Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » A challenge, backroom deals and anonymity

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I have decided to take a step into the abyss and challenge you to follow. My name is Jared Q. Tomanek. I have changed my blog title to "Jared Tomanek of Victoria." My name, the whole name, ok, less my signature "Q." which I have always signed my name since the day I can remember choosing my signature.

Why you might ask? Transparency. It is the name of the game these days, whether it be business, politics, relationships, etc. This is part and parcel with blogging manners. If you would like to know about blogging, the how-to, and proper manners of it, I would recommend Chris Brogan's "Social Media 101".

Am I paid by the Advocate for my blog? No. I do it for free. Am I an investigative reporter? No. Am I am the editor? No. My writing of the blog does a number of things for me. Some of which are: providing a constructive dialogue on the local goings-on of Victoria, the place of my birth and the place where I live; practice in writing and thinking to keep my mind sharp (great advice I had received from a college dorm friend); propose ideas or conversations regarding culture; and most of all because it is fun. I enjoy it and look forward to it. I do recognize my place of blogging on this Advocate home and try my hardest to respect the guidelines that the Advocate has given for blogging users. I do give them a big thanks for allowing lay people to blog.

Now for the challenge. There is plenty of online commentary regarding just about every city, county, and business issue. This is a great thing, Victoria has citizens that are wanting their voice to be heard. I have been to a few city council meetings and see citizens voice concerns in front of the council, those present, and the TV. This shows a sign of willing participation as well.

I have used my real first name on every comment and blog here at the Advocate save the video thing at 10 am, my name there is Jnews (I just have not had the rememberance to change it, maybe today). I doubt it difficult to find out who I am with using just my first name if a person did a little research. Here is the challenge:

Drop the anonymity.

If you want to leave a comment, especially a critical comment, put your name to it. Here is what I think. I think that leaving a comment with anonymity is about the same as shady deals in smoke filled rooms. Neither of those examples is transparent. I find it truly ironic that a comment is made with anonymity charging some entity, person, etc. with non-transparency.

I do appreciate those commentators that have chosen to use their real names, obviously those know who they are. Would I advise the Advocate to make name disclosure mandatory? No. I think the person writing or commenting should choose to do so.

To those that have chosen anonymity, don't get me wrong, I think many have offered wonderful comments, thoughts, and dialogue that have brought many things to mind that I have not considered before. You are still invited to join in the conversation. You may not be able to use your real name for a good reason, I respect that, but do realize that criticism with anonymity is sketchy itself for a conflict of interest cannot be determined.

Does anonymity and criticism seem transparent? Does vocalizing critical comments, especially regarding non-transparency, with anonymity seem ironic? Do you give as much value to comments made with anonymity as those using their real names? I hope this becomes a good discussion.