‘Other’ Identity at BlogHer

Here is the drawing I used for Blogher on identity:

BiogHer Identity Picture

First I talked briefly about why people get so bent out of shape when they find out that the person he or she was reading was not who he or she thought it was:

“We, however, have talked about the relationship between blogging and journalism until we are blue in the face. It is time to admit that they are kissing cousins and move on. For me, coming at this from the perspective of a linguist, what is interesting is not so much the why in the drama of uncovered other identity, but rather the how. How do we build, maintain and manipulate identity?”

I went on to mention that there is a continuum between the public and private identity. On one end of the spectrum you have the private blogs: those that blog anonymously, pseudonymously, or with an ‘other’ identity. These blogs use their reputation (not linked to a physical description) as their identity. On the other end are the private blogs, those which fully disclose physical attributes, in addition to their blog presence to establish identity. Their identity becomes/builds and maintains their identity. Here you can find many company and academic blogs (although I learned about some companies who blog using pseudonyms such as Carmen Electrode and Brittney Sparkplug…and we can not forget the ever brilliant BitchPhD.) While Bitch would fit into the private end of the spectrum, the ‘other identity’ company blogs would be found closer to the public end of the continuum.

(p.s. the gray stuff in the middle are things we use to build identity in blogs)

cross posted from my blog

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2 Responses to ‘Other’ Identity at BlogHer

  1. Jenn says:

    Hey! with a background in linguistics myself, I found the information you presented to be fascinating. Just wanted to point out, however, that its Brittany SPARKS, not sparkplugs! :-)

  2. Stephanie says:

    Sorry for the delay in replying! Thanks for the correction and for knowing that I was not up there talking to myself :-P. Also, I love your case study. I would like to ask you about reactions you have had to your blogs, as well!

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