As my anonymity erodes away -- fortunately at a relatively slow rate so far -- I have been wondering whether it changes my blog-voice. When I am choosing topics and writing my posts, I am aware of the people who know that FSP is me, and sometimes it changes what and how I write.
In some cases that is good: it makes me consider topics from the various possible points of view of the people who know who FSP is. Some of these colleagues also provide me with blog fodder from their academic lives and are willing to let me bounce ideas off them; I enjoy that very much.
Another benefit of being semi-anonymous is that people who know that FSP is me are aware that I am a real person and therefore don't expect me to be a perfect super-mentor person who only gives flawless advice, never complains, never lacks confidence, and who single-handedly enlightens even the most entrenched sexist jerks. This concept seems to elude some of my readers for whom I am just FSP. Furthermore, since these readers know me well, they are able to distinguish musing from whining in my writing (I aim for the former, but occasionally slip into the latter), and therefore typically have a kinder response than that of some commenters. It's nice to have that support, though of course there are other positive comments as well.
In other cases my selective lack of anonymity makes me more cautious, and that may or may not be good depending on the topic and circumstance. And a few times the occasion has arisen in which someone figures out who I am and then I have to think back to whether/what I might have written about them. So far, this has not been a problem.
To date, the benefits of being semi-anonymous have outweighed the negative aspects, but at some point (maybe now), a threshold may be reached when being semi-anonymous to an ever increasing group of people makes writing more complicated.
I don't know.. I'm figuring this out as I go along.
5 months ago