Thursday, November 29, 2007


Hi. My name is Craig McDermott.

Just thought I'd get that out of the way.

Most of the regular readers of this blog know me already, but not everyone who reads this blog is a 'regular' reader.

This fact was brought home to me earlier today in a phone conversation with JoJene Wills, an activist (volunteer, I think) with the Hillary Clinton campaign here in AZ. She had written a reply to something that I had posted earlier this week, leaving her name and number as a contact for the Clinton campaign in AZ.

Today, for a reason unrelated to this blog, I needed to contact her to get a more local name to contact (Ms. Wills is based in Tucson.)

During our conversation, she expressed concern that while I don't allow anonymous comments on my blog, she couldn't find my name on it anywhere. In other words, she seemed to think it was a little hypocritical that commenters on the blog couldn't be anonymous while I, the author of the blog, could be anonymous.

I explained that I wasn't trying for anonymity and that most of the folks who read this blog regularly know me by now, and that the reason that I don't allow anonymous comments is to reduce spam comments (you know, the "click on this link to buy..." comments.)

We then finished our conversation pleasantly and went on with our days.

All of this leads up to the actual reason for this post.

On Saturday, the MCDP is holding its winter meeting. At this meeting a revision of the County Party's by-laws will be considered.

Yesterday I, and presumably every other PC in the county, received an email from email addy ''. This email expressed concerns and objections to some of the by-law changes and the process by which they are being brought up for consideration.

I don't have enough knowledge of the issue to comment on it or the concerns expressed in the email, but I do have a question about the anonymous nature of the email.

The 'sent from' address is a blind one, and the message closed with the line

This is a joint message from many precinct committeepersons, previous County Chairs and current District Chairs.
That's it. No names anywhere indicating who wrote and sent the email.

That deliberate anonymity definitely undermines the credibility of the message (the writing style and layout of the message do that also, but not to the extent that the anonymity does.)

I have some advice for the authors of the email, and it's related to the fact that I opened this post with my name -

Anonymity on the internet is fine for most situations, but if you want to influence folks, be willing to stand up and stand behind your message.

Thank you.

1 comment:

Art Jacobson said...

Dear Craig,

I certainly agree that if you wish to influence others you have to be open and up front about who you are.

May I gently disagree with you, though, on the notion that anonymity on the web is okay for most situations.

My view has always been that anonymous posting, more than any single factor, is responsible for most of the cruel, irresponsible,or downright false posting that clutters internet traffic.

If you're not willing to sign your name then don't post. I have always been a John Hancock sort of guy.

Art Jacobson