As a pseudonymous poster (not using a very specific or unique pseudonym), I don’t go to great lengths to hide my identity, I’m not anyone worthy of attention, but at the same time, I don’t want comments I make permenantly tied to my name forever. In the past, in the era of letters to the editor before the internet, you could sign a letter to your local paper, and in all likeyhood, in a few years no one would remember you wrote it. It would be in an archive someplace, but a perspective employer would be unlikely to dig it up. Unless someone for whatever reason remembers you wrote it, it would be effectively burried unless you ran for an office worthy of some extremely serious vetting.
Today, thats different. Who knows how long a comment or forum post I make today will be available. And not just theoretically available, but available with a quick google. Do I want every comment I’ve ever made to be reviewable to a perspective employer? Even if I have always been respectful, and never said anything that could ever be construed as slanderous, I could have said something THEY happen to find offensive.
As an aside, I love it when tenured proffesors come out against anonymous comments. Extreme job security, and prestige to provide thier comments if they are signed…
There are more folks posting with the same monikers, on different boards, sites, and news sources, than I want to think about. I added an extra “e” to my moniker to avoid being identified with a troll on another website who went by “Mike” and I have found it suitable for some time now.
I would guess that there are several hundred people using “Mikee” on the internets, we just don’t cross paths that often.