BlissDom Canada and the issue of being an anona-blogger

2 Sep

Now that September is officially upon us, essentially making the proximity of autumn all but impossible to ignore, I finally feel that is safe to start talking about autumn-y things without having to face the wrath of people who seem to take personal offence to the very idea that summer might actually be over. You know, the ones that like to yell things like, “IT’S STILL SUMMER! DON’T TALK ABOUT FALL YOU’LL JINX/KILL US ALL”.

In caps lock no less!

Of course, the only autumn-y thing I actually want to talk about right now is BlissDom Canada and I’ve actually been talking about it all summer anyway so I’m not really sure why I decided that September (and by proxy, near-autumn) was the appropriate time to start blogging about it but HEY, I never claimed to make sense.

Deal with it.

Please?

Anyway, BlissDom.

If you’re registered to attend then you’ve no doubt received the super exciting agenda that was just sent out. And if you’re registered to attend and also happen to be something like me (although hopefully not too much like me. I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone), then you got RIDICULOUSLY GIDDY before even opening the e-mail containing the super exciting agenda. Because between the changing of the seasons and the release of the agenda, there is one fact that simply cannot be denied – BlissDom Canada: IT IS COMING.

It’s also going to be WICKED AMAZING, so I guess there are two facts that simply cannot be denied.

Third fact? I’m going.

Now that summer is essentially over, it seems so much closer (which, heyo, it is) but also a lot more real. October felt so ridiculously far away a month ago and now I’m all OMG, I’ve got less than two months to prepare! Should I stay in the hotel or not? What should I wear? Should I have a strategy? Are the mommy-bloggers going to like me??.

But probably my biggest dilemma so far is thus – I, as the Jam that you all know and tolerate, am an anona-blogger. My identity is a secret and it’s a secret for specific reasons:

1) To protect the identities of the people in my life, especially those whose stories end up on this blog (positive or negative); and,
2) To be able to have an outlet through which to express myself without having to worry about how my thoughts/opinions/general life choices as expressed on this blog will impact my personal/professional life.

I’m fairly certain that this is the same deal for most anona-bloggers out there. For the most part, cavorting about the blogosphere (and Twittisphere!) by the name of Jam has been working out pretty well for me.

The only exception would be situations like the one I’m facing with BlissDom.

It’s similar to the time that Boyfriend and I went on vacation in Washington D.C. Being so painfully close to Virginia, I was incredibly tempted to send dear Megan (of Best of Fates fame) a message and see if she was up for an IRL meet ‘n greet.

Then I chickened out. I chickened out and looking back on it, I regret it (although there’s nothing to say that Megan wouldn’t have been incredibly weirded out and she might have even refused to ever speak with me again and that would have been both embarrassing and devastating all at the same time. Hell, she’s probably weirded out right now! I’m sorry, Megan! Please don’t give me the ol’ unfollow-block!)

I’ve often wondered how I would go about cultivating friendships I might make through this blog in the real world. Now that I’ve gotten to know some of you as well as I have, I’ve realized that these relationships are important to me and I’d like to be able to do things like meet with people and hang out and all that fun stuff that friends do. The idea of letting some people know who I am doesn’t seem quite as daunting as it once did.

But what makes BlissDom different from simply blurring the line with my blog and Twitter friends is that there will be the issue of having both identities in one place, trying to meet people and get up to general tomfoolery all without giving away who Jam is.

I feel kind of like a super hero, minus the super part.

My mild mannered alter-ego is going as the sassy young professional that she is. She is using this as an opportunity to learn and grow and network (and maybe also get up to some general tomfoolery. We ARE the same person after all). She’s not about to let everyone know that along with being an ambitious young woman that takes her career very seriously, she’s also an angsty 20sb, anonymously drabbling her way through a quarter-life crisis. AT THE SAME TIME.

Truth be told, Jam might be spending the whole conference locked in the hotel room closet without so much as the luxury of being able to order from room service.

I don’t know how big of a deal this will be (how many of you, dear readers, are actually going to BlissDom Canada anyway?), but it does raise a lot of questions about how anona-bloggers are supposed to go about making any real and lasting connections without sacrificing the things we choose to stay anonymous for. Is it even possible? I’d like to think that it is. Hell, I’m sure there are a lot of them that do it now! Hence me reaching out now.

So I want to hear from you, dear reader – Are you an anonymous blogger or do you at least keep a somewhat significant chunk of your personal identity a secret when you blog? If so, do you go to blogger conferences and events? How do you manage to marry your real life with your virtual one?

Do you think it’s possible?

Are you in the same boat as me?

Even if you’re not, share your thoughts! Let’s hash this thing out.

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13 Responses to “BlissDom Canada and the issue of being an anona-blogger”

  1. Nolie September 2, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    I keep my real name a secret and the same with my family members. The only pictures are that of me. Was I worried about putting my real name on my badge for the conference. For a second. Then I realized if I don’t give it my all I won’t get all I can from it. My real name still won’t show up on my blog though and people will probably remember me as Nolie anyways.

  2. alonewithcats September 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    Although I’ve tried to keep my full name off my blog for privacy reasons, my friends and some family members read it, so it’s definitely not anonymous. But I recently met up with a woman who does blog anonymously, and she asked that I not tell people we hung out. I understand her reasoning, and I’ll honor her wishes. I would imagine most people you bump into at the conference will either be in the same boat you’re in, or will respect your wish for privacy, too.

