Scott Hardie | July 22, 2007
Very interesting article (imo) in this week's Time about how much longer we can remain anonymous on the Web: (link) Here I was recently pondering the inevitability that would have to switch to a user-handle system to be like the rest of the Web, when in fact it may turn out to be the other way around: Small forums will continue to allow anonymous usernames while major sites will switch to using real identities to avoid fraud and misrepresentation. Wow, maybe I'm ten years ahead of my peers instead of ten years behind like I thought.

It's been a while since we discussed this and times have changed. What do you think about anonymity online? I have permitted a few people on this site to use slightly-altered versions of their names, such as the long spelling of their first name, but unless you've been lying all this time, none of you has a problem using your real name on this site. Could you adapt to using it everywhere? Personally, I use "ScottHardie" as my username on every site I sign up for, and so far it has yet to get me into any trouble, but then I have very limited forum use beyond this one. [Aside to John Gunter if he's still reading: I've tried posting to TBGP but my posts don't appear. Need to approve me?]

Anonymity will always have its place in deviant communities where we can't afford to be linked to our real selves, but I think the article poses an interesting theory that anonymity will lose its appeal for mainstream sites over the next few years until you have no choice but to be real there (even making up a fake "real" identity will carry too high of a risk such as ostracization).

Lori Lancaster | July 22, 2007
[hidden by author request]

Anna Gregoline | July 23, 2007
I just assume that I cannot be annoymous anywhere on the web. I wish I could be occaisonally, but I've made peace with it. I know for sure that my main screen name, VoodooToaster, is completely linked to my name and will never be separated from it at this point.

Aaron Shurtleff | July 23, 2007
Yeah, I googled myself the other day, and MiracleASSassin came up as #1 link! I guess my "secrets" are out. Can't fight that, and I'd stand behind everything I said in the blog, but it is funny to me!

I guess anonymity is a thing of the past.

Steve Dunn | July 23, 2007
Easy solution - don't ever post anything on the internet that you wouldn't feel comfortable being read by everyone you know.

I'm also lucky because there are about 10,000 people named Steve Dunn, and three or four of them are very prominent in their chosen fields. One started a very popular web site with information for cancer patients. Another is a very famous poet. I am waaaaaaaay down in the Google rankings.

Erik Bates | August 1, 2007
I occasionally google myself just to see what's out there. Fortunately, nothing too incriminating has come up yet!

Tony Peters | August 1, 2007
I have googled myself a few times but usually I have to get 6-10 pages deep before I actually find myself

Amy Austin | August 1, 2007
Ah, if only it were that easy to find oneself...

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