Joined: 09 Jul 06
06 Nov 08 1:49 am
I'm not Mark, but here's my two cents.
It depends on whether you want to be forever known as "that real estate guy", or "that dog training guy". Bear in mind that stuff on the internet has a habit of sticking around for a looooong time. Some people will use their real names and real details because they're building a brand around themselves. They want to be known as experts in their field, and they want that to be part of their identity for the rest of their lives
. (Or perhaps longer!)
Other times you're just making a site to see how something works. Or you might not want people being able to find out stuff about you by Googling your name. Or you want to promote different products. Or you don't really know that much about your topic and you don't want to look like a dork :) In those cases I would use a pen name.
I know that Mark uses pen names sometimes, and Mark's writers use pen names sometimes. As for photos... people often respond just as well to cartoon characters. Or you can use stock photography (so long as it isn't obviously stock photography).
I don't think there's anything particularly dishonest about using a pen name. You need to protect your own privacy a bit, unless you want to be a celebrity.
For the record, Mark is certainly Mark, or at least he has been for the past six years since I met him :) And I'm most certainly Aletta, although my last name isn't really "is so cool". But most people would figure that out :)