    P.S. I travel to Virginia every year, and I’m TOTALLY going to meet Megan (Best of Fates). She just doesn’t know it yet. (Hi, Megan.)

    • Jo and the Novelist September 7, 2010 at 4:55 am #

      Uh. I’m one of those people who gets offended by people talking about the summer being over. I know. I’m terrible. You guys may have moved on and grown and developed, but even though I’m in my mid-twenties Autumn/September/Fall always screams that it’s the start of school. And I don’t even go to school any more.

      You can feel sorry for me now.

      I don’t know how anonymous I am. I guess there’s a certain amount of anonymity on the internet anyway. I think I’m about half way between – I’ve never put my full name on my blog because I’m paranoid and think people are trying to find me and kill me.

      Which reminds me – if any of you come to Blighty – give me a call!

      But not if you intend to kill me.

      • Jam September 8, 2010 at 11:12 am #

        What’s Blighty?

        (Google searches are for squares and people with motivation)

    • Megan (Best of Fates) September 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

      For my reaction to VA statement, see my comment below.

      Also? HI!!!!

  3. alonewithcats September 8, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Blighty is Britain. Those Brits talk even funnier than you Canadians.

    • Jo and the Novelist September 10, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

      I don’t even normally use the term “Blighty” but you American bloggers do, so I was all “Hey, maybe I should join in,” I mean, I’m ALL FOR quirky expressions…

      …but maybe next time I’ll just say “Britain” or maybe “England”. One of those.

      • Jam September 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

        OH. Well don’t I feel silly.

        What you’ve gotta remember is that Canadians are pretty stuck on names. Like, tissues are Kleenex, regardless of whether or not said tissues are actually Kleenex brand. Just like all macaroni and cheese dishes wind up being called Kraft Dinner, bleach becomes Javex and cotton swabs are always Q-Tips (I seriously had to stop and think of what they might be called outside of Canada. Eek)

        Anyway, I don’t know if I actually made a point here, all I’m trying to say is that Canadians are usually the last to pick up on these things but NOW I KNOW.

  4. Megan (Best of Fates) September 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    First of all – wanna know how un-cool I am?

    I have NO idea what is BlissDom Canada.

    Unless it’s a happy dominatrix convention in Canada.

    And then I can only assume it’s an offshoot of the American happy dominatrix convention.

    ‘Cause America’s on top of that stuff.

    And I would know.

    (But not really.)

    (But maybe.)

    (You’ll never know.)

    (Unless one day you run into me at a dominatrix convention.)

    (Not that I’d be at one.)

    (Probably.)

    Now I really want to know how to pluralize dominatrix, but fear that’s taking the whole “using work computer inappropriately” just a tad too far.

    Anyway – please take pictures, and if possible, send me a whip. Or at least a postcard.

    Second, here is what my reaction would have been, had you asked me to hang out:

    “OH MY FREAKING GOODNESS – I HAVE AN ONLINE FRIEND!!! WHEE! YAY YAY YAY!

    …FRICK! Meet me in person? I’m even less funny in person than on the Internet. And I can’t only showcase photos in which I’ve hidden my double chin. Which reminds me, I should probably have some sort of second-chin removal surgery. But only after I get that laser eye surgery. But then I’m always too lazy to research the two different kinds and I really don’t want to accidentally get the kind where your cornea can flap off if your ride a roller-coaster. Not that I ride roller-coasters a lot, I just like to be prepared. What if I’m kidnapped and forced to ride a roller-coaster? And then I go blind? That would really suck. But then I’d probably get to be on Oprah. And maybe I could meet Nie Nie and we’d bond over being bloggers who got to be on Oprah. Then she could tell me the secret to happiness. Also, to having good fashion sense. I blame Dolly Parton. And The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. But man those girls were cute. And what will I wear? I should make sure to wear something I haven’t worn in a photo of a post. No, obsessing over that probably isn’t healthy, should just wear whatever. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to be motivated enough to do the laundry, so I’ll wear the one of the two remaining clean items on my floor. Which reminds me I should probably put away my clean clothes. Only now there are so few left, maybe it’d be best to just wait for next time. And where could we meet? Clearly it’d be up to me to suggest something, being the native. But I don’t know anyplace that’s cool enough – ugh, why didn’t my friends and I ever find the cool places, so I’d have someplace to take an Internet friend and impress them?

    My thoughts would have continued for quite some time, so I’ll spare you the rest.

    But here’s something you should know – it’s near impossible to weird me out.

    For example? My post today? About White-Shirt? I’m still on the fence about whether I’d see those guys again.

    True story.

    • Jam September 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

      You are so full of win it’s ridiculous.

      There are no words.

      No. Words.

  5. barelyvogue September 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    I can soo relate with you
    Keep in touch!

    xx
    Sahi
    http://www.barelyvogue.com

  6. Megan (Best of Fates) September 14, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    You should post again.

    ‘Cause the Internet misses you.

    Just sayin’.

    • Jo and the Novelist September 21, 2010 at 4:37 am #

      Yeah, I second this. Where the hell are you, Jammy Pants? I feel like part of me is missing. It’s tough being a doppelgänger without the other person. Seriously, it makes people think you’re crazy…

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