In which Gavin Baker finds one of my pet peeves

stfu_noob.jpgIt really chafes my scrote when someone says something like this:

A comment to bloggers. I do my best to credit blog posts by the author’s real name. However, if you blog under a psuedonym [sic] and don’t make it easy to find your actual name, I may not. Unless you want me to attribute your writings to your silly Internet handle, you should include your name somewhere prominent (if not on every page, on the “About” or “Contact” page).

With all due respect, Mr Baker, it’s not up to you where I should or shouldn’t put my “real” name; plenty of people have damn good reasons for remaining anonymous online. Nor is it up to you to sneer at someone’s “silly internet handle”. Put the nick in quotes if you must, and move on. It’s a name, it attaches to a person, and it matters — at least it should matter — a good deal less than the substance of whatever you’re quoting.
I realise that netonyms have been passé among the hipsterati for some time now, and my impression is that it’s a good thing, due mainly to being more comfortable online than crusty old luddites like me. Nonetheless, that you haven’t been online long enough to have a nick that half your friends use instead of your “real” name is no reason the rest of us should subscribe to your particular view of how the internets should work. You can quote me on that — you can even use my “real” name if you want.
Damn kids, get off my lawn, mutter grumble mutter mutter…

4 thoughts on “In which Gavin Baker finds one of my pet peeves

  1. It’s a good point. I have my reasons for attempting at least a facade of anonymity. They may not be good ones, but so it goes. Primarily I do so from the argument of “you can always provide information later, but you can’t take it back once it’s out there”.
    I concur – just put the false name in quotes. I don’t care what you call me, just don’t misspell the link URL, know what I mean?

  2. Bill, I hope your tone here is tongue-in-cheek; I know mine was in writing the comment.
    It’s of no concern to me whether or not someone blogs under a pseudonym (spelled correctly this time). At OAN, though, we have a tradition of attributing posts to people’s real names, where available. If the author truly desires to be pseudonymous, then we’ll attribute them that way. But often, I am not sure this is the case; rather, the author has simply hidden their name somewhere on the blog (or nowhere at all). My comment is directed at these people, who would prefer (or at least not mind) if we attributed their real name, but have made it difficult for us to do so.

  3. Gavin, I meant the “damn kids/stfu noob” stuff to be obviously over the top, but underneath that I was making a serious point. Complaints about online pseudonyms usually boil down to either attacks on privacy or appeals to authority.
    I realize from your reply here that you intended neither, but I didn’t pick up on your intended tone in the original post.
    My feeling is that if someone has made their meatspace name hard to find, then they prefer you to use the nick, or simply don’t care. In which case, I see no reason to go hunting for a “real” name, just — as PA says — get the link right.

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