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October 30, 2006


TM Lutas

As someone who used a thin pseudonymous shield for well over a decade, it keeps the population of idiots down who denounce you to the FBI and do other useless and nasty things.


I used to try to keep my screenname disconnected from my real life name so that I wouldn't have to fear an future employer tracking down stuff I say on my blog. Then I figured that, with "WhoIs" and ip tracking and all that other stuff that my more tech-savvy friends explained to me, it was a lost cause.


"I hope you know this will go down on your permanent record."


Pseudonyms allow people to adopt different identities. My email identity is different from my "real" self.

A graphic representation of this is perhaps the story of Alice Sheldon also known as Raccoona Sheldon also know as James Tiptree Jr, a major science fiction short story writer. Her James Tiptree Jr identity seemingly allowed her to write in ways and about things that she was not able to reproduce when she wrote as Alice Sheldon. At least this is the argument of the new biography, _James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon_ by Julie Phillips.

Account Deleted

The comments related to employment really do show how 'disconnected' individuals feel from their workplace; or, that is, maybe the way there is a great disconnect between what we want to be doing (want to be) and what we actually do (who we are.) There is also the possibility that the hierarchical controls of the workplace are automatically assumed to be hostile to individual perceptions/innovation.

This notion is ripe for GGizing, I would imagine. I think RevG recently connected the idea of the super-empowered individual to the idea that so many of those now spending time and money to earn a degree are not finding placement in the workforce that appeals to them. (Another recent article -- sorry, don't have the link! -- looked at the way Gen Xers and GenYers are extraordinarily unhappy with their workplace situation.) On another rung of the ladder, you see the same type of thing occurring in Gap or GG-breeding ground locations.

David Hayward

I used pseudonyms in the late '90s, but being involved in game dev and seeing so many people there reveal their real names, and also realising that the whole "cyberstalking" thing was so utterly overblown, meant I didn't mind them converging with my real identity.

I'm preparing for a future in which I know everything about everyone whether I want to or not, and vice versa.

I don't think we yet have the cultural resiliency to cope well with that, but minimising self deception and acceptance of other values puts you ahead of the curve.

Totally there with the Gen X/Y ers on workplaces, my own thinking is that if a company doesn't want to employ me on the basis of something I blog/photograph/etc, I probably don't want to work for them. IMO any company attempting to maintain that kind of hegemony is in line for cultural meltdown as interconnections increase and our decisions become more public.


No real reason for me. I'm just having the good fortune of having my resume expand quite a bit and having a hard time putting together an about page I'm happy with.


I am one of those Gen X'ers. Although I don't list my last name here, my typepad profile is connected to my blog, which has a picture and my last name on it.

At one time I was concerned about having a blog with my public opinions on it. Now I realize that I'm not that interested in working someplace that is going to freak out becuase of my opinions, similar to David's point.

In a way, though, it does forclose certain career options (John, didn't you say in the past you thought that blogging could hurt future job prospect), I guess I'm okay with that.

I'm curious to see what will happen with the MySpace generation when they get a little older, and all their pages about getting high with their friends in high school etc are still floating around out there for all to see.

Generally though one of the main reasons I started making no meaningful effort at concealing my online identity is that I figured that I might say something stupid with the "protection" of internet anonymity, only to have it come back and bite me later. Better to simply accept the record as permanent, and move from there.


For me, I don't want to give employers or potential employers something to use against me.

Jason J. Thomas

Personally, I never understood it when I first started blogging. The blog is merely an extension of yourself, so why not admit it.

I think most folks who anonymize do it to protect themselves from their employers. Honestly, in this day and age, there is no good reason for that.

Besides, I stick to Former Sun CEO Scott McNealy's quote: "There is no privacy on the Internet." ;-)

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