Sunday, June 17, 2007

Athens Banner Herald Picks On A Commenter

Athens Banner Herald Editorial Page Editor Jim Thompson devotes an entire column to calling out a commenter at Peach Pundit.

Without piling onto SevenHillsDem, I do find it interesting when a MSM outlet steps into the online fray, they almost always choose to pick on what they believe to be the most egregious problem with the whole blogosphere; anonymity and handles. Conveniently, they ignore not only the 15 year internet convention of "handles" but also all the people who do attach their actual name to their work. Wouldn't you? I mean why acknowledge all the good when you can find a few loons to continue the myth that we are all sitting in our parents basements pecking away by the light of the monitor, spewing forth every wild accusation which comes into our Red Bull addled minds?

So you can probably guess what comes right at the very end.
That's the way we do things in the ol' MSM (again for the uninitiated, that's mainstream media, bane of the blogosphere). We use our real names, too. It's called accountability.

Ah yes. We are all just nitwits hiding behind a shield of anonymonity to lob bombs. They are the righteous guardians of democracy and freedom.

Mr. Thompson, yes, it is a horrid pain in the butt that you are not only required to have your name but also your lovely picture accompany your writing. Much easier for little old me to hide behind sunglasses and a "fake name". I wave the white flag, sir. Your searing logic has conquered what has never been conquered before. Let me be the first in the blogosphere to admit the MSM got me. It's a wonder I could hide behind such delusion for so long.

Or not.

Sincerely with internet handle love,


P.S. As much as I also love Safe As Houses, Jmac ain't a real name either. Hugs and kisses.

h/t: Erick

UPDATE: The aforementioned Jmac's take on things. I have to say we are pretty much in agreeance on things. So much blog love! It must be because it's Sunday. Tomorrow the knives will probably be back out.


Jmac said...

Hell, I've been called Jmac for so long, I answer to that more than I do my actual name.

Ray said...

Along the same lines...

Interested in a coronary? Lay an ear on this piece from NPR Weekend Edition:

Does the Internet Undermine Culture?

I was left wondering if it was a joke or something...

griftdrift said...

Heck, Jmac. Its a running joke in my little circle of friends that I will actually answer to grift.

Here's the part which I considered writing about more extensively but may just leave to this comment.

Do my readers know any more about Jim Thompson than they do me? Does somehow a proper name combined with a surname make someone more real? Lend credibility?

Food for thought. And thanks for the link Ray.

Amber Rhea said...

That NPR thing was a hoot! Some of the most ridiculous hand-wringing I've heard in a long time. (Well... maybe not so long, come to think of it.) THE INTERNET WILL EAT YOUR CHILDREN.

Also, I can attest that Jmac has been called "Jmac" WAY before he ever had a blog. I'm talking about back when he was playing Doom (or was it Quake?) over a dial-up modem with his nerdy high school friends.

Finally, speaking of high school... this...

That's the way we do things in the ol' MSM (again for the uninitiated, that's mainstream media, bane of the blogosphere). We use our real names, too. It's called accountability.

OMG THAT IS SOOOO FREAKING HIGH SCHOOL!! The drama! Make it stop! "We use our real names... so THERE!"

Hey, I use my real name. But I'm sure they'd find something else to make fun of about my blog. Probably all the swearing. That's usually the next thing they go to. "You said the F-word, so you're not CREDIBLE!"

Jmac said...

For the record, I never played 'Doom.'

Seriously. I'll hone up to a lot of things, including an irrational infatuation with Mariah Carey during the mid-1990s, but not so much with the whole 'Doom' thing.

Jmac said...

Hmmmm ... proper names. That's a good question. I suppose one way to look at it is that folks have the potential to learn more about someone based on their proper name as compared to a username (on the average).

But, again, we need to make the difference between commenters and bloggers. As someone who runs a blog, you put yourself out there a little more than someone who posts a couple of times a week.

As long as you have a history of your thoughts, opinions and musings (and possibly an email link), it's possible your accessibility is the same as someone who uses a proper name. That may be the more pertinent question to consider.

Someone who is able to interact with folks outside of merely commenting on a blog might lend more credibility. I don't know ... I'm just putting that out there.

(Again, disclaimer ... I spent seven-plus years as a reporter at that newspaper, so I tend to see both sides of the equation here).

Polusplanchnos said...

I think the "real name = accountability" thing comes into it because it's much easier to sue someone if you know where that person lives and that person's name.

Yeah, Johnathan never played Doom. That was more a Xon, Russ, me thing, with Xon and I being the ones who built the WADs.

griftdrift said...

It's a fair point Polus. But as the RIAA is proving everyday, it ain't that hard to find an internet person.

And for the the record, I've never intended to be completely anonymous. It isn't hard to find my real name if you try.

The reason I use a handle is mostly pride. I've had the same one for the equivalent of an eon in internet time. And if I used my real name, a very commone one, a google search would be about as much use as randomly opening the Atlanta phone book and blindly pointing.

Amber Rhea said...

Okay Jmac so was it Quake? The one where y'all made a map that looked like your school?

Amber Rhea said...

Doh, okay, Charles, I didn't see your answer. Sorry to sully your character, Jmac, by the insinuation that you played games w/ those NERDS!

And, yeah, sorry for the thread drift here... I don't have anything to add to the discussion at the moment though. Oh wait, one thing... if you REALLY want to sue somebody, it's usually pretty easy to find out who the real person behind the internet handle is. Usually.

Jmac said...

I don't even know what 'Quake' is, though I have heard of 'Doom.'

Any video game experience I had involved either 'NCAA Football' or 'Madden Football' ... though, back in the day, I did enjoy some 'Contra.'