Serious question: If I added my last name to my first name to this post, would it somehow change how you view what I write?
My speculative answer: No, it would make no difference. In fact, it might confuse some of you, especially if I used one of my two commonly-used last names, maiden and married. In fact, you might even suspect that the writer of whatever I wrote under one of those two last names was someone different than me, because I might temper how I phrase things so as not to aggravate people who know me in a different context under one of those two names. I might also temper what I said under my married name because I have no desire to taint family members with my diametrically opposite beliefs. Should they own what I think? No. Will they? You betcha.
You read what I write because I write/tweet in a voice that you recognize and either trust, or enjoy trying to debunk. Right? You know me by this name because I have used it for every identity I maintain on the web but one. Right? And the only identity I do not have the privilege of using my known ID as YOU all know me is on Facebook, which tempers what I will and will not say and share there, since Facebook insists on mashing up my identities with every era of my life, from cradle to grave.
Here’s some advice to developers who make sites like Quora, the Newest Shiny Thing That Scoble Loves. When you are developing a reputation-based service it’s pretty ballsy of you to deny me the right to use an identity which enjoys a strong reputation, an identity which I use daily for as my standard web identity, a name which I have used to build my own reputation and credentials online. It’s especially ballsy of you to do it after asking me to sign up with Twitter.
Over the past few days an extraordinary thing has happened online. A small group of people have resolved to try to make a difference by designing and submitting a suggestion for how to capture the oil spilling into the Gulf with a chimney-like duct placed over the LMRP. It’s elegant and maybe it’s even possible, despite the naysaying oil executives who just said they had no plan and no solution for the problem at hand. They even told us they’ve used all available technology, which my friends demonstrate not to be the case at all.
But I digress. This post is not about their efforts. It’s not about the way they set aside their collective egos and came together with an answer that just might work with tools and materials available near the well site. It’s not about dead dolphins and oil-soaked pelicans. It’s not even about stopping the horrendous flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s not about dead zones and press blackouts and whether the polls have Obama up or down today. No, it’s not about any of those.