The other day, I wanted to comment on one of the blogs I enjoy and read quite regularly, so I hit the "comment" thingy, and typed in my comment. And then I realized that in order to comment, I had to have registered with the blog server system. But instead of registering immediately, I just deleted my comment and went on to other things. That happened again today.
I have at least two distinct internet identities. One is Bardiac. And one is... not. A few people who know my other identity also know about the Bardiac blogging. No one from work knows either, though I've mentioned that I blog to a few good friends, and others might guess that I have at least some presence on the internet. I know friends who play on-line poker, for example, and I assume they have some presence on the internet at least through those communities. So it's safe to say those folks assume that I have an internet identity of sorts.
Do I really need to register on yet another internet community? Over the years, I've started any number of hotmail type accounts, promptly forgotten whatever name/password combination I used, and so no doubt had them fall dormant and get deleted. So just maintaining that illusion of having a semi-secret identity is a pain when you have to go through email verifications and such.
I chose Blogspot more by happenstance than anything else. I accidentally found some blogs, started reading around, and found myself choosing between Livejournal and Blogspot, the two journaling communities I knew about. I liked Blogspot's formatting a bit better. For now, it suits my needs. One of the happy results of this accident is that I can control responses to my site a bit by requiring word verification, and by not requiring a registered identity.
(I recognize that word verification is a problem for blind readers, but in all seriousness, the number of people who stumble across my blog is pretty darned low, and the likelihood of my preventing a blind reader who wants to comment by using word verification seems far far less than the likelihood of being overwhelmed by spam posts. So in this unfair world, I've made my choice.)
I like that people can post anonymously. I've posted anonymously a couple times in various places. Mostly I've done it when I didn't want the blog author connecting my response with my Bardiac-identity AND because the blog in question wasn't connected with the academic discussion community I feel I've joined. (Does that make sense?)
I like responding to people's blogs, and I like when people respond to mine. Yeah, there's my ginormous ego out there for all to see.
I wonder how many people have been set to comment or respond (and my responses are usually pretty positive, and I hope always respectful) but don't because they'd have to register?
So far, I'm fairly anonymous as Bardiac. I'm not hugely paranoid, and I don't think I'm going to get Dooced or anything. (Yay tenure!) My name's not going to come up in a google search attached to Bardiac at this point, which is good. But I assume someone with good hacker skills and an obsessive personality could figure out my non-internet identity, or even somehow connect me with that other internet identity. I also assume that the three people who will ever stumble across this particular post will have better things to do with their lives.
Okay, so I registered for yet another internet community today. I guess I'll bop off now to make that comment!