Posted by: Kate | April 29, 2008

Bloggers Anonymous

Hi, my name is Kate.

No, really.  It actually is.  Katherine, when I’m trying to be official (or when I’m in a lot of trouble), but Kate.  My husband’s name is Willem, and my kids are Emily and Jacob.  For real.

You can’t take this for granted, you know.  Billions and billions of blogs out there, and people have all sorts of approaches to the identity thing.

I’ve read blogs where the writer sticks with first person, referring to the other members of the household as Husband, Son, Daughter, and so on.  Sometimes they get code names, like McHub or Himself or various household-inspired acronyms or nicknames.  One blog I saw recently even used secret names for the writer’s pets, I suppose on the theory that a tech-savvy relative might be so intent on finding and reading that blog that they would search for the dog’s name if they couldn’t find the family members.

If you’re big on the message board circuit, you’ll abbreviate to DH, DS, DD… my husband once believed that DH stood for dickhead, and sometimes it does, but as a general rule it’s a cute little abbreviation for Dear Husband, Dear Son, etc.  I hate cute little abbreviations, myself, but if that’s what creams your Twinkie, go ahead and abbreviate.  I can figure it out.

It’s all a matter of personal preference, and while I wouldn’t – and don’t – choose most of the options myself, it doesn’t bother me.  I understand the need for privacy, whether it’s to discourage a random stalker from appearing on your doorstep or to prevent a passive-aggressive mother-in-law with no discernible personal boundaries from reading and knowing just how insane she has succeeded in making you.  I don’t have the energy to go back and change all kajillion of my previous blog entries to get rid of everyone’s name, and I’m not that worried about either privacy or my mother-in-law.  I’d prefer to minimize stalkers, but I also have posted about the town I live in (anybody remember?).  I’d rather my mother-in-law not read this, only because I don’t think she deserves to share in the positive aspects of my daily life.  She might find some of my entries upsetting, but so did I, at the time.

How did you decide how much of it to hang out there, blogwise?  And I don’t even mean secrets and gripes and sexual positions; that’s a whole separate post.  Just, how did you land on names, whether for people or for pets?


Responses

  1. My husband got the nickname “The Evil Twin” when he first started doing underground artwork. I don’t even mention my kids’ names on my privately set MySpace page, although I do have pictures on there (but only for my friends, people I actually know, to see). When I moved from blogging on MySpace to Blogger, I didn’t want my husband or kids’ lives on display, so I call them The Evil Twin, Buddy and Sissy (we live in a small town). I will openly share the bird’s name: Apple. 🙂 I’m just paranoid, I guess.

  2. The only reason I gave my kids nicknames was for the “stalker” reasons. My family knows about my blog so there isn’t anything I’m trying to hide there. And, I’m sure if a “stalker” or child ped REALLY wanted to find me, he’d be able to. But, my daughter has a very unique real name so I didn’t want to use it for the whole “safety” issue. I don’t know how safe it really is anyway.

  3. We’re totally out there. My name is Magi. It’s short for Margarita. I am married to Jim, and Sera’s name is Sera. If I haven’t given enough info on my sight for everyone to figure out where we are, Jim has on his blog. He even has our last name on his.

    I thought about pseudonyms a few months after I started blogging, but I never bothered. If someone wants to stalk us, I guess they could. So far, so good.

  4. As you know I do have acronyms for my boys but I mention their real names here and there. I use Baseball Boy(BBB) and Bipolar boy(BPB) for them. So if some of the gazillion teens they know and/or their parents find my blog there most likely be an immediate connection.

    McHub seems more personal than dh and I use my written nickname Geo for him but don’t call him that in person.

    All 3 men know about my blog and not one of them care to read it. I think they have no clue what I write about because I’d get more complaints if they did.

  5. ahem, will not be an immediate connection. Doi!

  6. Heh, we are all out there, all hanging out for the world to see. LOL mostly because my blog started out as a place for my aunts to check in on us, when I can’t be bothered to email them (oopps), and well the one time I tried doing the nick name thing, I got a personal phone call from Gramps chewing me out because HE COULDNT FIGURE OUT WHO I MEANT!! ROFLOL My aunt set him up at her computer to look at pictures, and it ticked him off. Back to names we went, just to make the 86 yo man happy (who by the way only looks at my blog at my Aunts house, maybe once every 3 or 4 months!) I try to be careful about not posting which schools we are all at, but I suppose with the things we go and see it is easy enough to figure out where we live. K actually has a play this weekend that I am supposed to “advertise” on the blog, so there is that. HUM Oh well, she’s a big girl, and rarely alone for more than 5 minutes, even when walking to school (we had neighbors tattling that she was smoking while walking home, it wasn’t her, but man it was funny to see the look on the guys face when he was telling Jerry) . LOL

  7. I’m mostly out there. Josh is Josh, I am Heather, and LouLa is a nickname. We do actually call her that, though it has no connection (that anyone else would be able to see) to her real name. It’s a pet name, rather than what I use strictly for the internet.

    I do try to be a little circumspect about where I live. I live in a small town, and I’m a teacher. I don’t want/need any of my students or their parents reading my blog.

  8. No fake names here. I’m Lisa, Frank’s Frank. The kids, Lane and Jake, while these aren’t their given names, are nicknames I use regularly. I avoided their real names for search results purposes.

  9. My blog started as a way for my best friend to keep up with my daily life, and because she was the only one who read for a long time, I used our real names. I haven’t seen any reason to change things. I’m pretty much Beverly everywhere. Shane is Shane. I refer to him as hubs when posting on message boards just because others wouldn’t know who I was talking about. My stepson is BB mostly because that’s what Shane calls him. I’m not too worried about stalkers (yet). I don’t figure I say anything interesting enough for the majority of the blog-reading world to bother with me.

