The question of what “name” to use when blogging may not seem like something that would require much thought - until you have to choose one. I'd say that there are two general schools of thought here.
The first school’s thinking is to use the most natural option, their real name (or is some form of it). The second is to use a name that is not their real name, in a way hiding their identity from the world.
Many people see a certain cowardice in not using their real name. I can understand this, but I don't think I completely agree. A person using a pseudo name to hide their identity to be uncharitable and vicious would deserve the label of coward, but anonymity can serve another less shady purpose.
In the first chapter of Cardinal Ratzinger’s (Pope Benedict XVI) book An Introduction to Christianity, he retells Soren Kierkegaard’s famous story of the clown and the burning village:
“According to this story a traveling circus in Denmark had caught fire. The manager thereupon sent the clown, who was already dressed and made-up for the performance, into the neighboring village to fetch help, especially as there was a danger that the fire would spread across the fields of dry stubble and engulf the village itself. The clown hurried into the village and requested the inhabitants to come as quickly as possible to the blazing circus and help to put the fire out. But the villagers took the clown’s shouts simply for an excellent piece of advertising, meant to attract as many people as possible to the performance; they applauded the clown and laughed till they cried. The clown felt more like weeping than laughing; he tried in vain to get people to be serious, to make it clear to them that it was no trick but bitter earnest, that there really was a fire. His supplications only increased the laughter; people thought he was playing his part splendidly – until finally the fire did engulf the village, it was too late for help and both circus and village were burned to the ground.”Don’t read into everyone dying at the end because they didn’t listen to the clown part – that’s not the point of my post. My point is that anonymity can allow a person to write without having to worry about other’s perceptions clouding the message. Once others have formed an opinion of a person, that person’s words and thoughts will forever be shaped be those opinions.
If people see you “dressed like a clown”, they tend to see your actions and hear your words accordingly. It's unfortunate, but that’s just how it is. And when it happens, as the clown, you truly feel more like weeping than laughing.