Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Anonymous Blogging

Back in the early days of blogging, most bloggers were anonymous. They called themselves (and still do) Iota, Potty Mummy, Crystal Jigsaw, Expat Mum....names like that. Given that I already had a book out, it seemed silly not to capitalize on any extra attention I could garner so my blog was never really anonymous. You could find out my name if you tried. Over the years, some bloggers have come out of the shadows and some have decided to maintain anonymity for a variety of reasons.

Ditto with children. I suppose if you're an anonymous blogger, you can write about your children although probably giving them pseudonyms. Not much point in being anonymous if you tell the world you live in Ashby-de-la-Zouche and have four children named Tyler, Tanya, Taylor and Tina. It'd be a matter of time before the locals figured it out and you'd be up all night deleting any bitchy comments you might have made about them! (Don't titter, it's happened more times than I can recollect to one blogger or another.)

Some bloggers who are "out" also blog about their children very well, like my cuz Trish who blogs about the lovely Rory over at Mum's Gone To... . He's such a nice boy he barely bats an eyelid - and doesn't seem to do anything to embarrass himself into the bargain. Me? Mine all have nicknames, (the ex-Queenager, the now-ex-man-Child and the Little Guy), I never post photos and never refer to anything that could give them away - and I still get grief from them. The ex-Q secretly reads this blog (waves politely) and phones up to take issue with any deviation from the absolute Gospel truth. She, being a writer of sorts (journalism student), should appreciate a little bloggery license, but no - I get the third degree on who said what, how much really happened and what more, if anything, I plan to say on the subject.

I write sporadically about my husband (nicknamed the Ball & Chain) but he hasn't even read my books and wouldn't know how to go about reading this blog, so I'm pretty safe there. Although on second thoughts the ex-Q might try to use it against me - Yeah, go on try it matey!

How about you? What are your parameters and what have been any consequences?



11 comments:

  1. I blog semi anonymously in that I don't use my family's names but liberally post pics so anyone who knows me knows it's us. Go figure. I guess I don't want employers to google my name and find my blog. And certain relatives. Perfect strangers are fine. Many of those have become friends. As for my kids, they kind of like seeing themselves as storybook characters. They give a sort of oh mom shrug. It's my husband who gives me grief on the details. Thing is, I'm not even aware of taking liberties. Seems like how it all happened to me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the name check EM - and you know that I don't believe anyone who blogs about their life in any detail can remain truly anonymous.

    The moment you mention to one person what you spend your spare time doing, the clock is ticking; even if you don't tell them the name of your blog or online persona, they can find you. Happened to me countless times. Luckily with no real ill-effects, but that's mainly because, since I've been aware of this almost from the start, I keep a lid on what I post and self-edit everything. Sad, really. I would have SO much more to say if I didn't need to do that!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My blog is under my name, but I don't say where I live, and I haven't given the names of my kids or post photos of them. I don't generally post about them, but when I do, it's vague and inoffensive. :)

    The only time I came to grief was when I criticised the local parents' association and someone found out and I got a bunch of idiotic abuse.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved the days when I was totally anonymous, but they couldn't last. You can't come to a blogging conference, and meet people in real life, and still be anonymous.

    I only ever told a couple of my friends in America that I was blogging, though, so I did remain pretty much anonymous there, but I wasn't under any illusion that it could all blow up in my face at any time.

    It really annoys me, though, when Google insists on linking my real name to things I do as a blogger. There's probably a way round that, but I've just come to accept that anonymous blogging has had its day.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like to think that I am anonymous, but I am sure that anyone who wanted to hunt me down could find me pretty easily, if the spent some time looking. I'm not hiding, but I am trying to maintain the privacy of my family, so I never mention any names or show photos of people, there must be loads of people out there who have a hubby after all - especially as I don't use that name in real life for my husband. There is a difference between trying to hide to hide something or do something wrong and just trying to remain somewhat anonymous for the sake of your loved ones! xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. I tried very hard to be anonymous in the beginning, but, as Iota and Potty Mummy have said, it's very hard once you let it slip to a few people. Now, I post the odd picture of myself and my kids, but I try not to write anything too controversial....

    ReplyDelete
  7. I write about my kids by name and wish I'd thought up some cute names like the "Queenager"--priceless!--to have used from the beginning. But I started as a parenting columnist for a local newspaper, so I was used to using their names. More recently, though, I write about them by their ages, "the 11-year-old, the 17-year-old, etc." Not very imaginative. I need to do better.
    I ask them if it's okay to post, and I give them $5 each time they're mentioned. So far, it's worked well! Nothing too embarrassing, though. I stay away from that one!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm fairly anonymous, I think. I do post pictures though. Which someone once pointed out they found by Googling a very vague term - but it was a blog friend. I haven't told anyone I know that I blog so I think I'm fairly safe. I hope.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've always used my first name but did not have my surname anywhere but as soon as I was a finalist in some blogging awards and press became involved, it all came out. So now I use my full name and the area I live in and nicknames for the kids. Someone could find me if they really wanted to, but I doubt I'm that interesting! Mich x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well...... My first name is real......... but I prefer to be anonymous.
    However, when my brother started blogging under his real name, he nearly gave the game away. And it soon became obvious to everyone because of their gadgets that I was from Bristol and not from the county of Wessex.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

    ReplyDelete
  11. I blog anonymously for what I hope are obvious reasons because my main blog is about our journey through adoption. I don't use real names and never upload photos that would make us identifiable. Although after watching Bang Goes The Theory last night, I reckon anyone could find out about any of us anonymous bloggers if they want! Scary!

    I do have another blog on which I am not anonymous and that's more to do with lifestyle and healthy living but family details not mentioned and no link to my main adoption blog.

    ReplyDelete

The more the merrier....

Blog Archive