For what it's worth, I had a higher response rate to my applications this year than ever before (over 1 in 3, compared to 1 in 6 or so in earlier years, based on an average of 35 applications a year in an MLA field).
That is very helpful. Thanks. Like you, my blog has much to do with my real-world identity, so blogging anonyously hasn't really sounded like a good thing to me either.
Unless one is an idiot, but if so, people will find out soon enough anyway. It's not the blog's fault.
Loved that line. It would be like blaming the mouth rather than the person.
I will say that the only vicious review of my book manuscript included a mention of my blog in a disparaging way. It wasn't actually a criticism of the blog itself, just that it existed. Then again, the same person was also offended by the fact that I was a) a graduate student, and b) American, both of which s/he claimed (along with the blog) made me unfit to publish this book. So I have a hard time taking this criticism to heart. Still, it did make me hyper-aware of who might be looking, and that's another reason I'm redoing the site.
I agree with Larryc. Yikes indeed. I would probably ignore that criticism as well. I hope it didn't produce any long term problems. Though it always seems true that the criticisms are harder to shake than the compliments.
I agree that a decent site layout can also go a long way for influencing opinion of one's blog. It acts as the first impresion.