Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Why Pen Names Are Useful

In case you missed it, the full story on Kathy Sierra: "Death threats against bloggers are NOT 'protected speech'".

I, and others, have written on the use of pen names when blogging, but it bears repeating.

For those who think safety isn't an issue, read about Kathy's situation and ask yourself if it isn't time to consider pen names differently. Even if you appear at conferences and make other public appearances, a pen name can make it more difficult for someone to reach you. Even if just extra minutes, it's a head start, right?

Ditto on a work address, even if only a P.O. Box at the UPS store.

I should also add that I do not feel death threats, to bloggers or anyone, fall under the 1st Amendment rights. No one should feel the need to protect themselves with a a fake name, but then no one should fear walking down the street, or feel afraid in their own home; but that's the world we live in for now.

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Anonymous Amanda said...

It's a shame things have to escalate to this point for people to take the idea of personal security seriously. There's always a nutball out there somewhere, multiply that by 100 if you're female.

I look at pen-names as a marketing tool (aside from the security angle). A manufactured name has a lot more possibilities than the name your parents stuck you with.


March 29, 2007 12:30 PM  
Blogger Sara Winters said...

Good lord. I thought I'd run into some psychos in the past 5 years or so. At least they never actually posted my address or showed an inclination to carry through with their threats. Course, I was young enough to believe it would never happen anyway.

I like the idea of a pen name because no matter what you do, if things aren't going the way you planned, reinvention is just a few clicks away.

March 29, 2007 4:31 PM  

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