Monday, April 23, 2007

The previous post was kind of a wake-up call about just how pointless my anonymity habit is. I've pretty much always blogged in such a way that someone could get from the blog to my real-life identity pretty easily, mostly just because avoiding that would be a whole lot of effort to avoid what is really a very tiny risk. I would have to redact every single identifying detail, and/or just not post on personal matters at all. What's the point? This blog is used for thinking out loud, for personal writing rather than work-related styles and topics, and for keeping friends up-to-date about what's going on in my life, sort of. If I were going to write so restrictively that some troll who disagreed with one of my rare political posts couldn't find me, or some rival in a flamewar on another blog like I mentioned in the last post, there would be no point in writing at all. Both of which are pretty unlikely in the first place, of course.

However, it feels like I've read a lot of articles about applying for a job and the prospective employer simply Googles the hapless applicant and finds a "Girls Gone Wild" picture or a incoherent hateful rant on a blog. Or, more relevantly, just a personal post to get something off his chest that a person might reasonably write, but that he might reasonably not want a boss to read, and I've taken pretty much all possible precautions against that. So the point of all this is, it's easy to figure out who I am from details around this blog, but I've tried to make sure it's difficult (though admittedly not impossible) to meet me in real life, or read something printed under my real name, and then find this blog. A week ago, Googling any version of my name would have turned up a whole lot of stuff I've written for publication, a story or two about my family or from the local paper back when I was in high school, and some stuff posted to USENET, but it did not find this blog.

But when I started the previous post, it would have been a major pain to fix the fake press release. Take out all instances of my dad's name, and ideally replace it with something related to his real name but not actually it, and then check to make sure that I don't have to take out any of the other "Vermont" details, and then explain for clarity's sake that the name in this blog's version of the press release is a pseudonym - it would have been ridiculous. And it would be all the more ridiculous because I rarely post anything remotely inflammatory here. I can't say I never will, but on the whole, it's just not worth the effort.

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