Before I so rudely left my perch in the blogosphere for a rolicking time of ankle sprains and other hiking perils in Acadia, J Leroy posted this piece that furthers our conversation on identity in the blogosphere--punctuated with a very amusing tale about labels and titles...
Yet, lately, I've been bothered by ideas around transparency in the blogosphere. There's been alot of new talk about transparency, but, thanks to Blogger's new search engine feature, I'm finding more banality than transparency. Further,thanks to a a great article by Michael Bugeja, and a comment left by someone called "Samwise," I have been thinking more and more about the trouble with transparency.
It seems that only the bold allow themselves transparency--but even then, the transparency is something of a translucency. Translucency, though, isn't all that bad a thing, as I always maintain that a blog cannot contain an entire person. Yet what is the purpose of complete anonymity in the blogosphere? True, if you live in a place where you can indeed be persecuted for your opinions, and there is a true need to tell the world what is going on in that place to effect change, then anonymity is very, very important. In that case, transparency can be gained thru one's vivid descriptions of hellish conditions. A name not be attached to something like that as its message is universal.
But how many of us in the U.S. are functioning under those sorts of Orwellian conditions? It seems, to me anyway, that those of us who don't necessarily need to fear translucency in the blogosphere are often the ones who are worried about it--and are often the ones responsible for spewing hatespeech in the blogosphere. Is it that those in the spew actually fear someone discovering their dirty little secret? Do they, in their lives outside the blogosphere, come across as seriously tolerant and nonopinionated Casper Milquetoasts?
I do, though, seriously doubt that most of them fear marketers finding them. I don't think many of them know that there *are* marketers concerned about their blogging.
My sense is that many of the anonymous hate-mongers, the ones who fear any transparency, are like the guys who carry on secret sex lives while maintaining the pose of upstanding family man--there is a need to transgress, to have secrets about who they are. That seems to be part of human nature. What is troubling, though is that they like to self-righteously hide behind those for whom anonymity is a matter of life or death.
In that case, there isn't even any translucency...just hypocricy.
Yet people love hatespeech. It's amazing.
Okay...I'm off to We Media...be back soon!