Friday, January 11, 2013

Is It Time to Shed My Secret Identify?

I refer to myself as Bookworm (I am one), Ramblin Garden (I do ramble, and I sometimes help my spouse garden) and AM.  But, nowhere on my blog will you find my true name (hint: it isn't Bookworm, contrary to popular opinion) or my photo.

And, that's deliberate.  I like my privacy and I've hear horror stories about bloggers being harassed outline.

In fact, when I started out I didn't even mention where in the Triple Cities of Upstate New York I lived.  But when a good part of my neighborhood flooded thanks to Tropical Storm Lee in September of 2011, the flood recovery became part of my blogging.  So I did, and still occasionally do, discuss my neighborhood and the issues we still face, 16 months after our flood.

But, my name was linked to my blog on a blog post and interview done last year (with my consent) by someone who runs a yearly blog challenge.  And, when I post blog comments using Twitter, my true name appears.

So, the time has come to ask my blog fans:  would it help make a better connection with me if I had a photo and used my real name on the blog? (it's a somewhat unusual name, and I don't think there are too many people with my name in the United States - so, I would be revealing myself.) 

I still hesitate to reveal myself so completely - at this point in time, this blog does not promote a book, or a business, or a newsletter.  It is my exercise in writing and in photography.

Let's see what my fans say and then - I'll go from there.

Should I shed my secret identity?


10 comments:

  1. Do you want to shed your identity? It sounds like you prefer your privacy. Your call! joy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I appreciate you and everyone else who left a comment. I'm still thinking this over.

      Delete
  2. I used to feel the same way about social media and blogging. When I was a newspaper columnist, people in the small town where I wrote felt a closer connection to me than I did to them because they read my column every week. That forced me to get over those feelings. But if it changes the way you write, it might not be worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I was happy to see several comments on my question - various viewpoints to think about. I am not sure if it would change how I write if I reveal who I am. This isn't a small town but it seems so many people know each other anyway. I'm still thinking this over.

      Delete
  3. Alana: Robert Fanney once said:
    "Writers shouldn't fear criticism. Instead they should fear silence. Criticism is healthy. It gets people thinking about your work and, even better, it gets them talking and arguing. But as for silence--it is the greatest killer of writers. So if you hate a book and want to hurt it--don't talk about it. And if you hate my books--please, for God's sake, shout it from the hills!"
    This quote took away my fear of writing and painting from my heart, but most of all, it made me proud to sign my name to my work!
    Alana, tell the world who you are. You have a voice! Love your blog and this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words of praise. What you point out isn't something I've thought about. As you can tell from the comments above, I'm still on the fence. But I am thinking....

      Delete
  4. It took me a long time to get comfortable posting pictures of myself on my blog. I shared personal stories, but throwing my picture out there made me feel very vunerable. But I did it because as my blog grew, I started doing product reviews, and I wanted my readers to know that it really was me, reviewing the stuff.

    Hardly any of my real life friends know I have a blog, twitter and facebook fan page. I have seperate fb accounts for my regular(personal) facebook and my blog facebook. So I can keep my digital and real lifes seperate there.

    My only problem is Linked In. I am "linked" to a lot of companies I have reviewed products for as well as other bloggers. Recently A lot of my coworkers have connected with me on there as well and It feels weird knowing that they are now aware that I have a blog. (I listed my fulltime job, as well as writing for my blog on my Linked In Profile). Now its two worlds colliding but Im just going to keep rolling with the punches!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi,

    I don't know if your Twitter is public, and whether it's public or private would change the answer I would give. But assuming your Twitter is public, and that this website is linked to it, I think you may as well reveal your name. This is because with your name attached to your Twitter, people can google you and see those posts, and if this site is tied to it, they can click over and see this site, and put two and two together. But if all your info is private, and this site is separate and not linked to anything else, then keeping your identity private would make sense I think, especially if you want to discuss things about your neighborhood, coworkers, ETC., which would make said people upset and cause drama for you.

    Just my two cents.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think it's upto you. I do post a picture of myself as I think it helps connect with others. I prefer not to post pictures of my family as I think that is very private and my children have banned me from posting any pictures that reveal their identity. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I do wonder about this myself from time to time. I have loosened up a little as time has gone by. I have recently included a couple photos of myself, family and friends in posts, but like you I have an unusual name and have erred on the conservative side. I don't 'clear' comments before they are posted on my blog, but it seems that the majority of the bloggers I follow do. So far I have been lucky. I've only had one odd/critical comment, which I ignored. However some time later I discovered that same person had really harassed one of my blogging friends with lots of nasty comments. Hearing things like that make me glad I have maintained a degree of privacy.

    ReplyDelete

Hello! I welcome comments, as long as they are civil, are on topic, and do not contain profanity, advertising of any kind or spam. Any messages not meeting these criteria will immediately be composted, and my flowers will enjoy their contents.