If you follow insect blogging, you surely recognize the pseudonymous “Bug Girl” as the pioneer of our little bug-blogging genre. So it’s a shock to see her crawling into a cocoon and putting her site on hold:
Eight years ago there were no bug blogs. Hell, there weren’t that many nature-related blogs. But today? There is an amazing amount of writing and media related to entomology online. Just look at my list–which is still incomplete. I discover new blogs daily.
I’ve been working on giving all of you a brain dump about how to dominate insect social media for the last couple of weeks because I have learned a LOT of stuff in the 7 years I’ve been blogging. I want all of you to benefit from that.
I’m not leaving forever! I’ll still post at Skepchick as Bug Girl, and I’ll still be socializing on social media–just not as much as in the past. I need to spend more time on things I do with my real name in the real world.
At the risk of editorializing too much, I’ll make a single comment.
Blogging has matured to academic respectability in recent years, and with its rise the gains from pseudonymous online activities are less than they used to be. Certain controversial topics and styles of writing remain most effective if done anonymously, of course, but a great deal of what Bug Girl writes about- her musings on insects and culture, her hilarious debunkings of sham products, her commentary on topical issues- could, in the present environment, be more effective under the heft of her actual name and credentials. This wasn’t the case when she started the bug blog, but it may be now.
I may be reading excessively into Bug Girl’s note, but I interpret the move as another symptom of a climate where online activities, far from being a hindrance, are integral to building a real-world career. Concealing one’s name does not allow one to reap the newfound benefits of a popular blog.
And one more comment. Personally, I’ve enjoyed Bug Girl’s online empire and wish her the best of luck in adapting her considerable skills to whatever it is she does next.