Hello, I'm Alastair Rankine.
Well, as revelations go, that's hardly as exciting as Kiss appearing without makeup for the first time. But I have been expending some effort trying to maintain a degree of anonymity on girtby.net, and so it's not an easy decision to open the kimono.
I described the original reason for anonymity was to protect myself from inadvertent career limitation: saying something now that I might have cause to regret later. Recently though I've come to the realisation that this attitude is too conservative, and that instead of minimising a possible downside to blogging on girtby.net, I have missed out on a potentially large upside.
When a hypothetical future employer
googles searches for my (fairly unusual) name on the web, I want them to find some of my offerings and other worthwhile public content. These represent my online resume and are potentially very valuable to my brand.
I could have started afresh with a new blog (and the exhausting search for a new domain name), but this would have meant coming up with new, fresh, offerings to bolster my online reputation. This would be needed if in fact I had already tarnished the credibility of the girtby.net identity. Which is possible, but unlikely in my subjective opinion. A good spray once in a while shouldn't do anyone any harm.
The other reason for decloaking on girtby.net was that my identity had already leaked anyway. Yes, this post on OddThinking was written by me. Maintaining anonymity is hard.
Henceforth, girtby.net will be the public representation of Alastair Rankine. It will be "officially" focused on mostly serious, but not exclusively technical, topics. Not much change, in other words. I had long ago abandoned the practice of blogging every passing thought or URL or movie recommendation.
If you care about such eminations of inconsequence from me, you'll need to look at my other blog. Yes, that's right, I have set up a blog which is a completely separate identity and uses a pseudonym. It's open to all girtby.net readers, current and future, but you will need to email me to get the URL. The mildly ironic consequence of this is that you will need to decloak (or at least de-lurk) in order to read my new blog. I wish there was another way, but I can't think of it.