These are 8 blogs that have been written anonymously, but have gained enough notoriety for many people to know who they are even though the author never revealed his or her identity.
Most famous blogs are written by famous people. But if you are anonymous, you start out blogging without any associated fame or reputation. The initial fame of these bloggers is completely build on the content of their blog itself.
The author chooses to write anonymously online. For some, it is about privacy and respect for their own personal lives. Others want anonymity because they do not agree with the opinion of others on certain topics or just enjoy writing without feelings of pressure from responses by other bloggers. Writers of critical political pieces and disclosers of insider information chose to be anonymous for legal and security reasons. Their motivation is strongly correlated to the category of blog. In the following examples the primary reasons for anonymity is also stated.
Most Succesful Anonymous Blogs
While blogs can be on any subject, most succesful anonymous blogs belong to the category of political, dissident, whistleblowers, corporate insiders, community pressure, customer experience or deeply personal.
Political blogs comment on the situation within a country, where being open may risk prosecution. Anonymous blogging can also add power to a political debate.
Eduwonkette criticized the Department of Education and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on their dealings with the New York school system. While starting out anonymously, the blog was later revealed to be written by education researched Jennifer Jennings.
Revolutionary and counter-revolutionary
Revolutionary and counter-revolutionary blogs inspire activity or counter activity, often against a violent state.
The Baghdad blogger wrote for The Guardian newspaper. Sam Pax did reveal himself after Saddam Hussein was no longer the ruler in Iraq. Similar bloggers appeared during the Arab Spring in the early 2010s.
Dissident blogs write about life under an oppressive or secretive regime. Unlike the previous category they don't actively promote or inspire revolutionary or counter-revolutionary action.
Mosul Eye has documented life under ISIL occupation from inside the city of Mosul, Iraq, since June 2014.
Whistleblowers / insiders
Whistleblower blog cover (illegal) activity from all sectors and are written by a company employee or someone from within the organisation.
Governance Reform At Irish Red Cross outlined widespread problems at the Irish Red Cross, including financial irregularities. Noel Wardick chose to reveal his identity after his ISP and Google were forced to comply with an order to supply details about him to the charity.
Dooce blogger Heather Armstrong was fired for writing satirical accounts of her experiences at a dot-com startup on her personal blog.
Community pressure blogs are written by a local person on a certain issue in order to bring about change.
Spocko posted audio clips of what he deemed to be offensive talk-radio rhetoric from San Francisco-based KSFO-AM on his blog to the attention of its advertisers.
Customer Experience blogs focus on personal insights or views of customer service, frequently with dissatisfaction.
They are written anonymously to allow the customer to keep experiencing and using the service, while reporting / blogging without losing access to the service. At the same time they try to influence the company towards a better experience.
Fed Up With Lunch shares the experience of the anonymous teacher Mrs. Q eating Chicago area high school lunch every day for a year. Later Sarah Wu revealed herself in order to publish a book about this topic.
Personal blog reveal about personal life in ways that allow more risk taking and open in terms of detail. Most such blogs are sexual in nature, or cover health problems and disabilities and cope with such challenges.
The Guy Liner started out as an anonymous blog to write about gay dating. Years later, it's author Justin Myers has written a novel under his real name.
How are the authors of famous anonymous blogs disclosed?
When looking back at the examples, I notice that with most famous anonymous blogs, eventually the identity of the author was revealed.
The likelihood of inadvertently disclosing sensitive personal information that might hinder your anonymity, so called self-doxxing, rises when you publish more blog articles. Legal attacks are also a risk for the politically motivated and whistleblower bloggers. Or the self-disclosure is done on purpose to cash in on some of that internet fame when pursuing a sweet book deal.