Friday, July 15, 2011

Almost famous

Keeping my identity anonymous was never really considered as an option when I began writing this blog. I was then following just one blog that was dedicated to home management/financial savings and frugality and I still follow that blog to this day, find it here. I remain a dedicated reader because I am able to relate to this real family and it always helps to put a face to a blog. Then about a year and a half ago I was introduced to the blogosphere in Oman-where most of the bloggers prefer to remain anon. That is understandable since most of the topics often cover both political and national views of the bloggers- maybe they feel safer not disclosing their true identities. (Muscat Confidential, Linoleum Surfer, Muscat Mutterings, The Omani Brit, Is This Serious, Angry in Oman).

This blog is quite different. Since we have a lot of relatives and friends abroad, keeping a blog for them to follow made a lot of sense for us. It's a family affair really. That is why you will rarely be treated to my opinions on Omanization, the glorious ruling of HM or even to a discussion over religion. Now, keeping that in mind I must say that Alex is also a very private person and he often reminds me not to put anything too revealing on this blog. So, finding the balance is often hard to do.

I need to give this blog huge credit for helping me communicate to (what seemed to be the whole of Oman) the masses that our Honda XR was stolen earlier this year. Up to date we are still approached and asked if we have found the bike yet ( the answer is sadly, no).

Just last week we were attending a house party and were introduced to a crowd of expats we have never met when one of the men said "You are Alex aren't you? The one who's bike was stolen". Turns out he reads the blog and recognized Alex from one of the pictures. And this is not the first time this happens. More than once when being introduced to someone I am baffled to hear "Yes, I know, you are Olga, I read your blog". It's seriously flattering but catches me off guard everytime. The exposure this blog has seriously surprises me at times because even though I know it's out there for the world to read- I am still surprised that people actually do!  

So here is my questions: Dear fellow bloggers who keep us guessing- why did you choose to operate anon?


  1. Hehe i am not THAT anon actually, some people know who i am, i just didn't think my identity is relevant to my blog. i wanted it to be general... People want to read the content, and knowing my name won't change anything. although i really would want to meet other bloggers and have discussions with them all the time! sometimes the similarities of oppinions freaks me out!

    besides, i bitch about different topics all the time, if i put up a pic some people might start spitting on my food if i write something they don't like :D

    Your blog wouldn't be the same if your identity was hidden, it's such a personal blog and i think its kind of an internet version of a reality show which is why people love to follow it! :)

  2. I started out anonymous but am now fairly open as I've met more people in the community.

    I imagine some people write for themselves and so dont feel the need to tell people who they are as they are writing for themselves.

    I can remember very clearly being at a dinner in the rooftop safari place last year when someone stopped me on my way to the toilet and asked me what I was going to write about next on my blog. I had no idea who these people were, they were not even part of the (admittedly large) group of people we were with that night.

    Recently I attended the Merge media launch and much to my chagrin, Chris Fisher felt the need to out me to everyone that was there.

    My advice to anyone reading this and thinking about starting a blog is this: If you chose to go anonymous, do not tell anyone, it will get out as people here seem to be incapable of keeping a secret.

  3. Sythe: I never said who you are;). -Princess

    All us OPNO girls blogged anonymously because we wrote about people we knew, good and bad, and for those of us more closely integrated with Omani culture, there are just some things it isn't appropriate for women to say in their writing style, and people who would get mad at what we say. Having more than one author at a time gives us the freedom to be little more personal and yet not get stuck down by anyone harassing anyone we know for what we've jointly said. And the freedom to write about government & culture as we like. I find most Omani girls have the same reasons, especially the Dhofari girls.

  4. I'm anonymous because people in Salalah are obsessed with 'everyone else' and it would just attract a lot of negative attention if I blogged publicly (because I'm a woman). I don't need criticism from friends and family about the topics I choose to write about that they consider to be taboo.

  5. C- with your attitude and demands I seriously think you need to begin reviewing customer service in Oman. But then yes, you must remain anon so that as you put it "people don't spit in your food"!
    Sythe- why would it be anyone's business to disclose your identity? I mean, you know who I am, I know who you are- why shout about it? I don't think your identity is relevant to your blog (which is by the way fantastic- I just don't say this enough!)
    Omani Princess (not Omani LOL)- I totally undrestand why you girls would want to keep your identities private. Unfortunately it is still not ok to voice opinions especially about what is deemed " a sensitive subject" in Oman.
    Nadia-I guess it Salalah it would be pretty easy to become famous overnight if you were to reveal who you are, I think with me- they biggest issue is my name being unique in Muscat, I mean if it was something more common I doubt half of the readers would link me to the blog!

  6. I agree with Sythe. I am sort of semi-anoynomous. Some people know who I am, but mainly through them working it out then passing it on to others. People here don't seem to be able to resist "outing" bloggers as many don't understand that for some of us being anoynomous is due to our jobs or partner's jobs. I have had people come up to me that I vaguly know and had them go "Oh, you're OmaniBrit. What are you going to write about next?" To be honest, the fact a few people know who I am is the reason I don't write anything controversial - it just isn't worth the hassle! OB

  7. Muscat MitchellsJuly 19, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    Why would people want to out a blogger?? It seems like a bit of a childish victory...guessing someone's Secret Identity!

    I'm choosing to be (mostly) anonymous as I have worked in the media before and have been at the end of insulting, perverted, stalking emails as well as strangers waiting outside my building for me. Blogging I think is in a different league and allows you to be private if you choose to as there is no 'face' to put with the blog if you don't allow it. This doesn't mean of course, you are free from the insulting, perverted, stalking emails!

  8. Muscat Mitchells: You still get weird pervert blog stalkers lol, even if you are anon.

  9. Muscat MitchellsJuly 21, 2011 at 5:27 AM

    Exactly, OPNO, that was my last I have a young family I wouldn't want those kind of emails directed to the whole family. So far so good, but I feel for you and empathise completely if you get all sorts of comments directed at you. X

  10. ...and I'm still amazed at how shocked you were! Muscat is a very small place.

    Maybe see you again.

    An expat man.