Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When worlds collide

I was looking over the list of contributors to an essay collection in which I have a piece coming out and started musing "X . . X . . . where have I heard that name?" Then it hit me: X is someone who blogs under his or her own name. There will thus be two bloggers in that collection, at the very least, but only one of us will know that.

It gave me pause, for a minute, although I don't know why it should; I've seen other bloggers on panels at MLA and elsewhere, even though I've never been to a meetup or tried to learn the IRL identities of any pseudonymous bloggers.

But since meatspace and blogworld do ultimately intersect, wouldn't it be great if there were some way, some secret handshake or something, by which we could say to each other "I'm a blogger, too"? Maybe a Masonic handshake or something?


Anonymous said...

Ok, so now I'm very curious about the essay collection...can we have some sort of secret clue (Masonic or otherwise) about its subject?

But, alas, I can't imagine how we could keep such a secret clue, for whatever purpose, truly secret in the bloggylandscape.

On a related note, consider your typo reprinted below:

"But since meatspace and blogworld do ultimately intersect...."

I love that word, "meatspace": it implies bloggy crushes....and that is something that might be ruined in a face to face meeting...

Anonymous said...

Ooh, that's a cool idea. Maybe a symbol like the postal horn in The Crying of Lot 49?

undine said...

Annieem, I actually was thinking of "meatspace" in the cyberworld sense but "meetspace" is even better! You're right, though, a secret would be hard to keep unless--great idea, Ink!--we adopted the Tristero horn.

Professor Zero said...

I love the idea of the Tristero horn / masonic symbol. We could put it on all our manuscripts, too, in some kind of invisible ink. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I like the Tristero horn idea enough to become an anonymous blogger for it. Can I be Mucho Mas?

But I actually find the whole anonymous blogging thing perplexing, along with that secret society cliquery that tends to go with. I suspect this marks a real subculture divide in the blogosphere - those who think they're doing something edgy, and those who think they're doing something ordinary?

undine said...

Professor Z, invisible ink--that could be done! Or a watermark.

Carldyke, I hope that there's not a secret society cliquery in anonymous blogging. I do it because I'm not brave enough to de-anonymize, if that's a word, not to be edgy.

I've thought about blogging under my own name but then I could never entertain myself by saying something, however benign, about my department, and I'd feel obliged to show evidence of Great Thoughts instead of just enjoying myself by writing what I felt like writing, which is what I do now.

From what I can see, there are named bloggers (like yourself), lightly anonymous bloggers who don't mind being found out, and true cowards like me, who would hate to be exposed.

Anonymous said...

Undine, I'm not at all more courageous. I just don't have any sense of danger about this. I say what I think normally, so this just seems normal to me. It's an ongoing life experiment.

Whatever it takes to get your wit and wisdom to us here, I'm all for it.

Btw, I'm Carl. Hi! The carldyke thing is just what OpenID does to me based on my blog's web address.

Professor Zero said...

My chair, dean, and parents know my blog. The pseudonymity is just so I can speak as me, not as my professional persona.

undine said...

Hi, Carl! On the blog I say what I think, but it's about things that aren't scholarly--maybe "para-academic"?

Professor Z, do your dean and chair read your blog? I think part of the reason I'm so gunshy about exposure is that whenever I post to a discussion list, people misinterpret what I say in surprising ways--and that's when I'm being careful and serious, not snarky at all. I can only imagine what the same sensitive souls would make of this blog.