The Case of the Missing Names

When I link to various items in the Cocoa Blogs site or feed, I like to give proper credit to the writer so readers can associate a name with the work. For some reason, though, tracking down the name can be quite a challenge.

One case is when someone "signs" their blog with the blog name itself. I'm not aware of a lot of these, but BagelTurf is one example. It's a great blog and I've met the writer (he was at the most recent CocoaHeads, in fact), but as best I can tell, you won't find his name anywhere on the site.

Another great site, Ridiculous_fish, is a similar case. I met the author a while ago (again, at CocoaHeads), and some people mention his name specifically when they link to a post of his, but he mentioned to me he'd prefer to stay semi-anonymous.

A separate case is when an author signs their posts, but only uses their first name. The Yet Another Mac Dev Blog is a good example of this, where the author's name is only cited as "Blake C."

Now, I'm perfectly at peace with the fact that someone would want to blog anonymously. There are two reasons I like to cite full names, though:

1. If somebody has taken the time to write something useful or particularly thoughtful, they should receive full credit for it. It may help them pursue their interests in unexpected ways.

2. I think it's a much less abstract affair for the reader if they can put a specific name to what they're reading. One of the motivators behind Cocoa Blogs is to help Mac developers see that there are real living, breathing people out there that do the same kind of work and have the same interests as them.

Still, if the author wants to be anonymous, I'm happy to respect that. The challenge is trying to figure out if the author wants to be anonymous or has accidentally made it difficult to figure out who's writing. It's not obvious to me how much time I should spend looking for a name or if I should even use the name if it was hard to find.

So to help everyone out, here's my request. If your name is not readily visible on the site header or some other obvious place, please describe how you'd like to be attributed somewhere on the site: even if that is Anonymous or Fred Flintstone.
Design Element
The Case of the Missing Names
Posted Mar 12, 2007 — 8 comments below


Jeff Johnson — Mar 12, 07 3706

I'd appreciate it if you addressed me as Colonel or Sir. I believe I've earned it. Fred Flintstone is also acceptable.

Michael Margolis — Mar 12, 07 3707

Many people would like to remain anonymous because of their employers. I've found many large companies are OK with you interacting with "the outside world" on message boards and the like, even expressing strange opinions - as long as you aren't easily recognizable as an employee of their company. Of course, there are many reasons for anonymity, even if you'd like to give them credit. Some people call me the space cowboy, some call me the gangster of love. You can call me Michael though :)

Scott Stevenson — Mar 12, 07 3710 Scotty the Leopard

Of course, there are many reasons for anonymity, even if you'd like to give them credit
I'm fine with doing whatever the author wants, it's just that what they want isn't always clear.

Bagelturf — Mar 12, 07 3711

I'm not really that well hidden. I claim copyright personally and use my name there -- just click on the Copyright Notice link. Google will find me as well.

I don't blog under my name for two reasons:

1. Were I to create more than one blog or have more than one person contributing I would have to find another identity anyway, and

2. To separate the brand from the person. It's the Bagelturf blog written by Steve Weller, just as Snot-b-Gone facial tissues are made by Shapeless Industries.

I prefer to be the person behind the curtain than the curtain itself.

Now Blake, on the other hand; he's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma passed to an instance of NSInvocation. Or something.

Mat Lu — Mar 12, 07 3713

I find this trend rather annoying as well. I like to attribute by name on my posts at TUAW and I'm constantly clicking around blogs looking for someone to attribute to. I'm happy to use whatever the author wants, but I'd like it if people would just sign their blog posts with whatever name they want used to refer to them.

Scott Stevenson — Mar 13, 07 3715 Scotty the Leopard

Now Blake, on the other hand; he's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma passed to an instance of NSInvocation. Or something

Well put. Well put. Maybe I'll just list you as "Turf, Bagel."

Blake C. — Mar 13, 07 3716

Thanks for the interesting description!

For my part, I'm happy with "Blake C.", which is the name displayed on my blog. Sorry for the confusion :)

Karsten — Mar 13, 07 3718

my name is Karsten and that's all that needs to be said. you can find my full name with google, i'm sure, but there's no need for this. :-)


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