As a semi-pseudonymous blogger, I appreciated the post on the difference between anonymity and pseudonymity at Uncertain Principles, in response to the vindictive outing of Publius, a formerly pseudonymous blogger:
Someone like Publius, or FSP [Female Science Professor], or Mark Twain writes under a different name than their given name. This does not mean that they are without identity, though– quite the contrary. They write consistently under a single name, and this body of work establishes an identity for them that is every bit as solid as the identity that “Chad Orzel” establishes for me.
I haven’t tried to figure out who FSP is, because it doesn’t matter. The alias is enough to establish an identity, as revealed through years worth of blog posts. And that’s really the thing that matters in blogdom, or even in literature.
Pseudonymity has a long and honorable tradition in literature, and Publius and Female Science Professor fit in that. Anonymity, not so much. It’s a distinction that matters.
There are plenty of good reasons to use a pseudonym, some of which I’ve talked about before, and which you can find in other discussions about the perils of blogging. But I have a different reason at this point in my blogging career that has become more clear to me recently:
I don’t like to have a reputation that precedes me.