Finding a second voice

I already have a blog, which I’ve been writing since 2003. So why  start another one? Partly because Designing for Civil Society feels a bit limiting; I do write a lot there about nonprofits, community engagement, e-democracy and the like, but I’m now more  interested in the way social media is changing how we organise, and the new roles associated with that. Social reporter is a bit crisper than Design-er for Civil Society.

It’s also about having a second voice – but as this story illustrates, that can bring risks.

The other day Dave Briggs spotted a blog called The UK Libertarian. It had one post which was a rant again government spending and civil servants. The blogger wrote:

I’ve kept this blog anonymous so that I can shout out what I think, and I want you to shout right back at me.

What he didn’t realise was that his Libertarian identify was easy to find because it was part of the Blogger profile of Josh March, who writes a blog about PR and social media called Social Marketing Strategy by Joshua. Josh was outed, and after I alerted him to Dave’s post a lengthy discussion followed about the pros and cons of anonymity. Josh didn’t deny the views in UK Libertarian – just said he wanted to keep them distinct from his  business persona. He’s now taken the blog down, and Dave generously removed quotes from his blog, but you can see the discussion in comments here.

I understand Josh’s desire for another voice (though I don’t agree with the views he expressed).  I do agree with Dave Briggs on anonymity, and with Paul Caplan who says that the blog conversation carries more authenticity because contributors are identified.

By the way, you can see here how Designing for Civil Society got its name – from someone else’s workshop. This one’s all mine, for what it’s worth, and I am here.

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