NRT over at the Ministry of Information has an interesting post about anonymity when blogging, and how his online persona is somewhat different to how he is in real life. It’s something I can relate to to some extent.
The difference between how I appear through this site and how I really am is considerably narrower than in NRT’s case – while I don’t include my face in every post like Dave does you don’t have to look too far to find a few photos of me. Finding photos of my friends or housemates, however, is more difficult; while I have mentioned them in the third person a few times, I rarely post their names or photos of them. This mostly out of respect for their privacy; a number of them know about this site and I’m unsure what their reaction would be if they saw that I’d been saying things about them without them knowing or without their permission.
It’s certainly true to say you could find out a lot more about me from this site than you could for other bloggers. I don’t share my home address or my phone numbers since I do value having some level of privacy, but you all know my name (heck, it’s in the weblog title and the URL) and a few other basic facts about me.
I’m also less techy in real life. Funnily enough, I don’t spend all of my time sat in the pub chatting about how to write efficient regular expressions and whether PHP is better than Perl. Sure, discussion topics do enter geek territory from time to time when I’m with people who share my interests but, while this surprise you, there is more to my life than computers, the internet and blogging. Older entries in here went into more detail about what was going on in my life but nowadays it’s less about me and more about what I’m interested in. That’s just the way things have happened.
That said, my style of writing here probably isn’t a million miles away from how I speak with friends.
All in all, I’d like to think this site shows me up for who I am, but at the same time there’s a line to be drawn somewhere. I’m all for making information freely available, but sometimes you can give away too much information.
incidentally, The Scottish Parliament has just been advised about blogging and paedophilia.