The Power of Anonymity

One of my students mentioned to me this week that he had found my blog. Knowing that he might be reading any of these entries has caused me to think twice about what I write about.

When I first started this blog, I made the very deliberate decision not to hide my identity. For the most part, this hasn't caused any problems. Only a handful of people read this anyway, and it's easier to write knowing that they know who I am. In addition, some old friends from way, way back have "found" me via this blog, and it's been good to get reconnected with them. However, I also realize that this decision to be fully public has limited what I can write about. I can't really talk about my work colleagues or students, for example, because it's pretty easy for someone at my university to figure out whom I talking about (the same goes with family members and friends). And, yes, there are certainly times when I would love to share more of my inside view on university life. One of my favourite bloggers at the moment is FemaleScienceProfessor. She is completely anonymous, which allows her to complain (if she chooses to do so) about her co-workers, students, and even her general profession in a highly informative fashion. Although she's a senior professor in the "hard sciences" at an American university, she writes about many things with which I can identify. I imagine, however, that it would cause her some grief, both professionally and personally, if her identity were now made known.

Maybe I'll start another blog where I'll adopt an anonymous pseudonym. The problem is that I won't be able to tell you about it...