Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Second Home

I've been kicking around the idea of starting a second blog under my real name for awhile. It has felt less and less right to post some of my best ideas about management and the like here, halfway-anonymously. However, I also really value this halfway-anonymous space as a place to talk about my life, my kids, stupid crap that happens in my industry, and other such things. I knew I didn't want to lose this space. So, for a long time, I just sat on the idea. This inaction was further supported by some changes in my company's policies that made me think I'd have to get blog posts published under my full name approved by them.

Now that I have left that job and set out on my own, it seems like a good time to set up an internet presence under my own name. Today, I published my first real post on my new blog. You can find it here:

[redacted - contact me for the link]

You can also follow me under my real name on Twitter. There is a link on the front page of the new blog.

I'll leave that link in this post for a couple of weeks, and then I'll come and redact it. Once I do that, you can contact me via my Wandering Scientist email address (wandsci at gmail dot com) to get the link.

I've been slowly weakening the wall between this site and my real name for awhile now, but I'm not ready to break it down forever. I'll remove the link from this page to better hide the association of this blog and my real name from Google and other search engines. I increasingly don't mind if actual people know about that association, but I'd still like to keep it out of search results for me. I do not publish anything here I feel should need to be secret, but the reality of the world in which I work is such that some of the things I publish have the potential to create issues for me if they are easily linked to my name via a casual web search.

I struggled a bit with this decision. I have read the arguments from people who advocate for women in STEM to be fully present in the community under their real names, and there are some good arguments there. However, there are some real risks there, too. In the end, I wasn't willing to assume those risks- at least not yet.

I am full cognizant of the fact that if I ever gain serious success in my new endeavor, someone is likely to "out" me in a Googleable way as the author of this blog, too. I am assuming that I will have grown enough as a person by then to be OK with that. If I am wrong... well, I guess then I'll deal with that, too.

For now, though, I like the semi-permeable wall between my name and this space, so I'll keep it. I intend to keep posting here, and tweeting at @wandsci. However, I am likely to move a lot of the management, science, and tech-oriented content over to my shiny new second home. If any of those topics are interesting to you, I hope you'll drop by and see if you want to visit me there, too.

Thanks for reading and commenting here. No matter what happens as my online presence morphs, I will always be grateful for the community that has grown here. You guys are the best.


  1. Anonymous3:48 PM


  2. This is very exciting! I have a blog under my real name, although I haven't posted there in over a year. I started it out of frustrations at work, and stopped out of frustrations of work. It was a frustrating time. But I still have the URL and the hosting, and someday I hope to revive it.

    I like what you've written on the new blog, and I look forward to more.

  3. Wowza!!!

    Good for you!

  4. I'm more into the family side of your blog, but I like your writing enough to check out your new endeavour! (And I was super curious as to what your name was, haha!) Congratulations and I think it's a great decision.

  5. Anonymous8:45 AM

    I've been reading Drive recently and have been wondering if you have thoughts on it, and specifically ROWE. The book seems to be a bit one-sided in its praise of ROWE, but when I go to the Wikipedia page for ROWE, there's no information at all.

    1. Maybe I should write a post about ROWEs. They are good in principle (in my opinion) but I think companies struggle to implement them. The two women who first brought the idea to Best Buy and coined the term have written books on it. They aren't great books, but there are some good ideas in them.

      Basically, a ROWE is sort of like what most professors have, IMO- a set of things that are expected to be done, some constraints set by the specifics of what needs to be done (i.e., teach classes at certain times), and then the flexibility to organize the rest of their work however they want. To make that work in a company you need really good management... which very few companies have.

  6. Anonymous11:15 AM

    I've toyed with starting an anonymous blog myself. Have people in your industry and/or personal life discovered your blog? I work in a field where I wouldn't post anything work related due to privacy concerns, but I would like a space to explore my writing. I seem to remember you did a post on anonymous blogging awhile back, but I can't find it. Appreciate any tips or insight you have based on your experience blogging as a professional woman.

    1. I know of a few people who have found it and a few more who I suspect have- but even before I started making the wall between my real name and this blog more porous, I wasn't super careful to avoid identifying info- like the fact that my husband is a Kiwi, the birth months of my kids, etc.

      I think it would be possible to keep your identity much more private, particularly if you don't comment on blogs related to your work using your blog handle or write about your work.

      Overall, my experience with blogging has been great. It has helped me through tough times, I've found new friends, and it is what has provided the platform from which I have been able to explore new opportunities (like book publishing).

      Good luck, and feel free to email if you want to know more.


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