Don’t make me guess who you are

I read Planet Mozilla through Google Reader.  When I see a post with a title that sounds interesting, I open it in a new tab.  If I’m lucky, I’ll get a blog that looks like this:

blog header

It’s totally clear whose blog this is.  This is good.  Bonus points for a subtitle that gives a good idea of what the blog is about.

But all too often the author’s name isn’t prominent.  Maybe it’s down the bottom of the post:  “Posted by J. Programmer.”  Sometimes it’s tucked away on a separate “about” page.  Sometimes people use a nickname that is meaningless to me.  And sometimes there is no name at all.

It’s even worse when this lack of identification is combined with one of the common WordPress templates — then I can’t even tell if I’m reading the same blog as the last one I saw that had that same theme.

So:  put your name somewhere prominent on your blog.  Preferably in the title or subtitle.  Please don’t make me guess who you are.

4 Responses to Don’t make me guess who you are

  1. Yes, please. I frequently see Google Reader showing posts as something like “from Planet Mozilla by admin”. Not very useful.

  2. Hmm, I have exactly the opposite impression. If I’m being told who someone is before the content has spoken for itself, I’m much more likely to unfairly judge the content when I finally read it.

    The Internet is a wonderful place where I can share opinions pseudo-anonymously sometimes on topics I may not otherwise dare to associate with my professional identity, but nonethelesss would be willing to argue until my last breath. The creation of a disposable blog is a wonderful way to air such views, but here I now myself worrying that some smart and valuable readers may judge my arguments solely on whether or not my real name is associated to them.

    It’s already difficult enough to find a voice on the Internet, particularly when the mere posting of a comment to someone’s blog mandatorily requires your clicks to be recorded by a single particular company thanks to the CAPCHA present.

    “José”

    • Nicholas Nethercote

      Deliberate pseudonymity/anonymity is a reasonable thing in general. But I think that in the case of blogs syndicated to Planet Mozilla that I’m talking about, it’s not intentional. In that case, it’s just annoying.

  3. I’m in full agreement with José.
    Being judged – in good or bad – on the name (fictious or not, as long as it’s well known) is annoying.

    Being able to contribute anonymously is nice. People judge on the actual contribution and nothing else. It brings a lot of freedom. The freedom to say what you actually think.

    Moreover, when I read the planet, I clicked on your blog. I didn’t reac your name. In fact, I had to scroll up to check if it’s there. I won’t remember it tomorrow. I’d only remember it if you said something that would upset me, or really impress me.
    I’m more of a “picture” person. But your picture, is a common-looking picture, probably from the default template. I don’t mind that, but I certainly won’t remember the blog, and I though that it might interest you.