What About Anonymous Blogging?

09 Apr 2024 | ~3 minute read

Have you ever thought about blogging anonymously? I blog under my real name, but wonder if that could have held me back...

Yes, people, that's right "Kev Quirk" is my legit, legal name. I've had a few people reach out in the past assuming it was a pseudonym as "Quirk" is such a weird name. But alas, no. It's my real name. 😂

Anyway, I've been thinking recently about blogging anonymously. I'm not thinking about doing it, but wondering why folk might want to do it, and whether any of my fellow site owners, who write under their real name, have considered the same?

If you blog under a pseudonym, I'd love to hear form you too. I'd like to understand your motivations , and whether you still think it was a good idea?

Why write anonymously?

For me, the consideration of anonymous blogging centres more around my career, rather than wanting to write about something evocative, offensive, or extremely personal.

Since I work in Information Security, I tend to shy away from my day-to-day work as I'd prefer to ignore it all together, than accidentally publish something that is confidential.

There's also the privacy aspect; it's not all about people wanting to write evocative content - many people just prefer to remain anonymous as it allows them to be more...open?

For example, someone may be battling mental health issues, or having shit going on at home that they'd rather not have attributed to them personally, yet they still want to write about it.

There are a tonne of reasons to blog anonymously, but the InfoSec professional in me can't help but think...

Can we really be anonymous online?

For example, I could register the domain, enrol in WhoIs privacy so peeps can't look up who owns the domain, dump the files on my server and away I go. My waffle is published on a domain that is not attributed to my real name.

But the domain registrar still knows who I am, and someone could ping the IP address of the anonymous site, do a reverse IP lookup and see that it matches kevquirk.com. I suppose I'd have to use a separate server to this site, or I could put the site behind a reverse proxy, like Cloudflare. That's probably the closet solution to true anonymity, I think.

I could also use a managed blogging service, so there's no reverse lookup that would point to this server. But I'd need to pay for those services, so the entity who manages that service still know who I am. Also, by using a managed service, I could be giving up some control over the ownership of my content.

It's all about risk

Ultimately, I think it boils down to risk. If I were to attempt to start an anonymous blog, my risk profile would consist of preventing the public from working out who I am because the domain registrar and blogging platforms probably don't care that I own an anonymous blog. But that level of acceptable risk is different for everyone.

Have you considered starting an anonymous blog, or do you run one? I'd love to hear from you about why you did/didn't go down the anonymous route.

If you have an opinion, please use the reply button below to send me an email.

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