A message for “anonymous” posters

You may think your posts and comments are anoymous on they web - but very often, they are not - even if you post under a fictitious name. If you want hide your identity and post comments under a fictitious name on my blog or anywhere else, there are a few things that you might want to consider doing.

The first thing is to find what information your ISP gives out. Recently, I recieved comments from a man using xmission here in Utah. The email (unknown to him) contained the tag (basically a URL) from his home computer as well as his account name. The account name contained his last name and voila - I knew who he was. Ouch! Neither of us was pleased. You may want to take your name out of any identifying information given through your ISP. This won't protect you from a court order of course, but it could protect you from a casual inquirer knowing about your identity. However, many internet service providers will give out your identity if the inquirer says that you were being abusive.
If your ISP gives out too much info but you still don't want to dump them, you can go to a service like gaurdster: http://www.guardster.com/ and post from there. The identifying information from your home computer will be blocked and your post will be untraceable.

If you want to blog, but don't want to be "traced", you could create the blog under a fake name. However, the URL from where your posted would still be traceable, unless you used a service such as gaurdster. If you really want to be anonymous, you could go to invisiblog and start an anonymous blog that is virtually untraceable: http://www.invisiblog.com/Actually, invisiblog is not a bad idea. I have considered blogging there about topics that I consider sensitive and unpopular.

Where do we draw the line on all this in the blogosphere? There is much that I want to write about, but feel that my roles as university grad. student, professer, business owner, and "respectible" citizen preclude me form writing about. Where do I draw the line? How about you?

Cheers - Ryan Nagy (a real person, with a real name, and a more or less "real" identity.