I was going to add these to the Friday links, but those were already getting quite long, and I wanted to have a little more commentary on these links, so I’m posting these separately. On Tuesday, there was the second in the #IsisVsTomasson Google Hangouts. The first dealt with the use of model organisms in research. The second one dealt, among other things, with the use of pseudonyms online, including while blogging. You can watch the whole thing here:
I haven’t had a chance to watch the whole thing yet, but have watched the first 15 or so minutes and read this account from ProfLikeSubstance. Something PLS says is that the main reason he blogs with a pseudonym is so that what he blogs about doesn’t get attached to his research identity. Isis mentions this in the discussion, too – she doesn’t want her blog posts, which tend to be more about “life” than about “work” to be the first thing that pops up when someone googles her name. That makes sense to me, and got me thinking a bit about blogging with a pseudonym versus, as we do here on this blog, using our regular names. There are some posts that I wouldn’t have written if I blogged with a pseud – especially the “story behind the paper” posts (here and here). But there are other things that I might like to blog about that I don’t, because I don’t want that much of my personal life online, especially linked to my regular name for people to find easily via google. That includes some things about work-life balance and about being a mom in science. I have written some posts on those topics (e.g., here and here), but there are some things that I have not written about because I do not use a pseud. So, in other words, I can see advantages to both approaches.
Which brings me to the other link I was thinking of. There’s a new blog called Single Mom Postdoc that I think will be really interesting to follow. In the first post, Single Mom Postdoc talks about being on the job market as a single mom, and feeling like she has to hide having a child. She said she feels like she’s lying. I can understand that feeling, but I also definitely do NOT think she’s lying. I think she’s being prudent. There’s a lot of evidence of bias against mothers in academia, and, while I don’t know of data on the topic, it seems likely to me that bias against single mothers would be especially strong. So, I think this is a great example of why blogging with a pseudonym makes sense. I’m glad she’s blogging, because I know of other women in the same situation, and I’m sure there is a niche for this blog.
More Friday links to follow tomorrow!
Re: wanting to blog about things in you personal as well as professional life, one possibility is to have separate blogs where you wear different hats. Jeremy Yoder does this. And of course, one or both could be under a pseudonym, even different pseudonyms.
I have the vague impression that it can be harder than one might think to maintain a pseudonym without giving away one’s identity. Though I guess that depends a lot on what sort of topics you want to blog about, in particular how many stories you tell that are based on your own personal experiences. But I don’t really know. And I’m guessing that that’s a topic covered in the linked video…