Blogger Anonymous

Kyle King has an interesting post up about whether posting under a pseudonym undermines a blogger’s credibility.

Not surprisingly, Kyle, who forthrightly posts under his given name, believes that it behooves the blogosphere to champion accountability if it wants to be taken truly seriously.  At the same time, he’s fair enough to note that his partner in crime posts under a nom de plume, although I’m not sure if Kyle caught the irony in this remark:

It seems to me, though, that the better bet is that the blogosphere will be taken more seriously as we continue to augment the openness and accountability of the process. Paul Westerdawg said it best: “Transparency and disclosure is a better policy in everything not involving national security and comments about your wife’s butt size.”

Of course, if Paul has had his last name legally changed to “Westerdawg”, I take that observation back.

As you can tell (or at least I hope you can tell), I blog anonymously, mainly because over the years I’ve seen certain behavior on message boards that’s made me somewhat nervous.  Maybe it’s an overreaction, but so be it.  What I’m genuinely curious about is whether that affects your perceptions of what I write.

Me, I can see the point Kyle is making depending upon the content being presented.  If this were a blog that spent a good deal of bandwidth discussing what purported to be inside information about the Georgia program, then, yes, I can certainly appreciate that knowing something about the blogger posting the information would matter.

But that’s not what you read here.  I’m posting opinion and analysis from the perspective of someone who very clearly claims to be as unofficial as it gets.  And for that, I would think that the quality of the content matters a lot more than identity in terms of judging the credibility of what gets posted.

Put it this way:  would you think any less of the typical Terence Moore column if he’d posted under a pseudonym?

But maybe I’m wrong about this.  I’d like to know what you think.  Would GTP have more credibility in your minds if I posted under my actual name?

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19 Comments

Filed under The Blogosphere

19 responses to “Blogger Anonymous

  1. baltimore dawg

    unless your name is vince dooley, dan magill, knox culpepper, or something like that, then, no: revealing your name adds no more credibility to a blog about uga football.

    i think gtp is the best blog of it’s kind because the posts are short, the thinking is perspicuous, and the writing is clean. in my eyes, you’ve built credibility for your blog over a long period of time based on the quality of the analysis you put out there.

    my only question is: damn, are you retired or what? because i don’t see how a working man could keep up with this six days a week.

  2. aristoggle

    “Would GTP have more credibility in your minds if I posted under my actual name?”

    No.

  3. I don’t think having your actual name up adds any more or less credibility as long as you disclaim that you aren’t reporting the news and in fact are making an observation.

    Obviously, I too post over at The Hobnail Boot and here under a pseudonym, but that has more to do with not wanting my employer to be able to freely ID me as AuditDawg. Too many companies have strict policies about the image they want their employees to project even in free time. I don’t post anything very controversial that would potentially put me in harm’s way, but I’d rather take the precaution by posting under a pseudonym that risk anything.

    I think your credibility is fine, Senator, because you disclaim your opinion up front as your own and that you aren’t reporting the news. I think the beauty of the “blogosphere” is that mainstream media journalists can post under a pseudonym and disclose information that they normally wouldn’t in their columns for a myriad of reasons that ultimately enhance the original story.

    I think it’s a tough sentiment to expect that anyone will post with their real name for reasons that I mentioned above. I don’t buy the fact that people that post anonymously wouldn’t state their opinions to those that they are critical. I assure you that I would have had no problem letting Coach Martinez know some of my “concerns” during last season to his face.

  4. Bulldog Bry

    Wait………….your name is not really ‘Senator’? I’VE BEEN DUPED!!!!!!!

    While I understand the argument, I don’t think anyone with common sense confuses you with one of the morons on the AJC blog with a “Tech sux mightily” moniker.

    Content. It’s all about the content. Regardless of what your name is, we read your blog because you find the story within the story, the hypocrisy of the headlines, and the hidden questions that need asking. All while being objective. Oh, and you smack around rival coaches like little bitches. Gawd, we love you for that.

    • dean

      Precisely Watson! It ‘s the content that keeps everybody coming back or it is for me. Your posts make for good discussions and or debates.

      As you mentioned if you were affiliated with the athletic department is some fashion then yes it would be good to use your name. However since you generally post your opinion on articles written by other authors or posts from other blogs you real name is not relevant.

      I, like most everybody who comments here, stop by daily to get my college football fix. I have been doing so for a while now and will continue to do so. Well, until you run me off anyway.

  5. Bottom line, blogging doesn’t pay my bills. If my boss did an internet search of my name and a regularly-updated-during-business-hours blog popped up I doubt he’d be happy. Then again, I offer no credibility…I’m just a dumbass with a laptop.

    • …that whole thing about regularly update only applies to football season. I think he’d be cool with my infrequent posting during summertime.

  6. Dawg93

    As baltimore said above, unless we would know you by your given name, it matters little to me. My guess is that you’re like most of us – Mr. Joe UGA Fan that has a regular job and likes to talk about the Dawgs and college FB. Although as baltimore also asked – how do you update this thing so frequently and still hold down a job? Gotta be retired or you’ve scaled work back to about 20-30 hrs/week.

    I will say this – I would be interested to know your age and background (but not enough detail for someone to figure out who you are). I think that gives us more insight into your observations, thoughts, etc. If I had to guess I’d say you’re in the 45 – 55 range, lifelong Dawg fan, native of Atlanta, and are/were an attorney. Am I even close?

    BTW, love the blog. First thing I check each morning with my cup of joe at the office.

  7. Left to Right

    I am Spartacus.

  8. I could care less what your god given name is. If your name was Mordecai you would still be #1 on my morning read list. How could that possibly make the site any better or more informative? There are bloggers and then there is Senator Blutarsky………….G.A.T.A.

  9. Dog in Fla

    Call me Ishmael.

  10. South FL Dawg

    Your stuff is tremendously entertaining so I read it for that reason alone. Plus you’re one of us — that shows through!

  11. 81Dog

    I’m good with your desire to protect your anonymity. Why expose yourself to the anonymous whackos online? You’re blogging about sports, not selecting people for execution here. Who cares who you really are? You’re entertaining, and that’s what counts.

    I would like to meet that Mandy Peppridge sometime, though. I’m just sayin’…

  12. I think AuditDawg really makes the best point on this topic. For the most part GTP is about reposting links and news with a little opinion thrown in for good measure, which is one of the main reasons I always check it on my reader.

    And for what you do anonymity is fine. If this site was bigger and courted more controversy, and most importantly (for me), Making direct accusations then I would have a problem with keeping things anonymous.

    I think the big problem is not so much people keeping things anonymous but using anonymity as a shield to avoid criticism.

  13. Barry

    Senator, I think we would all like to know if/when you went to UGA and what type of law you practice. (Okay, that last one is just me – I’m a lawyer too.) But otherwise, your blog is the first thing I read each morning (no morning paper for me!) and I enjoy the hell out of it. I don’t need to know anything else.

  14. CLTDawg

    Unless you are aiming to be Orson Swindle/Spencer Hall, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Most others have stated the reasons I come here daily – and as long as the blog stays the same, I will continue to do so.

  15. cookinandsmilin

    I can’t add anything… Just keep up the good work…

    Thanks…

  16. Dog in TN

    Credibility, consistency, and entertaining. That’s what I find here. It is smart not to use your name, lots of crazies out there. My name isn’t Dog, btw.