[osg-users] Forum users rare uses signatures, which is a pain tracking who's who

Robert Osfield robert.osfield at gmail.com
Mon Mar 16 13:44:30 PDT 2009

Hi Ed,

On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 5:49 PM, Ed <osg at celticblues.com> wrote:

> I won't use a forum mainly because of the spam generated when I have used
> forums in the past... I know there are probably things in place now to
> prevent or reduce email harvesting from forums, but all the same, I won't
> use forums anymore... not so long as there an alternative.  As for cryptic
> names, I don't see the problem... does every user have to be identified?

We don't need to exact name but we need a name, it's a basic principle of
human communication that you need to know who saying what to whomn,  if all
2000 of us took up the name "John Smith" then it would be a pretty hard to
keep up an semblance of humanity.  It would be quite simply impossible to
keep track of things.

At personal level, I think it's dishonest not to being open about who you
are.  Alas it's fact of online life that people to hid their identity,
sometimes their are valid reasons but rarely in the case of community such
as ours.  While you can subscribe to lists/forum and assume any name, not
assuming any level of human readable name is just plain awful for everybody
else in the community that has to deal with such individuals.

As soon as you dive in you are part of the community, and this community has
to be a healthy place to hang out for everybody involved, and if you want
help from others in the community surely you want to maximize the chances
that others will help you.  Being polite, open and curteous is the best way
to achieve good support, one big element of this is telling people who you
and how to you liked to be addressed you.

As an experiment, for all you face to face social meetings were you'd
normally give your name, don't bother giving your name, just say sorry I
don't tell people my name.  Also instead of addressing people with their
name just say what you want to say to everybody and if the right person
doesn't respond just speak louder, and keep speaking louder until you get
the response you want.  At the same time avoid any eye contact in all
conversations.   I'm pretty sure you'd start loosing friends + associates
pretty quickly.

In electronic communication we have no eye to eye contact.  We have no tone
of voice to pick up.  We have no face expressions to read.  We have no hand
guestures.  When we talk we talk with many thousands of people are
potentially listening.   In this context perhaps you might see that you have
to cling on to what parts of our humanity make communication successful -
yep it's know who's talking and who they want to talk to is fundamental.

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