Sunday, March 12, 2006

Anonymity Issues

I'm still new to blogging; less than one year so far. My first couple of posts were under my real first name, but I quickly yanked that down and started going by Cookiecrumb.
(If you haven't already figured it out, Cookiecrumb is an entirely inappropriate name for me. I'm nasty, I can't bake, and I rarely eat sweets.)
I don't have anything to hide, but at one point, I was afraid, due to my insignificant past employment and its connection to my meager, but real, interactions with the local food mafia, that I might say something on the blog that I'd regret.
Well, that hasn't happened. So I'm inching, by baby steps, into the light of day.
Jen posted a good topic at Food Blog S'cool on blogging anonymously, and it generated a lively discussion. Then the other day at daily kos, a poll was taken of how many of us blog anonymously (the result was about two-thirds; can't find the original diary at daily kos to link to; sorry). Update: A new diary at daily kos again addresses anonymity on the Web. This topic is hot.
I replied to Jen's post that I'd never deny a fellow blogger the courtesy of knowing my real name, should we ever meet in person. Also, more and more lately, I'm conversing offline with food bloggers, so of course I tell them my real name.
Well. Anyway. Food for thought. I'm sticking with a handle for now. No real good reasons, other than inertia. Oh, here's another reason: What would it possibly tell you, other than what you've already gleaned from reading my blog, to know my real name? Not much.
However, I'm enjoying a rather recent phenomenon. Some of my favorite bloggers have just posted photos of themselves. Some of my other favorites have always run their pictures. I have discovered I really like finding out what my cyber friends look like.
So here's my portrait, with Cranky and the little puppy you already know by his real name, Bean Sprout.
This photo has a cute story. Last month while we were enjoying a brief getaway on the coast, a stranger approached us with a crayon drawing and a camera.
She introduced herself, and she introduced the drawing as "Flat Stanley." Seems her cousin's son's school in Massachusetts was engaged in a project of seeing how far Flat Stanley could travel, and they needed photos as proof. (I assume there were also Flat Melissas and Flat Emilios and Flat Condoleezzas — er, no, scratch that last one. Hey, are those pseudonyms?).
We volunteered. She snapped. Weeks later she e-mailed us the resulting picture. And I liked it.
So here we are.


Kalyn said...

I love seeing you and Cranky. You both look great. Also, just so you know, Flat Stanley is a rather famous children's book where poor Stanley gets flattened and has to go through life that way.

(Now I know your age, your real name, and what you look like! Of course you know mine too so we're even.)

cookiecrumb said...

Oh. See what happens when I drop out of the children's book-illustrating business? A long time ago? And never had any kids of my own to read books to?
The things ya never knew.
(And more things for you to know about me.)
Thanks, Kalyn.

Sam said...

Looking good! Did you pick up any fresh scallops whilst you were up at the coast perchance?

I can't imagine you being anyone but CC these days, even though I know your other name.

cookiecrumb said...

Thanks, Sam. Oh, I may have slid one or two into my mouth. Mm. :D

Kevin said...


You two look so Californian. (The dog could come from either coast.)

Dagny said...

I have seen many incarnations of Flat Stanley over the years thanks to my cousins and their children.

Thanks for sharing the photo. I still prefer to remain anonymous -- except to those bloggers who I have actually met in person. Probably has something to do with the my line of work -- teaching -- and some of my blog topics.

mrs d said...

Oh my god! Bean Sprout is so tiny compared to actual humans!!!


You kids look great.

I'm still working on the whole merge fractured online life into single entity thing. Getting there, though. Lotsa grunty code work to do cuz I've got (ominous chord) other non-food related websites. (Aaaieee...)

Cyndi said...

It's really cool to put faces to the "names!" Remember what I said the other day about your rain becoming my snow? I had no idea you were going to get snow up there. We saw the news about that crash; what a mess. I was touched by your post and the comment about the red flower. Check out my snow photos on cyndicooks.

cookiecrumb said...

Kevin: It's the sunglasses, right?
Dagny: I'm cool with anonymous. Hell, even Flat Stanley was anonymous to me!
Mrs. D.: Oh, yeah, he's a shrimp. Er, a sprout. So... how can I surreptitiously sneak out your other websites? (ominous chord)
Cyndi: Yeah! I'll come over and see. Oy, the weather.

mrs d said...

CC: You can bribe me with pink hats.

Oh. Wait.

Never mind.

Umm... (checks links, sees far too many dead ones and out of date sites) Soon?

ilva said...

You look just great!! Thanks for showing, but now I realize that I can hardly come out with a pic of myself after this!! Especially as I have just been told that I look awful in (on?) photos.... (And you look so YOUNG!!;) )

mg said...

Hi CC... What a portrait! You three look great!

Tania said...

Great photo, and great story about Flat Stanley! Thanks for sharing!

McAuliflower said...

I just went back to Mrs D's burrito post to peek at her lovely picture with chopper again- its soo funny and cute it cracks me up!

I think its only human to crave seeing what our fellow bloggers looks like. The typical human brain identifies with facial structures more readily as opposed to pen-names (or even real names).

I enjoy the blogger default of having an image on the front page of a blog. I think it works to help build a stronger readership- heaps more than what name you display on your blog. I've often considered changing my blog design to include an image up front (mine is currently in my "about" section).

I forever will think of Sam as having pink hair regardless of where she is in her hair creativity at the moment!

Jamie said...

Well! You don't look anything as nasty as you claim to be, and Cranky doesn't look cranky either. I feel so disoriented. ;-)

Seriously, I loved seeing a pic of you. I always think twice about putting my photo up (I've done it twice now, far enough apart that many didn't remember the first time) because of, I dunno, fear of stalkers or something. But it seems to make people happy. And by and large it hardly matters nowadays, since my family, my friends, and several of my editors read my blog!

Sam said...

maybe i should really dye it pink

cookiecrumb said...

Aw, you guys! Yeah, I enjoyed this. Thanks for all your comments.

Greg said...

Cookiecrumbs a hottie!! Not exactly the retired AARP image I had. I think I'll consult a stylist before I post a photo.

Passionate Eater said...

That is the best picture I've ever seen on your website, and given that I get hungry from every picture, that is a hard feat to accomplish!

I love the way that Bean Sprout is looking longingly at the picture of Flat Stanley that Cranky is holding gently in his hands! Also, the California beach and skyline look pristine. Last, but not least, the woman in that photo is beautiful! ;) Amazing picture. I'm glad that I got to know you more, and I'm glad I can finally put a name to Bean Sprout's furry face!

Barbara said...

You are nothing like I imagined!

Randi said...

You three make some a handsome trio!!

Monkey Gland said...

I'm never going to live the scallops thing down am I ;-)

cookiecrumb said...

Au contraire, MG: Live it up!

Tana said...

You need to rename Cranky. Call him "Hunky," eh?

: D

Y'all look great.

cookiecrumb said...

Tana: Cranky says thanky!!

Rose said...

The two of you are absolutely adorable! And bean sprout, too, of course!

It's great to see faces, but I am way too camera shy to put myself up on the internet.

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, Rose. Heck. :)
OK, here's the Flat Stanley Project: here

Tana said...

Tell Cranky I say, "Sixty's the new black."

: *

Hope to see you soon, dawl. I'll get up there sometime.