Feb 4th 2010 3:45AM It looks like you actually can, and in some cases, use a pen name. From Seed.com's FAQ:
"[...] If you still feel strongly about using a pen name, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to ensure that your working relationship with Seed ultimately works for both of us, so we're available to discuss it and help create workable solutions."
Feb 4th 2010 3:25AM It's a valid concern. I'd be willing to bet there are even quite a few WoW.com staff writers who don't particularly like the fact that when someone runs a Google search for their name, many of their WoW.com blog entries appear at the top of the search results. It really just depends on what industry the person works in, among other things...Many journalists and copy writers take on freelance/independent contract gigs like WoW.com, but Warcraft and/or video games isn't that person's "dedicated" industry.
A news writer, for example, usually wouldn't want his freelance work from WoW.com to flood the top results when someone Googles his name. The same is true for technical writers (like the original poster) who work in science or medicine; from their standpoint, it just isn't professional when most of their published work (industry journals, essays, etc.) is buried beneath "fantasy stuff with dragons and elves," which is what non-gamers would see it as. Generally, this kind of thing wouldn't be a huge obstacle to professional writers...but because of Warcraft's popularity, WoW.com's Web traffic and its SEO prominence, most of WoW.com's blog posts will always register higher up in Google's rank than a writer's dedicated industry work. But hey, at least there's a compliment in this; it's a testament to WoW.com's success.
Jan 15th 2010 5:31PM In today's world of blog journalism and new media, a writing degree is barely worth the paper it's printed on anymore. (I'm not talking about WoW.com; it's just the way the industry is evolving.) Most print journalists have become glorified copy writers, tied to the SEO ball-and-chain. It's not that standards are lower—it's just a different time; the industry has changed, especially among gaming and technology media outlets. I could rant on about it forever, but the point is that most community news websites and fansites consider a writer's merit by a different set of criteria than you might expect. Hardcore fans with a decent amount of professionalism and writing ability are usually just as desirable as your average journalism graduate.