so, just had a great trip to chicago, where i went to this conference and among other things, attended a panel where this woman was presenting on blogs (and specifically the use of blogs for academic peer-to-peer review). it's slightly shameful for someone in my field to say this, but i had actually never come across this blog before, even though her work overlaps a lot with mine, and even though she's a blogger. so, i come back here to my computer, and check out her site.
i think that image she has on the front has to be one of the most disarming ones i have ever seen. let me tell you, the chick looks like the woman who gave the talk. (initial interior monologue: what's the deal with the image? it's ironic, right? right? right?).i am a little knackered, ok?
i think it's pure fucking genius, actually. it reminds me of sarah vowell's short story from this american life (search "American Goth") where she goes underground and becomes a goth. one part of her immersion involves her final selection of a goth name. she chooses "becky" and inspires awe amongst her goth peers, for the name is so anti-goth, it is goth... that's how this image works (don't ask me to explain it any more than that. i'm shit-for brains)
there was also some discussion about academic blogging and whether it should count as publication (towards tenure). one woman said she recently chaired a job search committee where a candidate declared herself as "Bitch PhD." wow... (i wanted to go up and shake her and say "SO did you HIRE her??? did anyone have a problem with the blog???) it got me thinking about my pseudononymous ways, and also how potentially dangerous it can be for academics to "come out" online. when i started this whole thing, i completely intended to publish my real name, and then a close friend commented on how her school Dean googles candidates when they come for on-campus interviews. yikes... i might be able to get the search committee to chortle along to posts about willies and zits, and look with benign amusement at the memes, but... do i want the Dean to read "100 things about me.." and so forth? or maybe i am just overthinking it all, and the notion of blogging being academically dangerous is just overblown bullshit.
i am not really going anywhere with this, and i realize that mine is not an academic blog really--save for a few moments where i need to wax lyrical about something theoretical from time to time, but for the most part this is a space for me to tell stories about the banal yet (what i find) hilarious details of life.
so--what do you all think? if you've opted to stay anonymous is it only about protecting one's career? what other benefits (or drawbacks) are there to having a "personae" you have created (or do you even think about it in these terms?).