Thursday, August 02, 2007

Aliases, or being gross on the net

Perhaps it has been a failure of this blog that I haven't seemed to have attracted much noisy opposition. Otherwise I might have commented earlier on the phenomenon of people using anonymity or an alias to launch a virtual attack on a blog or discussion board, taking the opportunity to say things they would never say face to face, or if their names were going to be attached to the comment. There are occasional circumstances in which the anonymity of the internet allows positive interactions which might not otherwise take place, but in general, the discipline of being held accountable for my words is a positive restraint. Similarly, although I enjoy the creative images people often use on their profile, offering a face to a name is a further incentive to align behaviour on the net with the rest of life.*
*On this final point, I make an exception for the ever-gracious Ben Myers, who, after years of consumption, does actually look like a cup of fine coffee.
Fifteen points for the city in which this delightfully-named establishment can be found.

17 comments:

Moffitt the Prophet said...

I had no say in my profile picture...my fiancee broke into my blog one night and the rest is history.

Would it happen to be New York?

michael jensen said...

Byron:

if the dogs ain't howlin' you ain't chuckin' the stones in the right place...

You have to be nastier if you want to get persecuted.

David Castor said...

Consider it a compliment that you haven't been persecuted - it is a sign that you write well considered, informed articles. People who are looking for a fight on sites such as yours simply come off looking foolish. However, if they pick their fights over at tabloid blogs (I shall refrain myself from naming names), their comments might actually look somewhat insightful in comparison. Generally I have very little patience for those bloggers who complain about flaming (even anonymous flaming) occurring on their blog as they have usually heaped such scorn upon themselves.

Giraffe Pen (기린 만년필) said...

Hey Byron, I think I might have mentioned this when I saw you the other day at the conference, but I've found that one way I can avoid falling into the trap of insulting and scourging people 'with my keyboard' (for want of a better phrase) is to put my full name on my writing. I learned that from a previous minister, and it works as a good stopper. I think the less anonymous you are the more careful you will be.

byron said...

Moffitt - I consider it to be a perfect likeness.

David & Michael - I'm not sure the cause and effect is so tightly linked, though thanks for the compliment - I think. Michael - perhaps I just have bad aim.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I'm glad you haven't attracted the nasties. I have much fewer of them these days and don't miss the nastiness. But it does make me wonder if I am now preaching to the choir.

Thanks for all you do on this blog and thanks for your warm words of sage advice, here.

Rachel said...

oh dear well i haven't uploaded my photo yet because i'm a bit of a ditz when it comes to technology. BUT i have an alias facebook name mainly because i have heard things about 'people' gaining access to your account.

also i woud hope that if my full name was googled i wouldn't be found. i have my reasons. i even gave a fake last name for a 7:30 Report interview i did (hahha and my face was pixelated - i swear i'm not paranoid!!!) that was mainly because the work i was doing could have been sabotaged if it was known that we were talking to the media.

John said...

London?

- JRS

One of Freedom said...

You need an occasional post about hell, homosexuality or both to get some real nasties coming out of the woodwork. :-)

I've been involved in online discussions since before the internet was a big thing. You get used to navigating such things. I'm really interested in how my mySpace stuff, rare as it is, actually generates more argument than my blog does.

If you really want to stir up something, Chris Tilling seems to have that mastered. :-)

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

My Wordpress account will not leave a picture on Blogger's blogs. To leave a picture of anything, much less my face, I have to use my defunct Blogger account--like this.

joel hunter said...

Ah, john beat me to the guess.

Suggested topics for inducing Hyde-like blogger transformation:

1. "Young earth creationism: the devil's doctrine"
2. "Ten reasons why Protestants should have a pope"
3. "Durham: the new Holy See of Peter and its first Supreme Pontiff"
4. "The Justification Cul-de-sac: A 400-year Comedy of Errors"
5. "Divestment from Israel: The Time Has Come"

byron smith said...

Rachel - yes, there are sometimes good reasons.

John & Joel - not London.

Frank & Joel - thanks for the tips. I'll keep them in mind.

dave saxey said...

Not sure if you'll get this late comment, but I think the 'BYRON' establishment must be in Rome. Possibly not far from the Spanish Steps...

Ok, so I may have cheated a little.

And now that I'm here, as a long-time-reader-first-time-commenter I've really appreciated this blog and those who comment regularly. Hope it will stay active for a long time to come.

byron smith said...

Dave Saxey - well done. Fifteen points. How did you cheat?

byron smith said...

And thanks for the encouragement - hope you feel free to keep commenting!

dave saxey said...

Cheers Byron.
On cheating: At the risk of sounding like I have nothing better to do with my time, I'll just say that another admirable feature of a transparent blog is a good archive section...

byron smith said...

I assume you're referring to this post? The shops are indeed quite close to each other, but how did you know they were linked? Actually, I think I have an inkling... I'd been wondering when someone would start doing that. You'd have to be a little obsessed for it to work.