Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Death of a Pseudonym

I admit, I've been gone way too long. I'd like to blame the dissertation, teaching, job apps, etc., and that's been the legitimate reason in no small part, but to many, that's not a good enough reason. That said, after many threats to return to blogging, the dissertation is in and I feel I can finally write about things not-dissertation-related, and do so guilt-free. At the same time, I also feel it's time to fess up - my real name is not Mr. Trend. It's Colin Snider.

I have decided to move away from pseudonyms (as proud as I was of it - anybody who's met me personally can appreciate the irony and sarcasm in my adoption of "Mr. Trend") for many reasons. The first and most important of these is that I genuinely want to be more serious, critical, and analytical on this blog. That certainly hasn't been my M.O. in the past, and I regret nothing about that. Writing under a pseudonym allowed me to play with different "voices" and styles while blogging, to figure out what I liked and what I didn't, and what worked and what didn't. That said, after years of blogging (I've technically been here since 2006, after all), I've finally settled on what I'd like to do as a blogger. Sure, the music commentary, random observations, and other matters may persist, but following Erik's lead (and my own efforts on occasion), I've come to see just how useful even a small blog like ours can be in terms not only of formulating my own ideas, but in exchanging serious discussion with others whose insights often exceed things I could come up with in the isolated vacuum of my own head.
To expound a bit more (though hopefully not as wordily as my writing can often become): I'd really like to return to making Alterdestiny a useful forum for discussions on Latin America. It used to be that way periodically, and I realize my return to the game is extremely late (Boz, Greg Weeks, Randy, and others do an outstanding job as it is). That said, hopefully I can enter into that arena again, this time without pseudonyms, and use Alterdestiny to put forth my own thoughts on Latin America while also engaging others in a very-cliched-yet-still-earnets attempt to broaden my own horizons and understandings. I'm not going to pretend that my return will skyrocket our readership, but I'm not really concerned with that end anymore, either; my interest is to expand the forum that Alterdestiny provides as a smaller blog that still has something to say.
With that said, this post isn't some hollow "I hope to return someday" observation. I'm Colin Snider, I'm back, and I hope to get some good conversations going here once again.