Given that a name is nothing more than a symbolic representation of a physical body, knowing a blogger's name (or the blogger knowing mine) would have little impact on my interactions here or at other anonymous blogs. Seeing your picture might satisfy some curiosity but it wouldn't change anything about the way I interpret or respond to what I read here. I do believe that having a blog obligates you to reveal your true face to your readers but that obligation is met not by posting photographs and names but by open and honest writing. And I'm satisfied that the portrait that I have been building of you bit by byte is an incredibly good likeness.


I often wonder about anonymity, and I often ask myself why I've chosen that path- and I think I've simply done the thing that's easiest for me. It's not the most courageous choice in the world, but I don't think I'm doing anything wrong in not wanting to have to constantly justify myself in real life the way I do here. I express the same opinions irl, but not as planned and thought out as I do here (I'm not brilliant at arguing verbally as I trip over my words and don't think on my feet too well, so writing suits me down to the ground as a way in which i can analyse and discuss what is dear to my heart in a clear manner, and it gives me time to think through my positions and aguments).

I'm not completely anonymous, as Laurelin is my name- it just ain't all of it!- and I'm pretty sure that if anyone was so inclined they could trace me pretty easily through my links. I just can't imagine that anyone would be bored enough to want to, lol! My web persona is the same as my 'real life' persona really, it just has fewer letters hehehe


I do not think it really matters too much to know who you actually are.

I like the idea of a dialogue with only a mental image of who the person is. It would be an interesting (although potentially hurtful) game for people to write a description of what the other regulars look like and/or do (hobbies, work, etc).

For example, I think AndiF is a smart, relatively strong-willed individual. She reminds me of a friend so, for some reason, when I read AndiF's posts, I picture her with dark hair, with just a few sprinkles of gray. I love the idea of personality driving the mental image.

I know a couple people who are bloggers and for them, I cannot seem to reconcile their blogs with my interactions with them offline.

I just wish HappyF would admit that she used to be a cheerleader. I would still like her.

The Happy Feminist

Well, you know, even if I had been a cheerleader (which I wasn't) it might not fit your mental image of a cheerleader (you twisted male). Don't forget, I went to the same secondary school as George W. Bush who actually WAS a cheerleader there. Think letter sweater and megaphones, not short skirt and pom-poms.


Before Christopher comes in and blasts me again (as much fun as it is), I should say for the record that I HATE cheerleading. My 10 year old played football last fall for the first time, and I was appalled by everything about the associated cheerleading program.


I've been thinking about anonymity lately and whether I should put my byline on my blog. I don't have an employer of my own, but I do think about how my opinions might strike my husband's employer, especially since I've been beating up on our health-insurance plan. I also want to protect my kids' privacy.

I think,HF, that you are spot on with your reasons for going anon. The perspective from which you are writing is what makes it so good. We wouldn't get that inside-the-law POV if you had to consider your firm's image when you write. Keep up the good work, and happy Friday.


You make excellent points, HF. I have an LJ that I rarely update, at least in part because I work for a BigFinancialFirm, and we've already seen stories about people losing their jobs because they blogged, even without identifying the firm they work for.

There is already a rather fuzzy line between my offline and my online lives, and I am leery of further softening that line. Since so much of my life revolves around my job, blogging about my life would inevitably mean blogging about work. And since it's a BigMoneyCo I work for, the "accepted" politics at the firm are a far, far cry from my own. Heck, I had a manager get all red in the face and huffy at the very idea I expressed in '04 that the Swift Boat Veterans were paddling their boat without an oar. He told me that it wasn't good for my job for anyone to think I might actually vote
"against the corporate interest."


Some of the concerns are real. Take David Lat's blogging pseudonym as the anonymous "Article III Groupie." Lat was blogging under guise as a female attorney. Once his cover was blown it led to his blog temporarily being shut down and, ultimately, a career change. From AUSA to professional blogger (he's the new Wonkette).

As Art. III Groupie, Lat was not trying to be a "feminist blogger." His site focused on the more gossipy side of the judiciary (who's the hottest federal judge, who did the C.J. hire as law clerks, etc.). However, his story does point out easy it is for someone to hide their identity. Other examples exist, such as the Harvard law student who had a blog up about the doings in Biglaw Firm. Everyone believed it was a blog from an associate in a real law firm. The truth came out after the student's identity was revealed in the NY Times.

As the famous New Yorker cartoon pointed out long ago, "on the internet, no one knows you are a dog."


I'm semi-anonymous. Some of my friends know, some don't.




Will, you're close -- I am a damn smart, highly opinionated, stubborn, dirty-ash-blond-with-just-a-little-gray woman.

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