thecapokid (thecapokid) Mon 31 Jan 00 16:42
Wondering if this is request for me to use the "correct" appelation when posting to another? Which is which? I recall some weeks ago reading a thread where an individual got pissed because a follow-up poster used the "wrong" name. The recipient's response went something like this: "I have a perfectly good 'handle' [or something to that effect] and don't like people taking liberties with my 'real' name." A newcomer, I was flummoxed by this, wondering why this would make such a big difference, seeing that both "names" are given? I do understand, by the way, that I can click on the "account name" and view the person's vital stats, all of which makes me wonder why the pseud? Why not just John and David and Doug (me)?
thecapokid (thecapokid) Mon 31 Jan 00 16:45
Oh, and why, above did the word "me" in parentheis make a link to another WELL member? lol I know, I know, I should ask these questions at Wellcome!
Homo cervidae (satyr) Mon 31 Jan 00 17:34
Last questions first. There's a WELL member whose user ID is "me", so Engaged interpreted "(me)" as a reference to that person and rendered it as a link. (From the outside such links just get you a logon screen.) I don't use Engaged much, so I don't know whether it actually checks to see whether there's an account corresponding to what it finds in parentheses, or just renders anything that might legally be a userid as a link. No, sorry for the confusion! What I was saying in <23-24> wasn't directed at anyone in particular, just anyone who might have been following the topic, particularly over the public interface, from which it's not so apparent that anonymity isn't allowed here. Considering that this topic is about identity, figured it would stand out like a sore thumb that some posts are accompanied by real names and others aren't, and I thought an explanation was called for. As for the member who objected to "liberties" being taken with their real name, I can maybe see that in this conference, which is world-readable, but would consider it poor form in any other conference. Although I confess that it rankles me just a bit to be referred to by my userid, as though it were a name, but I'm used to it and don't make a fuss about it. Call me "John" if you like, or "satyr" (that's SAYter, not SATter ;-), no problem really. You can even call me by my out-of-date userids if you like, "jtpayne", "snowmelt", "wuwei", ..., although if you do it in the flesh I'll just ignore you unless we're acquainted. I do object to being called "Dave" or "Ken" or "Bob", not because there's anything wrong with the names, but only because they're not mine.
(ideo) was I ere I saw (esau) Mon 31 Jan 00 18:20
I don't have a good sense of when to use a real name over a username; I change my internal rule all the time. If I've exchanged emails with someone or met them face to face, then I'm likely to use the real name, unless it's in a discussion with others who are using the username. I've seen people get mad at real name use here, but it was only during an argument.
Homo cervidae (satyr) Mon 31 Jan 00 19:02
I think of userids as stylish identifies, like variable names in a programming language. Their primary purpose is to uniquely identify a particular account and the person whose account that is. If they're easy to remember, so much the better, but, at least here on the WELL, they aren't a mask to hide behind, nor an identity to be passed around like a joint. Obfuscation has no place here, and those who believe otherwise simply haven't been acculturated yet.
Homo cervidae (satyr) Tue 1 Feb 00 16:28
Ack! "identifiers" instead of "identifies" above.
John Payne (satyr) Tue 1 Feb 00 16:37
One other point regarding the WELL -- well.com supports finger protocol. I'm nearly certain that it only works for those members who have userids which are eight characters or fewer long. Finger protocol is a something you don't here about much lately, but it's a traditional funtion of the net, and still supported by some sites. If your ISP or your software don't support finger, you can still use it through a few finger-to-web gateways, including this one ... http://www.mit.edu:8001/finger
John Payne (satyr) Tue 1 Feb 00 16:38
Ack! "hear" instead of "here"!!! :-S
Doug Marx (thecapokid) Tue 1 Feb 00 17:09
Thanks for the insights. Obviously, one of my primary reasons for joining and staying with the WELL is that folks are who they say they are. I like handles, userids, etc., for the same reason I enjoy nicknames: they're fun, endearing, and often say something about the "real" person. I also get a kick out of the way some folks seem to change their pseudonym with each post. For all that, however, I think I'm going to do like you, John, and just put my name right out there.
Doug Marx (thecapokid) Tue 1 Feb 00 17:19
Postscript: This continues to be an informative topic to this Net virgin. For anyone with a whit of curiosity the interactive aspects of this medium inevitably lead to questions of "identity." This discussion has certainly helped me to better understand the ways of cyberspace, by way of giving me not only a context, but also a perspective from which to launch my own inquiries. So, thanks for your community interest and help. Perhaps some day I, too, will be wise and forthcoming. For what it's worth. Just read a review today of a book called "My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World," by a guy named Julian Dibbell, which the Salon reviewer hailed as the "best" book about online life and identities yet. I've read the others by Seabrook, Sinha, Turkle, etc., so am curious to read this one.
disposable pseud, use once then feed to the (satyr) Tue 1 Feb 00 17:53
> I also get a kick out of the way some folks seem to change their > pseudonym with each post Just because we take our identities seriously around here doesn't mean we are all stuffy and don't know how to let our hair down. Between the occasional subjects that are so serious any humor would be tasteless, we live to play.
