Tagged: featured post

A Blogger’s Identity: How Much of it is True?

“Anonymous Blogging 101: a Quick and Dirty Primer” is an article written by blogger Treacle, and discusses why and how someone would blog anonymously. She discusses that many people like the internet because it allows open sharing without needing to disclose personal information. Additionally, you can even provide made up personal information if you want to portray a completely different personality than you may have in real life. This idea is seen most stereotypically in online dating, but it can even be applied to a person’s blog.

So, why would someone choose to either not disclose their identity, or to make a fake one up in replacement? She gives three reasons: 1) privacy and safety 2) honesty and 3) personality and character. Some people fear that if their identity is online, their friends, family, and job may all be able to find them and there could be consequences depending on the blog topic. Additionally, strangers could find out too much information and get very creepy. Honesty plays a role in the fact that you won’t be as forthcoming with information about a certain topic if you indeed think people you know will read it and judge you. Anonymously, no one knows you and therefore can’t judge you. Personality and character allows anonymous users to be perhaps more outgoing than they are in real life, or maybe even more contemplative. I think they are all interrelated but honesty is the most understood on the actual blog site. By this I mean, if people have their name attached to something, they aren’t going to be as honest as they might have been anonymously. The content will be much more interesting and provocative if someone were to be honest in content and anonymous in identity rather than semi-honest in content and totally revealing their identity.

Now that you know the different reasons why someone would choose to remain anonymous online, how do you make it happen? Treacle gives a few options. As a blogger, you are totally in control of how much information you share with your readers. As such, there are varying degrees of identity you can reveal. You can choose to reveal absolutely nothing about yourself (what she calls “full anonymity”), use a completely fake name and post no photos, no geographical landmarks, blog entirely from hidden IP addresses or library computers so you cannot be traced. You can choose to give only some information out (“semi-anonymity”) by giving a fake name but attaching real pictures of you and few details about the area you live and what interests you. Then there is “secret anonymity” in which you know all the details you have given are fake, but people believe them to be a real identity. Under this method you would have a fake name attached to fake Facebook, Twitter, etc. which makes people believe you are really that identity.

It’s important to understand if you choose to blog anonymously that you must do this from the start. As she says, it is much easier to reveal little bits of yourself over time than try to take back any identifiers you may have provided already. Also, you have to realize that while you are blogging there is always the chance that someone can find out your real identity, so you must prepare for that event as well.

IDK if any of you listen to country music, but I thought this music video went along with the article perfectly (and yes, that is Taylor Swift back up dancing):

A Lesson on Internet Etiquette

Before I start, let me just say that this article was a pain in the butt to read. Hopefully my condensed summary can help you guys write up a good response.

Anna Emilia’s article goes over social media etiquette that one should practice when interacting with others over the internet. She basically comes to the realization that interacting with others is no different over the internet than it is in person. That means staying attentive in conversations, showing the others respect, etc. To help her reinforce this idea, Anna called upon the many blogging gurus to share their wisdom in only 7000 words!

In her wonderful summary of basic do’s and don’ts of social media, Anna outlines what you should and should not do when using things like Facebook and Twitter. I read through the list and thought to myself, Isn’t this stuff pretty obvious? It’s like asking, would you run through the streets maked while screaming profanities at others? The correct answer is no. If you wouldn’t do it in public, then why do it online? It is true that staying anonymous on the internet is actually quite easy, but karma does exist. People see what is posted publicly, and if you’re the guy who is ranting about how he hates black people, expect to receive some hate.

Another good point about blogging that she makes is to keep blogging content relative to the blog. I actually have to keep this in mind myself since I maintain a music blog. It’s good to go on tangents every once in a while to keep everything nice and diverse, but that doesn’t mean to suddenly post about why frog legs taste just like chicken. That also means not to flood your reader with content. Anna calls it “overshare”, where the blogger drowns his or her readers in massive amounts of posts, relative or not to the actual blog. That is the quickest way to kill off current and potential readers.

