Shame, Fear or Good Idea to Use a Pseudonym

Google’s Eric Schmidt has been talking about digital footprints and the fact that they never go away. 

To this point, a number of people I know use pseudonyms online.  I asked them why. The responses I got included:

“My husband is a police officer, and it’s a safety issue”

“As a teacher, I don’t want my students stumbling across my profile and friending me.”


 “I try to keep work and life separate.”

and  “I just started using one and never bother changing it.”

I periodically think about this. I do have Twitter, Brightkite and Facebook profiles under a pseudonym, but I use those for testing applications and new tools. I don’t really have any connections on those properties.  Periodically I think about using a pseudonym for either work or personal life. For example, I am an admin for a number of Facebook pages for clients like Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz and others.

Fans of these pages can track me back to my personal profile where someone has tagged me in a photo from my college years. Something I might not want business partners, or my clients customers to see. But then again, everyone has something in their past that is a bit embarrassing, so by the law of averages, mine is probably no worse than yours.


Iron Mountain Ski Resort circa 1989

One comment

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kevin Murphy, Gretchen. Gretchen said: RT @KevMurphy: Shame, Fear or Good Idea to Use a Pseudonym: […]

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