PittGirl quits -- and that's church
Share with others:
PittGirl, the anonymous blogger who popped the overblown egos of local celebrities and became one herself, pulled the plug on her Web site today, after someone figured out her identity.
Visitors to TheBurghBlog.com, the Internet site through which thousands daily wandered through PittGirl's world of pigeon-stomping, imaginary celebrity marriages and occasional invective hurled at miscreants great and obscure, were met with a simple text message:
"I've got to say goodbye to you all."
The blog, she said, "seemed like a little side thing I did and not a very important thing, but now that I'm cutting it away, I'm realizing what a big cut and deep cut it really is."
She pleaded with those few who know her identity to keep her confidence.
"I hope I can count on you all to accept my decision, and that means no more digging about who I am and what I do. And I hope I can count on the people that hold my secret in their hands to maybe put it away, lock it up and throw away the key," she wrote.
What little is known about PittGirl is that she works in the city, has a quartet of sisters, gives pet names to things such as her cell phone -- she named it "Saucy" -- and has worried that her job could be at risk if her name becomes public.
"I don't know if I would be fired or forced out or what, and I'd like not to find out," she said today in an exchange with the Post-Gazette. "I was anonymous for a good reason and when that was threatened, we pulled the trigger so to speak."
Speculation about PittGirl's true identity was something of an online parlor game, with readers sorting through clues, from family to the photos she took on her commute to work, leading to sometimes bizarre guesses. On one occasion, someone floated the name of KDKA anchor Ken Rice, a guess so wide of the mark people occasionally took to addressing her as "Ken."
The site started three years ago and the brash, breezy writing captivated visitors. She spiced her prose with pet phrases such as Skippy Skeeve (for a Steelers kicker) and "That's church" to emphasize truths she thought absolute.
Today, answering questions by e-mail, she said she considered herself a writer, not a blogger, and said her posts -- sometimes three-a-day -- flowed easily. "Writing posts on The Burgh Blog was effortless to me. Effortless," she said. "The posts that people loved the most, my rants? Three minutes tops. My OMGPittsburgh.com post, I wrote in under five minutes and hit publish. I wasn't surprised that I could write well because I've been writing since I was a teenager. I guess I'm just getting better at it."
PittGirl's departure from the cyber-scene marks the third high-profile Pittsburgh blog to shutter in the past three months.
At the end of August, Chad Hermann, a local writer and consultant, closed "Teacher. Wordsmith. Madman," his well-regarded blog. A month later, Michael Madison, a University of Pittsburgh law professor, closed Pittsblog, one of the city's first web logs.
PittGirl said her decision came shortly after a local person told her of figuring out her identity, although she said the person promised to keep it a secret. The leak, nonetheless, left her worried that too much information was finding its way into the public.
Mike Woycheck, a local technology analyst who handled technical matters for the site, said he received an e-mail from PittGirl late Monday with a simple message: "Take 'er down."
Within hours, the site, its archives, even many of its cached features on Google, were gone.
First Published November 18, 2008 4:59 pm