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February 16, 2006



I primarily use a pseudonym to prevent being Googled easily by family members, high school classmates and most importantly, the ex-assholes I have dated. However, I don't consider myself "top-secret" and I do use my real name when corresponding via email. I was surprised at BlogHer how several people expressed disdain for those that use pseudonyms.

Oddly enough, although I know you in "real life" I do think of you as Average Jane in the context of blogging and when mentioning you in that very context with say, Goofy Girl or Dorothy, I have to resist saying Average Jane instead of your real name. Conversely, if we are talking about game night or something going on in real life, I don't think twice about needing to use your real name.

Interesting fact about Phil Hartman - LOVED him. :-(


Unfortunately, my blog id is my real name. I just included the dots for the post footer so I couldn't be googled easily (someone found me from work). I just post a part of myself online. Don't want to be dooced (hard not to talk about work). Then there are things that just aren't interesting enough to post.


Interestlingly enough, this is something I've been cogitating on resently. I have not met any of my blogging friends yet, but I'm sure I will eventually. Not only do I use a pseudonym, but the cast of characters in my "real life" do also. Most of my friends I know in "real life" have more than one blog, we share several blogs, and more than one pseudonym and it is starting to get very confusing. It is interesting to see the various identities that I potriat, it's always ME, but how much me. For now I will remain a pseudonym, I am Zoe and Zoe is the me that my family can't google. It's kind of like wittness relocation.

The Misanthrope

I selected misanthrope because I once had a dot net site with that name. B2 mentioned blogging and I thought why not if he did it too. Toner Mishap is an anagram of misanthrope. I sound cranker writing as the misanthrope than I probably am in real life, but I am the last to know for sure.


I've been thinking about this, too. Since I've been going through my writing portfolio lately, I have to explain somehow the fact that I wrote more than forty articles under a pen name that incorporated my married name. After I took my husband's name, I had a bit of an identity crisis and decided to keep writing under my maiden name. I JUST gave up that practice THIS YEAR, after five years of publishing a few times a year under my maiden name. Then I started the blog, and suddenly became Dorothy to a few people. I've found myself using both when corresponding with the blogosphere, but I like being able to blog independently. Most of my family actually does read my blog, but it's not necessarily something I want the whole world to stumble upon. So how I work and write under three names, but introduced myself to a potential client this morning with my maiden name. X looked at me like I had gone crazy. I have no idea what brought that on, either.


I am ususally more casual online and just use Jenn but when I write something professionally I use Jennifer. Not much of a difference. I am ME no matter where I am. It would get too confusing to put on too many faces.

Goofy Girl

I only use a pseudonym when I'm working undercover.


I first made my alias of "GenieAlisa" because at the time I had lost my middle name to marriage and had taken my maiden name as my middle name. I like that my name is fairly unique, but don't use my full name online because, hey, I work for a living and don't need the universe Googling me. But it was important to me that my name be my *name*. I still waffle a lot about whether to use my full name online in all places. I'm very attached to my name.


Case in point at how people "become" their identities: I love how Dorothy used MY husband's identity so casually (I wonder if she realized it?) - and he isn't even a blogger. hee hee


As a newish blogger I write under a very thin veil of anonymity. I don't want people I don't like to locate me by googling my real name or jeopardize my professional job life. A friend of mine named the blog for me, and that has turned into people calling me "blaugra" or other derivations of it. It wasn't my intention to create an alter-ego although I thought about it. Average Jane was/is an inspiration to me. I do have a couple of last names which I use interchangeably depending on where I'm working, just to confuse people. Or if I don't want anyone from high school to track me down...


No matter the variation on a name, I am me. I don't know how to be anyone but. I use a variation on a theme for a name, but my identity is still the same.


Interesting discussion.

I don't use my full name online. I sometimes use my (distinctive) first name, but do not want to be Googled by future employers, etc.

If you Google my real name you find my current school, contact information, and multiple pictures posted by the universities I have attended - I am very findable because my name is unique, so every Google hit is actually me. I know this because three old boyfriends have gotten in touch with me that way in just the last year. I don't have any interest in tying my journal to that.

My non-work, Yahoo email has my first and middle names listed as my name, which attracts no comment because my middle name is a family name two generations back (so it's more Redzils Smith than Redzils Stephanie). There has been a little confusion because of this with people I know in "real life" - mostly of the "I didn't know you had been married!" "I haven't been . . ." sort.

My family knows I keep a journal online, but have never asked for the address and I have never volunteered to give it to them.

I am on my third livejournal account, because each time I start getting "found" by people I know (but have not invited to read), I shift. The latest version is likely to last awhile, as I have been very discreet about it and mark anything too personal as "friends only." Its important to me to have a place I can write without worrying that the people in my life who I don't let all the way inside my head will stumble on it.


Oops - I didn't realize how long my comment was until I posted it. Sorry for the blog hijack.

Yvonne DiVita

Looks like a lot of interest in this topic, Jane. As one who shares your name, or USED to, I can say...it's fun being someone else (albeit, someone who is a part of you anyway) but since I've 'come out' and I am now writing my blog as ME, I'm more comfortable and find writing a bit easier.

One thing I do miss is the humor 'Jane' could bring to posts. Maybe I should bring her back once in awhile - just for fun. What do you think?

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