Ben Fong-Torres (esau) Wed 2 Feb 00 08:42
id and I.D. (factoid) Thu 3 Feb 00 16:46
I have a confession to make. Embarrassing but true: I've been a Well member since late '96. I've built and maintained a portfolio site at http://www.well.com/~factoid since early '97. I work on the Web 10 hours a day (senior producer in Los Angeles for Cox Interactive Media). I'm an inveterate e-mailer, often peppering the boxes of friends, colleagues and enemies alike with useful, amusing, dull and otherwise irritating content, communiques and crap hundreds of times a day - and always signing my name and full address. But this is the first time I've *ever* chosen to jump into a Well conference. And I've done so, conveniently "hidden" behind my username, as that's all I've ever felt I was in this place - factoid. In short, I've never indulged in Well conferencing because I peered in from the outside, figured, "I haven't time for that in my life" and moved on to other, more "fruitful" pursuits. Then, god help me, I bought my first PDA (Handspring), scurried over www.visorcentral.com for desperately needed tech-support answers, and suddenly found myself scanning and posting to the rich (if narrow-topicked) boards there as if I owned the joint. I would log in several times a day, just to see if my posts had been responded to with information, wit, scorn or disinterest, and post and repost on topics about which I had a little knowledge, or at least insight or humor to share. I had "joined" a community. And I realized what I'd been shunning lo these four years. Shame overtook me. I'm a journalist, writer, photographer and generally hungry soul, yet held myself aloof from the Well's original purpose because I hadn't time for it. And here, I'd been throwing away bons mots, quips, and heartfelt screeds on a community accreted around love of a *machine* fer Chrissakes. So I throw myself upon the mercy of the first Well conference I've ever laid eyes upon, in this my first and (I hope) worst post. My "real" name is Mack Reed. And though I didn't need to tell you that, I stand before you with pathetically open heart and outstretched typing fingers. I want *in.* Identity on the 'Net is what we make of it. It's the sculptured "face" we choose to show to the Web (see aforementioned URL). And it's the picture other users assemble out of the fragments of persona, hamfisted metaphors, butchered syntax and glib philosophy they can glean from the more careless data trails that stream out behind us like so many decaying contrails. Like this one. f
Gail Williams (gail) Thu 3 Feb 00 18:13
Wow. Hi, Mack. Nice splashing in, there!
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 3 Feb 00 18:39
Bravo, Mack! Glad to have you join us.
Kosher Swan (shmo) Thu 3 Feb 00 18:50
WELLcome, Mack. Come join your fellow L.A. Wellperns in the socal conference!
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 3 Feb 00 19:09
And if you want to ask any questions about WELL culture, navigation or any of the other intricacies of life on The WELL, feel free to drop on by the <wellcome.> conference, where you'll be wellcomed, of course.
Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 3 Feb 00 19:55
Hey Mack! A most excellent first post! Happy to have you.
Ben Fong-Torres (esau) Fri 4 Feb 00 08:43
Well done, sir. You might be interested in <palm.ind>, which, despite its name, is an equal opportunity PDA conference.
gawrsh (factoid) Fri 4 Feb 00 08:49
Thanks for the kind welcome, all. Hadn't intended my cannonball to douse everybody's fruity umbrella drinks. Now will go wrap up in a towel and shiver in goosebumps in the shadow of the poolhouse, occasionally shouting encouragement and watching the other kids play until I get the full hang of it. Just beginning to explore the panoply of confs at the moment. f
Daniel Blanchat (dblan) Fri 4 Feb 00 10:26
palm has gone public :), but it's still a friendly place to discuss PDAs.
John Payne (satyr) Fri 4 Feb 00 18:40
Welcome, <factoid>. Warning, The WELL consumes all the spare time you didn't think you had! ;-)
Mack Reed (factoid) Mon 7 Feb 00 12:15
I fear that, as I have a 3-month-old infant who has already commandeered all my remaining "free time." I need to figure out a way around sleep. Two quotes: "So much to do, so little time." --Mister X "Holmes, why don't you take a nap?" "A nap? I *hate* those little slices of death." --Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes
John Payne (satyr) Sun 13 Feb 00 13:02
thecapokid (thecapokid) Sun 13 Feb 00 14:54
WELLcome, Mack. I'm only a couple of months into this scene myself, but know exactly what you're talking about. When I tell people I'm building a home in cyberspace, it's all centered around this community. I look forward to seeing your wit and fast-rappin', buzzy style in other conferences! (It took me a month and a half just to locate myself amidst the plethora of conferences. Lots of "lurking," lots of fun. Now, I can't seem to get out of this place once I sign in.)
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