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Real names or handles on CartoTalk?


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#1
Dennis McClendon

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Every year at NACIS the topic comes up of matching CartoTalk handles to names and faces of real people.

When I signed up at CartoTalk, the option of using my real name wasn't terribly clear, so I chose a handle. Frax and I talked for quite a while Friday night before realizing that we "knew" each other.

My inclination is that we should largely (but voluntarily) switch to real names. I think it would help mark this as a serious professional discussion board rather than a hit-and-run gabfest. Many of the CartoTalk leaders are already here under their real names. The rest of us would just have to ask Hans or Nick to switch us, and I think our old posts would change to the new name automatically.

Opinions?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#2
benbakelaar

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Although many people here do post their real name in the signature field and include it at the bottom of each post, to me there is a huge difference between that and having your real name directly connected to your post. Remember, everything on the web is archived now - every comment you make that is connected with your real name will be available 50 years from now with a quick search. I don't want "cheese ass" jokes coming up on a future search of my name :)

Of course, who am I to argue, since I use 'benbakelaar' as my handle, but still that won't show up in a search for my full name. Not that anyone has much to hide... but still, I think people will post/react differently if "real name" is required, or even preferred/suggested, and/or used by the majority. Anonymity lends itself to honesty (among other things) in my opinion.

#3
Nick Springer

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For the most part I agree with Dennis, and any one that wants to change just PM me with the name you want (spaces are acceptable), and yes it will effect all your past posts. I use my last initial to save on typeing the whole name rather than any anonymity (esp. since my signature has my name).

Of course we would never require it, and those that want to stick with handles are more than welcome to do so. CartoTalk probably is low on the kinds of topics that you would want to remain anonymous on, not to mention we "know" people by their handles even if we don't know their full name.

Nick Springer

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#4
Hans van der Maarel

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I'm cool with either option, but I think changing all of the screen names will cause some confusion. I would like to suggest adding your full name to your signature (for the ones who haven't done so yet). I'm with Nick as far as making this a requirement. We can't really demand this, but it would be nice.
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#5
ELeFevre

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I'm with Nick as far as making this a requirement. We can't really demand this, but it would be nice.



If this was an organization with membership fees like NACIS, I could go along with required user names....but it's not. Posting your real name in a public online forum should be 100% optional.



#6
Hans van der Maarel

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I'm with Nick as far as making this a requirement. We can't really demand this, but it would be nice.



If this was an organization with membership fees like NACIS, I could go along with required user names....but it's not. Posting your real name in a public online forum should be 100% optional.


Actually, I think it would have been gramatically more correct to say: "I'm with Nick in not making it a requirement" :huh:

So, to re-iterate... It would be nice to see people using their real names, but it's by no means a requirement and it's left totally up to the members themselves. Unless of course they're spammers, in which case I would like to see full name and address, so we can 'take measures'... :ph34r:
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#7
Mike H

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It's gotta be optional .. freedom of choice!

I did PM a request to change mine, I don't mind using my real name. I provide all that in my sig anyway.

I gave up using Mike-anything in on-line forums as they are all taken, hence a short version of my last name. The exclamation mark was actually just a test to see if it would take a non-alpha character, I wasn't quite that enthusiastic about my screen name.

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#8
benbakelaar

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Let me just clarify that no one actually recommended making it a requirement, I was just saying in my first post that it shouldn't even get to the point where it is the "de facto" requirement, meaning, a majority does it; because I think that would discourage new members from joining.

#9
Derek Tonn

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I like Dennis' suggestion....a LOT. I also think that changing one's "handle" and/or registering a name that is more recognizable should be 100% voluntary and up to each participant. Some folks want (or even need) to remain more "anonymous" when participating in these types of discussions. Just ask anyone who has ever run for elective office how quickly volunteer staffers on the other side can track down lots of information about a person in an unrelated forum that they never realized would be able to be tied back to them personally.....or an employer seeing how much time an employee "wastes" chatting in an online discussion group instead of completing their tasks at hand...... :unsure:

God Bless the "Age of Google", right?!

Me? I'm an open book....so I PMed Hans to see if I might have my handle renamed "Derek Tonn". For others who don't want to be quite as "out there" though, let them keep their greater anonymity if they want it. It's all good, either way. B)
Derek Tonn
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#10
Matthew Hampton

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Thanks Derek,

Now I won't keep thinking your name is Daton!

or an employer seeing how much time an employee "wastes" chatting in an online discussion group instead of completing their tasks at hand

:blink:

I would argue that time spent on Cartotalk is very similar to a persistent training course that doesn't have any upfront costs, and is a very worthwhile investment.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#11
Derek Tonn

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I would argue that time spent on Cartotalk is very similar to a persistent training course that doesn't have any upfront costs, and is a very worthwhile investment.


I agree completely....but not everyone out there sees things the way you/we do. Maybe I'm too cynical after years of getting kicked in the teeth in my former job(s) before going to self-employment. This place (CartoTalk) is a God-send for all of us in the "mapping business!"
Derek Tonn
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#12
frax

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I am too lazy to change my nickname, but one thing I will do (if I get to go there) is to change my picture/icon/avatar a few weeks before going there - to a recent/decent photo of yours truly
Hugo Ahlenius
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