Sunday, December 18, 2005

# Posted 1:34 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

SHOULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF OR YOUR BLOG? Earlier this evening, I attended a little shindig at the home of Matt Yglesias, held in the honor of Kevin Drum, who is in town this weekend from California for a bit of holiday cheer. Matt's home was filled with bloggers, some of whom I'd met before (Jim Henley, Ezra Klein), many of whom I hadn't (Belle Waring, Hilzoy, and others).

As I learned way back at Bloggercon II, there is no proper etiquette for introducting oneself to those one knows online but not in person. Forgetting the lesson of Bloggercon, I once again just introduced myself as a normal human being would, with my first name.

One could thrown in the last name as well, but that sounds weird. To go all out and announce the name of your blog wouldn't just be weird, it would be like saying "my blog is so important and I'm so insecure that I can't introduce myself without telling you about my URL."

Then you get into the conversation, and someone mentions their blog, and you mention your blog (because bloggers can't help talking about their blogs), and then you sound like a bit of an idiot identifying your blog ten minutes into the conversation because the only reason your in this room in the first place is that you have a blog.

Face it. Life isn't fair.
(8) opinions -- Add your opinion

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Well, is an introduction necessary?
Doesn't the Blogger Complete Profile act as a quasi-introduction?
I guess that depends on how complete the profile is, but even a hint might whet someone's whistle.

Keep up the good work on your blog.
Happy Holidays :-)

I think it's better to wait to name the blog. That way they're talking to you rather then to their notion of who's behind oxblog. Besides, there's more to you then oxblog and you don't start off with your whole resume.
name tags - name, then blog(s)
I like having an anonymous blog. Professionally, it's easier because I'm an attorney who represents some elected officials. But also, it is easier to write freely because the reader knows only the writing and not the writer. Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren called it the "new criticism" which really means: Forget the psychoanalysis and read the story!

Wm. Faulkner took it one step further. When approached by a prospective biographer, he said: "Just say, he was born, he wrote the books, and he died!"
Over half the folks I know use Livejournal for silly, personal blogging (some with a Blogger-blog for more serious things). No one thinks anything of saying
"John. muffin_head on LJ"
Even those w/o any blog to speak of seem to have accepted this as the norm (though I suspect they make fun of many of us for being to old to still be using LJ).
"One could thrown in the last name as well, but that sounds weird."

It does? Why? As a datapoint, when I'm in a gathering where I'm meeting in person for the first time people I otherwise may know from their writing, I consider people who only give a first name to be acting either rudely or inexplicably, since why wouldn't you introduce yourself by your full name, and how else could I know who you are?

I don't see any no win here: I think people should say who they are. Why the hell not?

(Mind, that's me; I don't expect people to follow my own norms.)

Of course, I've been used to going to gatherings where I'm meeting in person for the first time people I've only known by writing (and they me) since I was 12 years old, 35 years ago, so I'm rather used to doing this on hundreds of occasions.

Saying "I'm {XXX], I do [blog name]" is also distinctly polite and helpful. Why would concealing non-secret info like one's name (or posting handle, if you're pseudonymous) be polite?
It is good fun to be as evasive as possible within the bounds of what is considered tasteful. When there are several of you doing this simultaneously it can be a good party game.
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