THE WEEKLY GEEKLY ‌ Coming Out 

Anonymity and the world wide web don't always mix

Are you in or out?

Wait — I'm getting ahead of myself. First, I want to say thank you. I've been swamped with e-mail about local blogs and 'casts that you think I should check out, and that's exactly what I've been doing. It's a big internet out there, and I appreciate the help. Keep it coming.

I won't, however, divulge the identity of a blogger or podcaster unless they personally give me the greenlight to do so.

And therein lies this week's topic.

"Outing" a blogger who wishes to be anonymous isn't cool. I've been accused of it from time to time (I plead not guilty, Your Honor). Personal blogs and podcasts are great creative outlets for people to express their hopes, passions, frustrations, fears, and other quirks of character — you know, the stuff that you may normally equate to being in one's diary.

But this stuff is on the web for anyone and everyone to see. How anonymous can someone think they are, when their thoughts are laid bare on the world wide web? The. World. Wide. Web. It's the largest public forum in the known universe.

And as anonymous as you think you may be being, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to deduce who a blogger/podcaster is based on things that they post about on their sites or say on their shows.

It's easy to write/podcast about things and think that folks won't see/hear them, but it's all right there on your page for anyone to see. There's no shortage of evidence that Nate, of Nate and Di (www.nateanddi.com) fame, got dooced (fired from one's job for things written in one's blog -- check out www.dooce.com) for stuff done on their podcast. (Actually, they sneaked a recorder into a local church and cracked wise in whispers through the service. It was pretty funny, though not real wise.)

Would you stand on the corner of King and Calhoun with a bullhorn talking about how much you can't stand your boss? Would you wear a sandwich board that says, "I think my best friend treats her boyfriend like shit" in front of Craig Dormitory? Don't want people to discover you keep a blog or have a podcast? Then don't do it. Otherwise, it's like walking naked down the street and then getting pissed off when people notice you.

Welcome to the world of the real, Neo.

But if you insist on it, here are my Three Rules to Avoid Getting Blogged in the 'Casthole:

1. Don't tell ANYONE about your site.

2. Don't write about work.

3. Don't use real names — either for you, your job, your city, your family, your friends, your dog, etc.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox. Next week, the in-depth local site reviews are back!

Got a blog or a podcast? Send me the link. Email me at weeklygeekly@gmail.com


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