How the heck does the blogger meeting at ASA work? If we are trying (probably in vain) to remain anonymous, how exactly do you meet face-to-face and talk about blogging?
I don’t know, but I am not the best keeper of my secret identity. I am the worst-kept secret in the blogosphere. Just ask Jeremy or Kieran. I am going anonymously to a blawg (blog + law = blawg) meet up next week though, as my Real Life Identity and “avid reader.” I am not identifying myself as a blogger, because associating “Belle Lettre” with my face seems too contrived–I may as well say who I am. So I am saying who I am, but not divulging the blogging thing. If I want to keep something a secret, it’s one or the other. I occasionally email scholars in my real life capacity expressing interest in their work, and it’s a professional thing–so I don’t mention “oh and hey, you might have read my blog where I say all of the kooky personal things.” Or I might email a prof as Belle and say “your post was really interesting, here is my follow up” and from there, it either stays as a communication between Belle and ___, or occasionally progresses to my exchanging my identity for a promise of secrecy.
I’ve no regrets. I’ve made good contacts and really awesome friends, two I consider truly great friends I’ve now had for years. But this isn’t for everyone. I suggest going as Pitseleh, although later when they see you at any panels with your “real” name tag, it ain’t hard to put two and two together, just as it wasn’t hard for people to figure out who I was (not that many Vietnamese American female aspiring law profs in my particular program (of which there are an armful of Americans across the US anyway) doing employment discrimination law). But I think that going as Pitseleh is fine. It’ll signal to others that you are putting on your blog hat at the party, and your real professional hat at the rest of the conference. Plus, Pitseleh is such a cute name.
See also my comments at Pitseleh’s post, and why I actually like giving out my name (and occasionally face) to others–I think of it as being a sharing act, an extended hand, an invitation to interpersonal intimacy. But she disagrees, and it’s really interesting the difference in how we approach social interaction in the blogosphere.