f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 7, 2004

. . . and pseudo-eponymously yours, too

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:55 pm

To follow up on my morning post about naming weblogs: Being anonymous shouldn’t mean having no personality, and the name of a weblog can help create a consistent identity, while its author remains nameless.  [see Craig and Evan on weblog-building.]
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Although I prefer weblogs with identified proprietors, a good pseudonym seems like the answer for those desiring to remain unknown: As Wikipedia notes
“The main difference between anonymity and pseudonymity is that while in anonymity the identity is not known, in pseudonymity, there exists a separate persistent “virtual” identity but it cannot be linked to a physical person, persons or organization.”
ship to label sm

Adopting a pseudonym — and a pseudo-eponymous name for a weblog — is far more interesting than sticking the word “anonymous” next to some generic role or title. I’m grateful that the anonymous authors of Go Ask Alice, The Way of a Pilgrim, and Story of O, decided not to use the titles “Anonymous Novel,” Anonymous Non-Fiction Book, or “Anonymous Biography.”   They wanted to keep their own identity hidden — not the identity of the publication.

So, unless you’re trying to corner the service-mark on a term that uses “anonymous”, spend a little time coming up with an interesting and revealing title for your weblog (or, you’ll end up like this weblog, confusing the hell out of people).
  • Of course, if you’re merely trying to get good placement in alphabetical listings, you should use the tried and true ad strategy:  Make it:  “AAAAnonymous Weblogger.”

  • Don’t forget to “Google” your proposed name before launching. 

    update (Dec. 10, 2004): The Common Scold, citing an ABA Journal article on anonymous weblogs by associates,  asks what her readers think about the issue.  Let her know. (via Legal Blog Watch).  As I told da Scold, law students and associates (and all weblogging lawyers) would be better off assuming that they will eventually be identified, and they should therefore write only what they are willing to have attributed to themselves (including saying only things that an identified attorney can say ethically about their clients, partners, etc.). 

     

     

its name tag blowing
in the winter rain…
bag of rice

mountain temple–
the little priest’s name
on his fan

ISSA, translated by D. Lanoue

 

one-breath pundit
tiny check There’s also a big advantage to the legal profession from having weblogs that eschew generic lawyer and judge names and images: they will help remind the world that there is no generic lawyer — we come in many varieties, playing many roles, and with many levels of skill and ethics.
mouse lawyer horiz Then, maybe lawyers will stop lumping themselves together as victims, as D.C. Bar President John C. Keeney Jr. does in this month’s Washington Lawyer Keeney bewails the attacks in Election 2004 on “trial lawyers” and insists “An attack on lawyers and judges is truly an attack on each of us.”   Sorry, John, no matter where you come down on the issue of tort reform, there is no guilt by association that tars all lawyers and you perpetuate that notion with your whining (such as last month, when you pledged not to laugh at lawyer jokes; prior post).  Even when someone slurs or jokes about “lawyers” in general, a lawyer who has used his or her law degree honorably should feel no insult – there are more than a million of us and only a moron thinks we are all knaves or fools.  Prior related posts:
update (Dec. 20, 2004): Evan Schaeffer turns his acid pen to the topic of the Stereotypical Lawyer.  Now, if Evan would just stop being defensive about the overall image of lawyers, he’d be even more fun to meet at a party.
tiny check If you’re feeling underpaid as an attorney, please see MyShingle’s summary of a new NYSBA survey of lawyer income, described here.  The average solo lawyer in Central NY has an income of $50,000.  As I point out in a lengthy comment at Carolyn’s site, this modest income level makes claims rather weak by assigned counsel here (and in Massachusetts) that the real market value for their services is much higher than government fee levels.  Many NY law firms said there are too many lawyers in the State; and 1% said there are too few. 

tiny check In case you missed it, here’s what Barack Obama said about the Ukraine election: [at the Gridiron Club, Dec. 4, 2004, via Rick Klau]
“‘Well, President Bush said he wanted to export American-style democracy and, by God, I think it’s working.”

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Hey, I’m very fun at parties! And you won’t find me talking about lawyers very much, either.

    Comment by Evan — December 20, 2004 @ 1:57 pm

  2. Hey, I’m very fun at parties! And you won’t find me talking about lawyers very much, either.

    Comment by Evan — December 20, 2004 @ 1:57 pm

  3. Hey, back at ya — notice I said “even more fun”, and I didn’t even mention whether sake was being served.

    Comment by David Giacalone — December 20, 2004 @ 2:08 pm

  4. Hey, back at ya — notice I said “even more fun”, and I didn’t even mention whether sake was being served.

    Comment by David Giacalone — December 20, 2004 @ 2:08 pm

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