Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Note to Kevin Richert

I usually read the Statesman on my lunch hour, but have been busy the last couple of days, so am behind. (Unlike Chris, who seems to read the local papers instantly.) Anyway, I just read Kevin Richert's opinion published on Monday, Dec 15.

Richert, mentioning the Unequivocal Notion, talks about anonymity in the blogosphere. Good on him for this, he says it's okay, but says jeez, we all ought to fess up to our identities, because he's "deeply troubled by anonymous commenters" who "coarsen[..] the dialog."

Well, some of us would lose our jobs if we were exposed, but that's an argument for some other time. My chief beef with Richert's opinion is that he confuses commenters with bloggers. Folks who leave some comment under a fake name on a blog aren't bloggers. Bloggers maintain a blog. Udapimp, for example since s/he is referred to by Richert, doesn't have a blog that I know of, is not a blogger. Leaving comments is not the same as blogging.

Anonymous commenters can be bomb throwers, kind of like a drive-by shooting. They [a few of them, not all] pop up and post some angry comment and move on, leaving no trail. We semi-anonymous bloggers might throw a bomb, but we have a more substantial presence by which Richert can tell "where [we're] coming from." Just read our blogs.

And BTW, Richert says he'd love to know our names. Well, how 'bout sending an email to the contact links most of us keep. I've met with DFO twice, and gave him my card. I don't mind being known to DFO, or Richert, if they'll keep the confidence and my job's not at risk. Just ask, and we may well respond.

2 comments:

fortboise said...

Check out Ridenbaugh Press at http://www.ridenbaugh.com/index.php/2008/12/16/publius-silence-dogood-and-representative-hartgen/ and the Horse's Ass piece he points to.

The response to Hartgen is stronger than Richert needs, but still.

And the irony, given what a steamy pot of spew most every comment thread on the Statesman site gets to...

Sisyphus said...

The fact that Richert is making an endeavor to at least grapple with them is a baby step to cleaning the site up. I plan on helping a little. They have set it up for people to blog there but I don't see too many takers. Odd that Richert doesn't make the connection to which you cite Alan, although I would say that some of those people are making a presence for themselves, and therefore somwhat of a rep and credibility, or lack thereof, through an accumulation of comments. He needs to push them into a blog. That would help alleviate some of the flybys if they took more pride in their writing.

As far as DFO, I haven't gone there yet.