We are a family here at Every goddamn day, so therefore....
Okay, maybe not a family, but a community, like the Amish, in that...
No, not the Amish. Not even a community. An amorphous mass, perhaps, a constantly-mutating blob of pixilated opinions and semi-shielded identities that....
Oh, heck, cut to the chase: A reader, Bill O'Callaghan, sent me this note Thursday, Shaving off the preliminary niceties, he said:
I asked quite some time ago in the comments section of EGD if it wouldn’t be better if the sign-in process could be changed to require people to sign in using something other than “Anonymous.” At the risk of being a presumptuous pest, I’m renewing that request today. There are clearly others who find it confusing and annoying to have to try to figure out which “Anonymous” is which in order to follow the back-and-forth in the conversation each day; and from one day—and column—to the next. Yes, often one can figure out who is who based on their tone and style and viewpoints, but wouldn’t it be far less cumbersome if each comment had a unique name or screen-name attached to it?
The comments section has grown to be quite vibrant and the site of a great deal of healthy and illuminating debate. Obviously there are also some meatheads, mooks and morons (or do I repeat myself?) but for the most part the comments and commenters are thoughtful and interesting. It would just be improved (IMO) if one didn’t have to guess who is who for so many posts.
People don’t have to use their real names (and many have good cause not to want to, for good or bad reasons) but if everyone used a unique name the threads would read better and the posts by both the worthy and the assholes could be more easily identified. That way, a decision could be made immediately whether to engage or ignore the comment, without the guesswork and wasted time.
Obviously it’s your playground and you get to make the rules. You can take a poll or dismiss the idea again, but I’d bet there are many others who feel the same way I do on this issue. My only goal is to try to help transform the debate in the comments section from very good to truly outstanding. If your reluctance to make the change is because it would be a giant pain to change the protocol, I suppose I understand, but maybe one of your techie friends or readers could do the initial legwork to make the change?
In any case, thanks again for listening and for being an ongoing resource for interesting and thought-provoking material to read and discuss.
Makes sense to me. I gotta admit, keeping track of all the "ANONYMOUS" could be a pain-in-the-ass, even for me. You want to reply to some bit of madness, and you have to tag the time and the person reading it has to check back and it becomes a chore, like reading all the footnotes in Infinite Jest. Anyway, beginning tomorrow, in order to comment, you'll have to log in. You don't have to use your real name, but you have to use some kind of name. I can't see how that would rock anybody's world, but feel free to weigh in today, anonymously if you wish, and I'll make the change at midnight. Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and I hope this improves your Every goddamn day reading experience.