  10. Kate honey, not many folks know about my little corner of blogdom, so the names have been changed to protect the guilty. I will give you a few explanations though. If you ever call my house and The Man answers the phone with his basso profundo voice and Texas drawl so thick you could spread it on a biscuit, you’ll understand why he got that name. We also live in a microdot town about 3 miles the other side of East Jesus, Texas, where I am one of only 2 PhDs in a “purty fur piece” (translation from Texanese: a long damn way). The town, Fundietonfieldvilleview is a loose amalgamation including the Fundies that make up the majority of the population (including an inordinate number of scarf-wearin’ wimminfolk in long dresses who have to quit school after 8th grade to pop out scores of little Fundie babies), Adam Sandler’s love interest in Adam Sandler’s Mr. Deeds Winchestertonfieldville, Iowa, and the view is from the fact that it’s pretty darned flat out here, which gives a great view of the neighbors. The Girl is well, the Girl – in all her awesomeness. I’d hate to cause her any grief at school – it’s a little school and everybody here knows everybody else and usually what they’re doing. If they don’t know for sure what you’re doing they’ll just make something up. Nobody needs that kind of attention.

  11. My blog name is from my, well, blog name. Son and Husband are named as they are because the day I created the blog my brain was fried and my imagination had already gone to sleep.

    The name changes are to give me an illusion of privacy.

  12. I was at one time completely anonymous all over the web, in efforts to avoid my ex-husband who is my son’s father. Now I get the third degree from my mother for posting too much. Too much to her is anything at all though.

  13. At first I was a little scared to put a picture to the name. Now, I’m ok with it. Putting your face out to the world is a big step. I took it when I purchased my iPhone and did this funny unwrapping video. My friends told me, put it on YouTube. Then we started out macnwinblog. It’s a big step, but once you are there, you kind of forget about it.

  14. I may one day criticise the workplace and that’s a firing offence at most of the places I’ve worked.

    So names here, except for a few oblivious friends who have left names in their comments.

  15. Hey,
    I’m Lynn who is really Lynn. The tagline under my blog’s name(lynn’s addiction) is “Therapy for an ADD mom of 4.” Can you imagine in my ADD world, if I tried to come up with fake names for my four boys, my husband, friends, all of our animals (all dead now, unfortunately) and the slew of other characters in my life? It would make me crazy. So, we are who we are and that is that. Thanks for sharing b/c sometimes I get the arched eyebrow from friends who are ubersecret about their identities.

  16. I started out as ‘wordnerd’ way, waaaaay back when I first started commenting at The WVSR. When I started blogging, it was just a natural progression to retain the moniker and just add a link when I commented. That way, I could shamelessly bring the folks who were reading my comments over to the ‘dark side.’ Never changed it after that. I’m not particularly concerned that someone will read my awesome blog and immediately come steal my children — in fact, they might not want my children after reading a couple of the entries.

  17. I have nicknames for the kids DrummerBoy and ClareBear but also use their real names. They’re on Facebook and MySpace so the world knows about them anyway. Flickr is Friends and Family only for shots of the kids and personal events like Christmas just to stop people oggling at their total cuteness of my neice and nephew. Baino is an abbreviation of my surname a decidedly Aussie thing to do! I’m a bit like you. Blogging is pen palling to me so I don’t care who knows who I am . . I live in Sydney, I’m in the phone book and I have an email link on my blog. Come by and visit any time.

    I’m happy for people to get in touch and have met some of my bloggers over the past 2 years as they pass through.

    Cool post and interesting to read your commenter’s responses.

  18. I know I am the one with pet code names…which seems really stupid when I type it out. I changed to code names on penguins in the fridge when I realized a direct correlation between someone I had written about (truthfully, but perhaps unkindly) and another person I knew was reading. The person I wrote about is an adoptive parent that we personally know, and since we had not yet finalized my daughter’s adoption I was worried that the person in question might, in her anger, go so far as to call our agency and try to make trouble for us. It was rumored locally that she had done this to another couple so I panicked, although we have absolutely nothing to hide…the agency would still have to go through due diligence procedures and it could have been ugly and drawn out. Wow, I sound totally paranoid!

    So today we finalized and I am not worried anymore, but interestingly enough my mom found PITF yesterday by hitting the next blog button on blogger!?! This does not happen to other people, does it?

    As you know I have another blog where I let our identities flap in the breeze…it really was just the one situation with the other adoptive mom that I was worried about.

  19. Hi Kate,
    I use just the first initial of my family’s names, for simplicity really. (ie: A, S, and Z.)
    My blog is anonymous only because it’s one of the places I go to relax, I don’t want to have to factor in whether I might hurt someone’s feelings or say something they might object to.

    Nice topic, I’ve often wondered how people come to these decisions. 🙂

  20. I’m Amy and don’t mind who knows, not really… 🙂

    what a great topic. It’s one I’ve wondered about (being recent to the world o blog). My choice of anonymity came from wanting to start blogging without having to invest a lot of time weighing the ramifications of being Out There publicly. My city is small, but my neighborhood is a freaking fishbowl; over the last year I’ve been privy to (and some shocked by) comments about local bloggers from women only remotely in their circle of acquaintance that were, to say the least, unkind.

    It just seemed wisest to start with Less, with the option for More later (rather than the reverse).

    Re mothers-in-law, I loved your take. Exactly!

    Glad to hear your commenters’ thoughts, as well as yours.


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