The one part that I found really helpful from Anna’s post was on tone. Yes, tone. I see it all the time on Facebook and tumblr; people come and they rant nonstop. A high school friend of mine is actually a perfect example of this. He’s a nice guy in real life, but online, he’s just a cynical asshole (can I use this word in a blog post?) that spews his hatred over the newsfeed for all to see. It’s a mess. Please don’t do this when you blog. This apples to her other points as well, but you should also remember who is going to read what you post. If it affects somebody else, don’t forget that there is someone else on the other end of computer who is the object of your writing, regardless of its intention. Saying something nasty about someone else could come back to bite you one day. Treating others poorly will only result in more hostility. Feels like grade school, doesn’t it? Treat others the way you want to be treated. It might seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people forget something as simple as this. There’s a reason why teachers even bother with the saying: it’s true.

The next section is on how to act properly for the different social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., but I won’t go through the details. I’m sure most of you already know how to behave properly online. As for my thoughts on the remaining XXXX amount of words left in the article, I have to say that most of it was pretty…boring. It might be interesting for someone who uses social media as a second identity, but I really only use Facebook (for chatting and what not). Looking at what Emily Henderson had to say on personal pet peeves, I had no idea what she was talking about when dealing with big companies screwing up Twitter with bad twittetiquette. It didn’t really have to do with social media etiquette for us bloggers, and it just seemed kind of silly in general. If you don’t like the way someone writes, then don’t read it. Anyways, I won’t bore you guys any longer with more details, so here’s the tldr on what awesome bloggers think about social media: don’t hate, appreciate.

Again and again and again…did I say again?

Jenna Wortham announced two terms that I have never really thought about. The real time Web and the Replay Web. Fancy, huh? In her (thankfully short!) article, she begins with how she wanted to keep away from social media platforms the night she missed an episode of the Breaking Bad. She logs on to Twitter the next day, and BOOM- she is taken aback with the constant conversations, tweets, and updates- SPOILERS, about the episode. She states the obvious: The internet is always moving and constantly updating with new information, but why do people still linger on yesterday’s episode?

Why do people STILL talk about Miley’s dance at the VMA’s that happened ages ago? Why do people create GIFs and create remixes and funny videos of different events? Now introducing: the concept of the REPLAY web.

The Replay Web “co-exists with the real time Web”. Unlike the Real Time Web, which is constantly updating with the latest news, the Replay web enjoys the past. People comment, make videos, add more information, create funny video responses, etc. on what we deem as ‘older’ news. Internet users make vlogs and blog posts about events that may have happened a while back. We ‘replay’ past news, as if it was just updated onto the web. I believe it’s a great thing because it helps us realize how much has changed or how much is alike from the past! We as a society can grow while looking back at past faults and accomplishments.

Alex Chung, who helped created an upcoming website, described the web as “ripple effects”. It makes sense because some news do not reach the public as quickly as other news. For example: A small group of people find information on the web that is amusing. Then they get tired of it, and it doesn’t reach the mass medium. Then it may one day just get popular and viral. Like THE FOX VIDEO!!! It didn’t take much time to get popular, but it was introduced in the summer and people STILL TALK ABOUT IT. The web works its mysterious ways. For famous TV shows, it is a definite that people want to talk over and over about their favorite characters. People will always linger in the past news until something greater tops it.

(Supposedly there is an app on the iPhone that records videos in slow-mo. It’s kind of strange, but it seems fun to play around with. This app makes me feel as if I want to hold on to the past and never let go!)

Others disagree with the Replay Web. Douglas Rushkoff (ironic how his last name has the word RUSH!), the author of “Present Shock: Everything Happens Now” believes that the general population and social networkers are focused on the Real Time Web. I totally agree with him too. He states how we are constantly refreshing our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platform’s feeds, craving for more information. We constantly want new information about others and constantly search for more juicy news. The internet is filled with so much information…

The web is an interesting place to always be updated with news. Sometimes I enter the Replay Web and constantly update statuses about how hot Steven Yeun looked on an older Walking Dead episode. It’s fun looking up past gossip of celebrities and seeing how much they changed! Sometimes I want to be updated with news about our economy. It is a constant mix of both webs. It isn’t bad at all. I personally believe that people need integration of the past and present to be more knowledgable.

Enjoy the video below!!