Why I Blog Under an Alias

Reading the repartee between Sittingnut and Sanjana awhile ago, I came to wonder about my decision to blog under a moniker.

Let me assure you that with a monicker such as yours, augmented by the incessant drivel that you push, ad nauseum, ad infinitum, into the blogosphere, augmented by your anonymity, prevent us from taking you seriously.

Do my thoughts and writings carry less weight because i do not use my real name? Does the type of ‘moniker’ I use affect how I am perceived, and does the relative ‘anonymity’ that it brings make my posts less relevant?

I wonder.

The reason I chose to blog was because i wanted to express myself. Initially I used to simply comment on other people’s blogs, but that eventually became messy. I didn’t want to clutter up other people’s blogs too much, so i decided to start my own. I started on Blogger, as an experiment and finally decided to get a bit more serious and move to wordpress. I could do my blogging under my real name, or i could use an alias. To blog under my real name would mean that i would be restricting myself to a certain extent. Any views that i express could be held against me in my career, against me personally or against my family.  Not that I am an anarchist or anything so dramatic. In this world, where diplomacy  and ass-kissing is so important, I am at a disadvantage. I am a horrible ass-kisser, and I have to really focus on diplomacy, so i don’t want anything to weigh down my already sad chance at a peaceful life.

Granted, there are successful bloggers who go under their real names. Indi.ca for example. But he has a price to pay for revealing his identity online. He suffers flaming and very many personal attacks on his family. Though the Oscar for Receiving the Most Personal Attacks would go to Sanjana. Now I don’t have the patience nor the temper to deal with any attack to my family if I were to post something that goes against the grain of any psychotic individual out there. Therefore I blog under an alias.

The advantage of anonymity is that I am free from the shackles of societal expectations, and can write the way I want to write. As long as I do not debase myself by trolling, there is nothing wrong with the anonymity I have.  But also, to prevent confusion and to have some sort of online accountability I stick with the name ‘Janus’ or my wordpress account name ‘Janusis’. That way, all my blog interaction will be ascribed to my online identity which eventually will develop with other bloggers ascribing certain writing styles and mannerisms to it, while my real identity sits happily on this end of the keyboard, expressing his self, and not having personal insults thrown his way.

And so I stick to Janus for Janusis I.

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17 comments
  1. indi said:

    I think everyone has a right to anonymity online, pretty sure the EPF has some work on that subject. As a community, however, if you want people to take you seriously you develop a name and an identity. Janus in your case. It’s not necessary, but it does mean that you can participate in a deeper and more rewarding way online. It just doesn’t have to get in the way of your family or work situ.

  2. indi said:

    meant, EFF, Electronic Frontier Foundation

  3. krandor said:

    i think this is rot – ” however, if you want people to take you seriously you develop a name and an identity.

    Surely it’s the quality of your output that matters. If you make a valid point, does it matter if it’s at abc or “anonymous”? only to lazy, thick bastards (looking for an excuse debate the facts) or publicity hounds who think hits = relevancy.

    Of course, that’s probably most of the SL active, online, political pop. so…

    Either way , personally, as an employer, there’s at least a few people I’ve seen online who I wouldn’t employ – purely out of personal prejudice from their online personalities – if I knew who they were in real life.

  4. janusis said:

    “there’s at least a few people I’ve seen online who I wouldn’t employ – purely out of personal prejudice from their online personalities – if I knew who they were in real life.”

    And how would you have a personal prejudice of someone online unless they “develop a name and an identity.”?

  5. It’s not the person who speak that is important, but what he/she says. I may be blogging with an alias for a different reason from you, but I do believe blogging with an alias is not a reason to be treated as “not serious” as Sanjana said. One can blog with his real name, and still not be serious. (Sanjana is a prime example)

    Sanjana’s arguement is only a reflection of the fact that, they always look at things “subjectively” but not “objectively”.

    All you have to know about me is I’m another person, with an identity VIC. It’s not important what my real name is at all, as long as I have a “personality” build in my pseudonym.

    If some one really wants to know my real name, I’m sure his intention is to take some personal revenge from some thing I’ve written against.

    Such people ironically land on my site after searching for keywords like “who is voice in colombo”, “real name voice in colombo” etc on Google. 🙂

    If Sanjana and the clan don’t want to take sittingnut seriously, just because he blog with a monicker, then most definately Sanjana may not be taking Mark Twain and William Shakespeare as serious writers too.

  6. Darwin said:

    Anonymity is a must for me. Blogging=venting for me, and if my rants were to be discovered by the people I am ranting about, life would get rather awkward to say the least.

    Being taken seriously has nothing to do with using a real name/made up name. What matters is the actual content of comments/posts.

  7. to clarify something, (as i did several times including the instance cited above) my real name is not hard to find, and i have also provided it and any other relevant details to anyone( including several bloggers) who asked, through email.

    this includes sanjana’s colleagues the admins at moju when some ppl commenting there ( specifically sanjana) wrongfully identified a different person as sittingnut and made attacks on that person thinking he was me. it was immediately afterward that the spoofing incident there started, perhaps after ‘someone’ realized the mistake.

    anyway that sanjana should repeatedly resort to the same old irrelevant and invalid argument about what he terms ‘anonymity’, instead of treating my arguments in a relevant and logically valid method says a lot about him.

    2+2=4, 2+2=5, are arguments expressed mathematically. it does not matter who makes them. if anyone wants to dispute them ( their choice) they should point out why they are wrong ( that 2+2 does not equal 5 for instance ). they can also treat the whole thing with contempt (again their choice) and make appropriate remarks or simply ignore. but to say the arguments are not serious bc the person making them is called sittingnut says a lot about the person who says that .

    sometime ago i also gave the reasons as to why i do not use my rather common real names online, instead preferring ‘sittingnut’ exclusively, starting long before blogs.

  8. btw some ppl who use their real names in their blogs and cry a lot about effects of ‘anonymity’ are known to resort to aliases and anonymous comments when it suits them.

    who after all was padashow?

  9. elric said:

    “there’s at least a few people I’ve seen online who I wouldn’t employ – purely out of personal prejudice from their online personalities – if I knew who they were in real life.”

    And how would you have a personal prejudice of someone online unless they “develop a name and an identity.”?

    Yes, that’s my point. If you start to blur the lines, you run the risk of getting stigmatized. If I knew SittingNut or the landlikenoother person, I wouldn’t employ them, so repellent do I find them.

    As things stand, not knowing their political views in terms of their real life names, if they applied for a job and I had to judge their CVs’ I might hire them.

  10. well i wouldn’t hire persons who lacks integrity and says one thing under a real name and says another under an alias when it suits them. ( esp if they then hypocritically complain about the effects of anonymity under real name.)

  11. on the other hand others may not hire me bc of my bad english. now that is a better reason than political prejudice. fortunately i don’t work for others.

  12. elric said:

    Well if it matters, I think bitching about English as the main method attacking someone is silly. Havin g said which, if someone is passionate about their ideas, I think that person should make as great an effort as possible to make what is written understandable. It’s a shame if a valid point is lost by basic errors due to laziness, not lack of ability.

  13. janusis said:

    “Yes, that’s my point. If you start to blur the lines, you run the risk of getting stigmatized. If I knew SittingNut or the landlikenoother person, I wouldn’t employ them, so repellent do I find them.”

    And here is another reason people blog anonymously. Your political views don’t necessarily make you a bad employee..

  14. Megha said:

    Hi, I’m a producer for BBC World Service. I’d very much like to talk to you about blogging under an alias for our radio programme today. Our show goes on air in a few hours. Could you email me on megha.mohan@bbc.co.uk with a number please?

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