Wednesday, April 29, 2009

205 Drop: Top 12 things I've learned from anonymous commenters

The drop is more educational than most, but still snarky, so take a click. (A troll, for those of you who aren't versed in Web vernacular, is someone who trashes a site and/or its contributors in the comments section; basically, it's shorthand for anyone who seems to take delight in abuse.) The list is one of my better ones, if I do say so myself; go give it a look.

Rather, I want to deal with anonymity at this point. Nothing sets the teeth of an established journo to grind faster than the mostly anonymous nature of Web writing, especially when someone who isn't using their real name gets credit for breaking a story. (Or, more commonly, a black mark for running something that turns out to be wrong.)

I'm anonymous because this isn't my Real Job, and my Real Job is much more important; so the fact that I keep Eric Blair's name out of this is just a professional courtesy. Also, a matter of simple security for any future job search; I don't particularly want to spend time in some future interview talking about my 2008 record against the spread, my poker habit, the fact that I still get teary over the loss of Harry Kalas, or a million other things that have nothing to do with what I'll do to, in the words of the ex-President, put food on my family. The site does well enough in search engine traffic that this isn't paranoia on my part, and my career is something that involves consulting and networking. Besides, many people in this world fail to root for my laundry, and losing a paid gig over that would just stink on ice.

That is, I think, the right kind of anonymity. The wrong one is where trolls become trolls, I think; using the anonymity to say things that they wouldn't want attached to their actual selves. There really isn't much that goes on here on the blog that I'm not a little bit proud of, or that I wouldn't put my name to if it weren't for the career consideration. If that makes me a hack in the eyes of some troll (who, of course, doesn't see themselves as a troll)... well, whatever.

In the long run, I'm sure that I'll eventually be outed if the blog gets enough traffic, because people like puzzles and this one wouldn't take too long. If the site's getting enough traffic, maybe it's not even a professional problem, though I'm not holding out any hopes for that. This is, after all, a relentlessly unpopular sports blog. But hope springs eternal, and all, and as a Sixers / A's / Eagles fan, I'm more or less resigned to noble failures of faith.

We welcome, as always, your thoughts on trolls in the comments, or how right you are for not liking this blog and reading it anyway.


Anonymous said...

Wow, an entire post dedicated to me. I really must have gotten into your head yesterday. You even went out of your way to reference me personally. Hah. Fortunately for you, work is brutal today and thus I won't have the time to kick you around again.

I apologize in advance for the 3 dollars in ad revenue I won't be bringing to your site.
Best regards,
Anonymous ( Go A's)

DMtShooter said...

Clearly, you are my first troll. Thanks for being so gentle.

Tracer Bullet said...

In his defense, today's troll is much less irritating than that asshole who tried to insist Namath was a good quarterback. That guy was a Troll Fu Grandmaster. He was the Sho Nuff of trolling. This clown isn't even Hong Kong Fooey (who was, after all, number one super guy).

DMtShooter said...

The J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS trolls are wicked strong, but I'm not sure they rank over Masshole Troll.

Then again, Masshole Troll has a competitive team all year round to ride as his own, while Jets Troll tends disappear shortly after Thanksgiving every year...

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