Came across this thought-provoking post at MoneyRelations on whether and why to reveal one's real identity as a blogger. Canadian Dream also talked about this topic here.
A few years ago, I attended a seminar at which health researchers reported on the credibility given by the public to health information found on the web. And do you know what most influenced whether people believed the information they came across? It wasn't the name of the person or the organization, the list of professional qualifications, the quality of the content itself that was most important. Drum roll, please ... it was the photo of the person supposedly giving the advice and the impression that left!! If you looked the part - wearing a white lab coat was good for health people, but a t-shirt killed your credibility - and you had a trustworthy face, then that really boosted your "cred". That's why I have a photo on my website - don't I look authoritative and trustworthy, huh? Please?
As for revealing my real name, it doesn't really matter to me. My friends and family know about my blog and anyone who emails me soon finds out who the person behind the door is. And I assume that no matter what I tried to do, my identity could likely be found out very quickly by anyone or any organization with reasonable smarts. So my policy is to attempt at all times to only write things that are a credit to me. As Mr Cheap of Four-Pillars commented on the Canadian Dream post with a hilarious link, you don't want to post anything your mom would be embarassed to read.
Probably my blog name CanadianFinancialDIY, which was meant to be descriptive (and has turned out not to be very descriptive at that since I write regularly about UK topics), makes me more indistinguishable in the crowd of Canadian bloggers. There are so many Canadian this's and Canadian that's, one has trouble remembering who is who. (Aside: is that the result of a generation of Canadians raised seeing the word Canada in every government department, agency, crown corporation, tribunal and outhouse?) Something weird or random would likely be better - has the name Google ever held that company back?