Do you think that there are times when pseudonymity isn’t appropriate?
I spent 10 years as the only female in a team of 15 software developers. I wasn’t ever treated differently at the office, but online there were often times when people reacted strongly to my gender. As a result, I started using my surname (Hawk) for all online interactions. I never withheld the truth if it came up, but I was comfortable with people assuming I was male because it evened the playing field in a lot of ways.
The name stuck and these days only my mother calls me Sarah.
Recently I sent out a welcome email (you all had one similar). The response that I got said that I was obnoxious to call myself Hawk. I’ve been thinking on that a lot. On the one hand, I understand that in a corporate environment, it might seem strange. On the other, in this business (especially in the tech/startup community, which is my background) it’s very common. And it is my name…
I think that pseudonymity is appropriate online and we all have the right to our own boundaries.
Do you have rules around using full names in your communities?