Blog behaviour and pseudonyms

Interest and participation here is surging, which is very pleasing to see. Thanks to everyone who contributes.

Discussion and debate is increasing and getting more diverse, which has been one of the aims here. In the main people are conducting themselves well, usually addressing the issues and only sometimes straying into personal attack.

A bit of personal bickering will happen in the heat of debate and if it remains as occasional and not too bad I’ll accept it as part of an open and robust environment.

But one thing that’s creeping in a bit is trying to identify people using pseudonyms either as known people or as different pseudonyms here or elsewhere.

One of the strengths of moderation here is community assistance, which is appreciated. Pointing out to someone that they are clashing with our culture a bit is fine. Advising me of something potentially serious is very helpful.

We’ve had some problems with multiple use of pseudonyms. That’s in the main sorted. I can usually quite easily see when that’s happening. By all means if you see something suspicious let me know so I can check it out.

Usually there’s a reasonable explanation and nothing untoward has been going on.

But please don’t confront and accuse people here. I want new visitors to feel welcome and not intimidated. Sometimes they take a while to get the feel of the place and work out how things work here. Give them a chance.

Remember that new people bring new ideas and new approaches to issues and sometimes new approaches to commenting. I’d like this encouraged, that’s the niche that I (and we) have been developing here, generally successfully.

Multiple pseudonyms

As already indicated there has been some problems with a very small number of people using multiple pseudonyms here that break all the rules of blog etiquette. That’s pretty much sorted.

One or two people have been using multiple pseudonyms in a way that has been non-threatening in itself and has added to the flavour of the place. But it also causes problems.

It makes other people suspicious about whether someone new has joined us or someone old has changed their name again. It can create confusion. It risks being seen as impersonation.

And when done in debates it is unfair to others who don’t know who they are addressing.

The use of pseudonyms is an important part of online forums, it allows people the freedom to take part that they wouldn’t have if under there own name. So pseudonyms are fine.

But pseudonyms should not be used as a ‘subject line’ – unless you clearly identify your usual identity in comments.

A pseudonym is something that identifies yourself that is not your real name, not a moving target.

Ideally a pseudonym would follow someone wherever they are online but that’s not always practical or possible. It’s not uncommon to start in a forum with a pseudonym, then go somewhere else and find that pseudonym is already being used or can be confused.

But in one blog, in here at least, one pseudonym per person please.If you feel a need to change your pseudonym then do this openly if possible.

That mightn’t be as much fun for some but it’s more fair for many.

This will help make Your NZ a forum for discussion that can be robust but also where people feel safe to contribute.

Leave a comment

18 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  29th October 2015

    If you make a mistake typing your email address, and my phone now makes me fill it in each time, it will change the symbol alongside your name which is obviously selected by hashing your email address. This seems to have caused a bit of identification confusion in the past.

    Reply
  2. last time caller

     /  29th October 2015

    You win Mike C !

    Your consistent bleating like some silly old woman about the use of ‘subject lines’, has finally got to Pete

    Still, as you seem to contribute about 50% of the comments, I guess that was inevitable 🙂

    Reply
    • Mike C doesn’t win. The blog wins if we don’t have hissies like this.

      While sometimes clever ever changing pseudonyms are unfair on all other commenters here. And it makes things harder for me. That’s why I’ve posted this.

      Reply
  3. Pete Kane

     /  29th October 2015

    As you have inferred, Pete. the ‘Forum’ (Blog is a seriously ugly word) has being going from strength to strength in terms of participation. But rather than embrace this growth as a positive contribution to NZs political life, regrettably, there are those (I strongly suspect from both ends of the ‘spectrum’) that see YNZ as a challenge.

    People with an interest in our politics often bemoan apathy and the lack of participation from their fellow citizens. I would argue that at this time of our growth we pay particular attention to the way we engage so as to try and contribute in turning around this situation.

    As I said last night (late) ; “If the principal purpose of our forum is the advancement of ‘democracy’ then today has been a mixed game. Robust and valid arguments, undermined by complete discourtesy (from ‘all sides).” I also (politely), pointed out that during yesterdays debates, there were comments that put the site and its editor potentially in legal jeopardy. Whether this was just naive, reckless or straight out malicious we may never know. But responses to such, in my opinion, need to be thoughtful and mitigate the potential damage (and certainly not create a causal linkage for further down the ‘track’ by repeating the potential defamation).

    Sorry to sound “preachy’, but I for one, just wish to see this worthy forum grow.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  29th October 2015

      If it’s any good a blog should present challenges. I think you are a bit over sensitive on the robust debate side. Insults should be judged on originality, wit and applicability. Kittycat’s fat in fatuous was a pearl. Most of us are old enough to have been insulted by experts and learnt to return to sender with added pepper. The crude and profane will attract the scorn they deserve without having to preach.

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  29th October 2015

        Alan, I was using the word “challenges” as in taken (in an obviously immature way) as some sort of threat to other blogs. Sorry forgot the speech marks. Of course it should be challenging 9at all levels), witty etc. I for one often see a lot of humour in sarcasm, even when (as it often is) directed at my good self. But my point stands on ‘carelessness when it comes to legal risk.

        Reply
  4. traveller

     /  29th October 2015

    It’s inevitable that factions develop and that moderation of a sort is needed. I’ll continue to argue my corner as long as I feel welcome and inspired I guess.

    Reply
  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  29th October 2015

    Well I’m delighted to confirm that I’m me and always have been… 🙂

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  29th October 2015

      @JoeBloggs

      Yeap … there’s not many people out there with your name 🙂

      It’s uniquely common. LOL.

      Reply
  6. Nelly Smickers

     /  29th October 2015

    And I’m also delighted to announce, that from here on out, this will be be the new me 🙂

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  29th October 2015

      @SmellyNickers

      It suits you … but I bet that you don’t keep it for long. LOL.

      Reply
      • Nelly Smickers

         /  29th October 2015

        Honestly Mike, you’re just like that horrible, fat, freckly faced, red-headed shit of a kid I remember from school, who also bullied me about my name. My dad went round to her house and punched her father’s lights out.

        Are you still living in the Coromandel?

        Reply
        • Mike C

           /  29th October 2015

          @Nelly

          Last time I bother to joke with you, because you clearly have no sense of humour 😦

          Living on Great Barrier now. Thanks for asking 🙂

          Reply
          • Nelly Smickers

             /  29th October 2015

            Gosh Mke, that’s a coincidence. Dad and a couple of his mates are heading to the Barrier on Saturday for a spot of Heli-Fishing. They’re staying at The Lodge in Whangaparapara for the night.

            If you’re anywhere close, you should pop in and introduce yourself. Just tell the barman you’re looking for Rick. Let dad know you’re a friend of SmellyNickers 🙂

            Reply
            • Mike C

               /  30th October 2015

              @Smelly-Nelly

              That is quite an expensive trip for your Dad and his mates for just one night 🙂

              I doubt that they would let me into the bar wearing my swan-dry and gum-boots. LOL.

            • Nelly Smickers

               /  30th October 2015

              @ Mike C

              Actually, you’re probably right. Sounds like you might be a little over dressed 🙂

  7. Conspiratoor

     /  29th October 2015

    I’ve only ever seen the need for one pseudonym across all blogs but all good things must come to an end. Goodbye old friend. RightOfGenghis is dead. Long live Conspiratoor!

    Reply
  8. Mike C

     /  30th October 2015

    @Smickers

    I rented a dinner jacket and bow tie in the meantime … so thanks for that 🙂

    Jandels and No Clothes it is then. LOL.

    Reply

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