? I blog under my real name, but wonder if that could have held me back…

I responded with a simple “yes” and carried on with the busy weekend, intending to respond later.

When I first got online in 1996, my dial-up ISP sent us a welcome pack that included a few floppy disks with software to install. Among the software was Netscape Navigator and Netscape Chat. When filling out my information for Netscape Chat, I was asked to provide a nickname. Since then, I’ve always used a nickname instead of my real name online.

I don’t use my online presence to grow or promote my career. I have no reputation or brand to build, so I’m happy being fLaMEd around the Small Web and associated communities. I have had and go by other names across other communities, but this is my primary identity for being online.

Fellow Small Web enthusiast and 32-Bit Cafe member Frills beat me to it with her blog post Why blog anonymously that captured my thoughts:

Am I really that anonymous?

I have an online ecosystem using this pseudonym, so in a way, I don’t really consider myself as being anonymous, rather that I just have an ‘online name’.

I’m not so anonymous, but I’m known around these parts by my “online name,” too. I like that idea.

Finally, Kev Quirk asked:

If you blog under a pseudonym, I’d love to hear form you too. I’d like to understand your motivations , and whether you still think it was a good idea?

This post covers my motivations, or lack thereof, for not using my real name online. I believe it is still a good idea, as it allows me to fully immerse myself in the web-building community without any real-life ties.

For me, the online world is just as important as the physical one. It allows me to build meaningful relationships with others worldwide who share interests that are different from those I share with my in-person friends.

Using a pseudonym, like fLaMEd, does not detract from this. Over time, if a strong connection is made, my real name may naturally come up in conversation, and that is perfectly fine.

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