Anonymity, Anon (LOTS of text here, lazy readers look away)

One solid week after the unveiling of the true identity of LibertyLondonGirl, it's a late reaction but I couldn't help thinking about anonymity and blogs in general. You see, circa 2007, LLG, Disneyrollergirl and Mrs Fashion made up a fantastic trifecta of of anonyblogging fashion insiders. By mid-2008, LLG had stopped blogging because of her job- she resumed in 2009- and Mrs Fashion set her blog to private, partly thanks to, I believe, anonymity concerns (she made it publicly viewable again in late 2009 and then went back to readers-only Blogger mode).
There are loads of professional fashion journalists and writers who blog, both anonymously and under their real names out there (Colin McDowell and Justine Picardie are just two among the many I've read and enjoyed). For those who choose to blog under nom de plumes (nom de blogs?), the reason why is obvious- being able to speak your mind without immediate and damaging consequences inflicted by a client or employer, or even without the baggage associated with your real-life professional ID, is a good thing. And frankly, I've had it up to here with anonymous people being tarred with a single, fat brush as cowards.
First off, it's kind of hard work to stay anonymous if your blog has developed something of a following.* I realised this last year after posting a package to Sasha, which she then wrote about on LLG with a link back to here- which in its turn led to a few days of minor bombardment with emails asking who she was (since sending stuff would have been impossible if I didn't have her name and address- they wanted the former). Ignoring and deleting all those mails worked. It did, however, get me thinking about what it is to be an anonymous blogger or author, and just how weird the Internet can get.
I'm small fry as far as blogs go. I update when I can be arsed to do so, haven't got a custom domain or even a url that matches the name of my blog. I'm still paranoid about not using my real name anywhere online, not because I'm afraid of the fashion police, but because my love of design and style is something that's personal and private to me. It's not to be discussed with the plebs who make up most of my 'real-world' experience. The same goes for my love of Harry Potter (yes, Twilight is trendy now, but I'm an oldie, see). Or even the rubbish I type into a locked livejournal with a miniscule friendlist.
It's mildly scary to be told that people who read your blog have figured out where exactly you live, and frankly distasteful to be linked to from the awful, shittily-written blogs of people you know in real life and despise. Sure, there's nothing I can do about the latter. But no matter how much I admire the fearlessness of people who blog as themselves, the things I love aren't things to be shared with people who don't matter to me. I don't care for them to be laid bare to the eyes of some curious c*** who sits three seats away from me and decides to amuse himself using the power of Google. They know my name. They know very little else. And if I can be so bold as to paraphrase, what's in a name- once you've dissociated a bit of yourself from it, that is? In any case, hats off to Sasha for choosing to openly claim LLG as her blog identity. Good on you, really.

*case in point: Petite Anglaise. Or even Girl With A One Track Mind.


Razzi said...

I originally wanted to have a anon blog - but in the end found it pretty liberating to just be putting it out there. If only to the 3 reader of my blog.


Mae said...

I often struggle with the amount of personal information I give through various entries on my own blog, and in the end it always comes down to the fact that I don't want to be a victim of self-censorship. I feel my blog is a place where I can say whatever I want, and that's me; with or without a name. I think as long as you have something to say, it doesn't matter who you are. The whole concept of sharing opinions and ideas is what matters.

Musings said...

I still feel torn but as I only have 4 followers, I still have time to decide...? Interesting discussion. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

love your blog, keep it up!
thanks for sharing as always


Liberty London Girl said...

Goodness! I had no idea you were being harrassed. The possibility never occurred to me that people would be so naughty as to annoy you for info. What a funny old world in which we live... thank you anyway poppet for keeping my secret so safe. LLG/Sasha(!)xx

ps I think of you every time I look in my jewellery box!x

Blue Floppy Hat said...

LLG/Sasha: Considering the number of people who wanted to know who you were, it's no surprise that some of them decided to try any way possible! And it was no trouble at all, really- just a little funny.

Also, if you ever want some more junk bijoux, just say the word.

About Me

My photo
Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.