Occasionally, I think about others with whom I've lost touch. There's an e-list for my prep school class, with about half the class on it (not that many participate or send news, but still...). I suspect that the half that aren't there wouldn't be on these social networking sights either. Friends from other careers, or pre-prep school, or college, might be on them, and it might be fun exploring and seeing who's out there.
The question inevitably arises: do I join as Lazygal, or as my real name? Walt's comments about blogging anonymously (which this sort-of is, since many of my readers actually know me IRL) gave me pause.
I agree that it’s important to know that what you write may come back to haunt you. I wonder whether blogging under a pseudonym is a reasonable response–unless you’re determined to make sure there’s never any link between the pseudonym and you.(The Little Professor takes the view that it's up the the blogger to decide.) Now, I haven't found it limiting. I started as Lazygal to separate my personal and my professional blogging, and I'm clear on the division. MPOW would prefer that I not blog at all, so I try to keep my references sufficiently vague and generally related to being a school librarian (albeit one rebuilding a library) rather than about the school itself.
That’s not easy. I’ve seen any number of cases where someone starts out under a pseudonym and then wants to brag about something, or writes something that’s so local and so specific that colleagues and coworkers can readily identify them, or just lets slip something clearly identifiable. (Worst case: the blog is identifiable through domain ownership or other means…)
If you want to blog under a pseudonym, I think you have to assume you’ll drop the blog after a while. You’ll find that the limits of pseudonymity hamper your thinking and your writing, or you really will want to say something from your heart. Not that there’s anything wrong with dropping a blog, of course… until you start another one, signing it, and somewhere down the road make a reference to the old blog that lets the blogger out of the bag.
But what about expanding to other networks? On GoodReads, I'm Lazygal. Ditto TheThingsIWant. But on The Readers Place, I'm someone else (a name I chose years before, when we were The Readers Vine and the convention was to choose a name and join a literary family).
So, if (and it's a pretty big "if" - doing these things takes time from other things I could be doing, like reading or sleeping or blogging or...) I decide to join one, do I use Lazygal, or my real name? If I do the latter, I'd not link to this blog, or my GoodReads account, just to maintain the pseudofiction that we're separate people. Would that matter? Does any of this? Comments? Opinions?