Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Anonymous Online

Taking inspiration from Belle de Jour, RIH explores the world of anonymously penned blogs and their mysterious authors…

Belle de Jour’s blog, detailing her life as a high-class call girl, became a widespread sensation due to its controversial content and the mystery surrounding its author. Diary of a London Call Girl went from online blog to published bestseller and popular TV series, yet the blogger behind it all was unknown – even to her literary agent for six whole years.

Whilst Belle de Jour is one of the more famous examples of anonymous bloggers, there are many more unidentified bloggers in the blogosphere writing about everything from sex to sandwiches with varying degrees of popularity and anonymity. The reasons that these bloggers choose to stay anonymous are as varied as their blogs.

For some, it gives them a place to openly express their opinions. For others, it can build mystique or simply keep them entertained. Having maintained her anonymity for six years, Belle chose to reveal her identity via an interview with The Times newspaper citing a desire to stop hiding and a vindictive ex-boyfriend as her reasons for coming clean, but other bloggers haven’t always been so forthcoming…

Sex Sells

Belle might have been one of the first prolific sex bloggers, but there are plenty of contenders for her crown now that she no longer blogs.

Girl With a One-Track Mind intended to remain anonymous, and although aware of Belle de Jour’s notoriety, she presumed that that no one would be interested in the sex life of a non prostitute. Unfortunately for her, public appetite for unmasking sex bloggers was at a high when her first book was published under a pseudonym. Whilst some of the more gripping blog entries relate to how her life changed after she was unwillingly revealed, she has continued with her blog (although this may be due to necessity as she claims that she can’t get hired within her previous field following the revelations).

Sex at Oxbridge chronicles the life of a student at either Oxford or Cambridge University and, yes you’ve guessed it, her sex life. These brief details and just a few entries were all it took for her to become notorious, and so far, she’s managed to keep her anonymity underwraps.


We’ve all moaned about work but some people have picked a more public forum to air their views.

For anyone who’s ever been a waiter or been served by one, Waiter Rant – with its posts about rude customers, bad tippers and random conversations – is well worth a visit. Initially authored anonymously by ‘The Waiter’, Steve Dublanica eventually revealed his identity when he landed a publishing deal.

Billed as a blog containing ‘Observations and opinions on fashion, lifestyle trends and popular culture from an anonymous fashion insider’, Disney Roller Girl provides a glimpse into the world of fashion that may disappoint those expecting scandalous revelations. Instead you’ll find intelligent musings on the business of fashion, the latest trends and industry events.

‘XO XO Gossip Girl’

Gossip Girl might make it look glamorous but the reality behind gossiping in the blogosphere doesn’t always follow the same script…

In August 2008, a blog was created on Google titled Skanks in New York containing insults directed at Canadian model Liskula Cohen. These insults were supplemented by photos of the model with degrading captions. All entries were created by an anonymous user and in her effort to find out who created the blog and prevent further posting, Cohen sued Google citing defamation. Following a court order, Rosemary Port – an acquaintance of Cohen’s – was exposed as the blogger, motivated by a personal grudge against Cohen. The saga continued with Port claiming that she would sue Google for revealing her identity…

A lesson for anonymous bloggers everywhere, you may not be anonymous forever and what price will you pay for your posts? Or should that be, what price can you charge for your posts?