Monday, April 11, 2011

Knitwear design and privacy dilemma

I'm feeling a bit conflicted right now. Having gone through testing for my first "design," I'm finally ready to release the pattern to the wilds of ravelry. I've been delaying due to underconfidence and self-consciousness, but I finally got over it and decided the pattern was ready. Sort of.

I'm used to being mostly anonymous on the internet. I've had various internet handles over the years, and on this blog I use my first name, but I'm not prepared to publish under my full name. The thought freaks me out. Is this irrational? It's not that I have a super-awesome career that I want to keep separate from my knitting life, although I may one day... A good compromise, I thought, would be to put my pattern up under my first name and initial.

Photobucket
Gratuitous photo of cave from my Lake District adventure, just so this post isn't pictureless. Yay, the closest I'll ever get to spelunking! :P

Alas. Ravelry doesn't accept this. At the moment, they require a full first name and last name to assign to a designer page. (I tried entering my last name as an initial and it yelled at me. Boo.) I could come up with a pseudonym, but I don't like the pressure to choose a totally perfect new name for my knitting identity. I didn't think this was going to be so stressful!

So, input appreciated. Did anyone else have a similar crisis of self-conscious anonymity? Those of you who have patterns up on ravelry, do you use a pseudonym? Why or why not? Help me, I'm paralyzed with indecision! Haha.

16 comments:

  1. Woolly Wormhead doesn't use her real name. Could you publish it under the name of your blog instead even?

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  2. I don't have any patterns up on Ravelry but when forced to come up with a full name for the internets I usually go with Ms Moon Calf.

    I'd go with a pseudonym because people will mention your name on their blogs when they knit your pattern (just as a credit) and you may want to control what people searching for the real you find vs. those looking for the knit you.

    People searching for Ms Leah Craftastic can then end up here while those looking for Dr Leah The Neurosurgeon can go elsewhere... Think of it as a secret double life..?

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  3. Did they make a special exception for Cookie A? I guess so....

    As someone who has self-published a few patterns over recent years (using my own name), I can say that for the most part, people are pretty polite on Ravely. Yes, there will always be those people who are overly critical or even just mean, but that's just part of the process. For one thing, normal people read their comments and instead of thinking "wow, what a terrible designer/pattern!" they come away thinking "wow, what a jerk-face! it's really easy to say that stuff when you're anonymous on the interwebs!"

    For another thing, even the big name muckety-muck designers have this happen to them - I think the bigger you are, the more haters come out from underneath their rocks. I've only had one unpleasant incident in the last few years, and it was with a psychotic test-knitter.

    That said - can't wait to see your pattern! Just go for it!

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  4. I don't use my full real name on Ravelry either, although I've done the opposite to you and don't have my first name on it (but that's more down to my general refusal to use my given name for personal, non-business stuff, not because I don't want a connection between the two).

    I don't think it really matters what you put in as your surname for these purposes. As long as people connect your designs on Ravelry to your blog, that's good enough, right?

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  5. I like mooncalf's idea of a secret double life. But I actually commented because that picture is fab... Sorry, not much help there!

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  6. I understand where you are coming from; I am extremely uncomfortable about my personal information being out there.

    I believe there must be a way around this. I do like the idea of "Leah Craftastic" or something like it :)

    I hope you find a solution you find agreeable.

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  7. I can only say that I panicked when I released my first design too. I had only ever gone by my business name before and having to input my real first and last name on Ravelry made me very nervous. But I did it and now that I'm releasing more patterns I'm happy to have my name attached to them. I'm not suggesting that you do the same...only that you're not the only one to have encountered that problem. I hope you can come up with a decision (or alias) that you're happy with!

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  8. ooh, this is tricky. I definitely like to keep separate my real identity and my "craft online" identity. I think it is a confidence issue, for example, none of my friends or family know about my blog. I also agree with the idea of making up a surname - goodenough is a real surname right? Though one day if you become a famous designer, you might have to reveal your real identity!

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  9. Lovely picture!

    Sorry, I can't help with the name/ravelry thing. I don't have any original patterns :-)

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  10. I definitely understand your privacy concerns, I did quite a lot of research on online privacy at uni and I have a slightly stalkerish ex boyfriend who tries connection my online me to the RL me so I tend to lean towards paranoia when it comes to keeping my blog etc disconnected from me. I think I would blog much more cautiously if I thought it would be tied to my professional life. I'd go with a pseudonym that you're comfortable with.

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  11. An interesting discussion. I use my maiden name,which is also my 'working' name. My family and in-laws know about my blog - but none of them read it LOL

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  12. I understand your privacy concerns and don't see anything wrong with using a pseudonym - Leah Goodenough sounds good enough to me!

    Anyway, my real purpose for commenting was also to admire your beautiful picture!

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  13. I apparently didn't have any qualms with using my real name, because I had to check and see what name I did in fact use. I had (and still have) a lot of self-conciousness about my patterns, but people are by and large kind and polite. You could always go first initial + real last name?

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  14. Hi there sunshine.... Ruth and I set up our profile (on Ravelry) as Ruth and Belinda (first name) no last name - ... I think I had to log in as Belinda Harris-Reid (full name) but that doesn't show anywhere on the page. Maybe you just need to be Leah - no surname - ... like Madonna :0) - or a old family friend called Gulliver (!) - I believe he also used Gulliver as his surname - if asked) :0) - so maybe Leah Leah.... enough... of this... love and hugs Belinda

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  15. I wouldn't personally be against using my real name (I figure it's just too late for me, and in my field of work, it's important to have transparency in your internet identity), but I can understand your desire for privacy. And I've seen several knitwear designers change their pseudonyms or urls, so don't feel completely locked down!

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  16. I'm fairly similar about privacy concerns. I don't have any designs up on Ravelry but I'd feel slightly uncomfortable about using my full name too. Hope you find a good compromise.

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