Wednesday, 9 January 2013

'The Real Me' - Blogging And Identity

Online identities are peculiar things and people construct them in myriad ways for numerous reasons. I think that blogging in many respects remains one online space where people are rather coy about revealing their offline identities - by which I mean, the person that their friends and families actually know.

Recently I've found myself admiring those bloggers that I read who go by their real names and use an actual picture of themselves in their profile. I wonder if I trust these people more, if I pay attention to them in a different way. Blogging is very personal but also very public, so being one's self - particularly in this geeky corner of the net - is a judgment call. Back in the old days, when interaction online was limited to rather basic chat forums, I seem to remember most people used an alias. Now, with the phenomenal growth of the 'confessional society', self-revelation is more the norm.

I've decided to be more of 'the real me' in my blogging. This isn't a huge move, as Dave actually is my name and I do live the life that sometimes seeps through in the form of anecdotes - most often, how my wife cannot stand clusters of my miniatures taking up shelf space in the more public areas of our house. So this isn't a major move, rather it's an enhancement of sorts. To celebrate this and to mark in some small way my reaching 100 followers I've changed my profile photo to one that actually shows me.

It will be interesting to see if this changes the way I blog (although it's doubtful whether anyone actually cares!). I'm a sociologist by background (three degrees if you're interested... I just get a small chance to show off!), so it's only normal that I should be interested in identity. 

I'll expand the remit of the blog a little, or at least live up to the tagline billing as an observer of mass geekery. I may merge more of the personal with the general in order to reflect deeper on certain things. I may just carry on as per usual.

Whatever happens, a sincere thank you to all who follow the Gazette, to those who drop by causally, and even to those who come passing once but take the time to have a little read.


  1. Identity and human nature/behaviours is a fascinating thing... almost as fascinating as enjoying painting and playing games with funny little lead and plastic men =)

    As always looking forward to the next post, regardless of potential content.

  2. I use a screen name still. Mostly for staying out of trouble reasons. I write as myself though, not some screen name persona. People who know me in real life, but also know my blog, say they can tell it's me.

    1. That's a very common way of doing it I think. And totally fair if you need to stay out of trouble :-)

  3. Really interesting post, Davey.

    I'm really rather torn on the use of online personas. When I started blogging, I chose a nickname to blog with, solely because I'm a partner in a business and I have always wanted to keep business and hobby separate. I had a morbid fear of a client googling my name, trying to get in touch, and finding pages on how to paint tanks or some other geekiness. Over the years, though, I've noticed that having using an online alias just piques some people's curiosity. Quite a few friends much prefer to use my real name in commenting on the blog - which is absolutely fine with me. So I've plumped for a halfway house of photos of me on the blog, but still using an alias. It's probably not an entirely logical and consistent result, but it kind of works for what I wanted.

    Very interesting post, all the same! Oh, and I really like your blog, by the way!

    1. I used to be a university lecturer so I always kept my online profiles different to the real me. Now I don't work with students that often, it doesn't matter anymore. I think I'm also more relaxed now so even if I teach again I won't change my identity and identifiers here. Thanks also for the kind comment!


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