There are four types of bloggers in the world. Those who use their real names and faces, those who create aliases to post, and those who can’t count to save their lives.
That being said, most of the bloggers I associate with use nicknames and aliases. Why? Because 1) we’re still minors, 2) we’ve all heard the horror stories about kids getting abducted for being idiots on Facebook (“Hey, I’m walking by myself down the deserted I-35 to hang out at a shady convenience store at 5:36 pm without a cell phone. TTYL!”), and 3) because when you use an alias it kind of feels like you’re Clark Kent. Except instead of being half-spider, you just kind of blog.
However, I also know people who blog openly using their real name, pictures, sending and receiving packages from home addresses, etc. Most (actually, all, I believe) of these are adults, and the majority of them are either professional writers using a blog to publicize their work and gain a fanbase, or 9-to-5 workers who want to create a positive internet reputation.
Then there’s the in-betweens: using your first name as a username but disclosing no more personal information, being open about name and age, sharing name+age+pictures but no contact info save email, etc.
It’s really personal preference, it seems. For me, I use an alias, don’t post pictures, up until last week blocked search engines (‘rents just approved the change so I could garner a few more subscribers, hopefully), and have a separate email account for blog-related correspondence.
The funny thing is, I don’t find myself lacking in the community and friendship aspects that come with blogging. Maybe it’s because most of my friends have more or less the same privacy settings? Regardless, I don’t feel like I have less of a friend in people just because I don’t know their actual name, or where they live, or what they look like. The great thing about the anonymous blogging community is that you can develop relationships without the prejudice that comes with appearance. It’s solely based on your intellect, views, and interests.
That’s part of the reason, I believe, that it’s so easy to bridge the usual social gaps on the internet. Who cares if you’re older, or younger, or obese, or an emperor of a small country? If you have an opinion that can be backed by facts, know the difference between “your” and “you’re”, and possess even a miniscule bit of talent for writing, you can be respected and voice what you believe.
Say what you will about anonymous social networking, but that’s the beauty of it.