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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Paranoia strikes deep

People, I'm losing it.

Over the last week, I've had hits from three institutions where I'm applying for jobs--and from which I've never before received hits. And of course, my immediate response is, "oh no! they've found me!"

Then today a student dropped by my office when I wasn't expecting it, and I had a screen up that contained my blog address. I know he got a look at the screen for at least ten seconds while I fumbled around minimizing and then closing the window. When, half an hour later, I came across a suspicious IP address from a suburb of Big Urban on my sitemeter, I was CONVINCED that it was my student--nevermind that it would have been damn hard for him to have traveled that distance in that time. So I took down a couple of posts before recalling that, oh yeah: I have a reader at a small college in an adjacent suburb who might very well live there.

God. Clearly some people aren't cut out for pseudonymity.

link | posted by La Lecturess at 9:18 PM |


Blogger G-Fav commented at 10:06 PM~  

Yeah, it's hard to escape the tendrils of Google, especially seeing as how they own Blogger. In sympathy with you, all I can do is have a completely impersonal, sterile, links-mostly blog because... well, just because it's best that way.

Does Blogger have a friends-only functionality?

Unrelated: right now I am listening to a CD I bought by "Blackalicious." The football-player-looking checkout clerk in Dallas's Borders Books looked at me and asked, "So... you listen to... Blackalicious?" I thought maybe he was going to beat me up.

"Here's my lunch money! Just take it!"


Anonymous Anonymous commented at 10:10 PM~  

that's an interesting note on the schools; how did they know to connect you with your blog? (no discernable allusions to online presence in cover letter, i'm assuming?) coincidence? (heh)

oh: are these the same schools you mentioned in a recent post? if so, well, that's a fast 'turn-around' time indeed (or maybe just seems fast given posts' proximity to each other?).

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 10:38 PM~  

No--I highly doubt that the hits from the institutions in question (both of which are v. big state schools) are actually from people who are in the English department, much less that they're on the hiring committee, and still less that they have any idea who I am. I'm just being paranoid!

Anonymous Anonymous commented at 10:58 PM~  

You're being paranoid. It's easy enough to follow and track backwards if the reader already knows who you are, but I simply cannot figure out how the hell anyone could trace it forwards from your name to here.

Universities are big places full of people who have nothing better to do than read blogs all day.

Oh, wait, homework (and later, wine-tasting) call.


Anonymous Begemot commented at 12:32 AM~  

Lecturess, rest assured, this time you have nothing to fear. But we wonder, why are you putting yourself at risk in the first place? Seems to us you ought to moderate some of your comments, or not post anything negative about your profession at all.


Blogger What Now? commented at 9:36 AM~  

This is probably just job market anxiety that's finding a convenient avenue in blog paranoia. (I've been experiencing the same thing with tenure anxiety in the last month; suddenly I'm paranoid about my pseudonymous existence in ways that I have never been before.)

And I don't think you need to moderate your posts; I'm with scr in thinking that there's just no way at all that anyone who gets your job application could possibly find your blog. I think you're fine and that it's an anxious time for you in other ways, quite understandably.

Anonymous Anonymous commented at 1:37 PM~  

That's happened to me. IP address of uni. Completely freaked, Oh God They've Found Me etc etc, then realised it was my friend who is still at that uni.
Stupid stupid girl. (me, not you)

Blogger Ianqui commented at 1:40 PM~  

I can probably guess why you got new hits from weird places...Remember how I wrote that post on my blog commending you for your decision about that student? Well, my post was picked up by Inside Higher Ed, so people probably clicked through from my blog. You can click around on sitemeter to see if you can see where people were coming from--if the entering page was my blog.

Don't worry, they probably won't be back. Turns out that Inside Higher Ed doesn't really gain you any new readers.

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 12:17 AM~  

Yes indeed, I suspect it IS job-market anxiety rearing its never-welcome head (and Ianqui, some of those hits *were* from your site). Funny that I should be displeased at getting new readers, though, isn't it?

(And Begemot: if I were going to write an impersonal and utterly circumspect blog--perhaps in that distant and would-be omniscient first-person plural--well, why would I be blogging in the first place, my dear?)

Blogger jo(e) commented at 9:59 AM~  

I once had panicky thoughts when I saw my institution on my sitemeter .... and then realized that the hits were me, checking my own blog.

Most of the time, though, I figure that I don't really write anything that would hurt me a whole lot. In fact, I would say that is true about most of the academic blogs I read. The authors seem like dedicated teachers, likeable people, hardworking researchers. It's hard to see how their blogs would hurt them.

Anonymous D commented at 5:23 PM~  

Hi! I read you religiously, you know. Hopefully you don't think I'm a freak for checking in every day or so.

Anonymous Anonymous commented at 7:45 AM~  

chill, woman, just chill . . . it's all good.

Anonymous Anonymous commented at 1:27 PM~  

Isn't it kind of silly to keep a blog that you are secretly so afraid of? It's one thing to keep a diary under your bed; quite another to put something on the world wide web. I don't see much on here that YOU should be afraid of, but in my opinion the whole "blog" thing means that 8 million Americans are as paranoid as you are ... strange.

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