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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

To "Anonymous" - how to sign your name

As more people post comments, we're running into more sign-in problems. Unless you sign on with some recognized account, Google Blogger (our blogging service) makes you sign on as "Anonymous."

We don't have a technical fix for this problem, at least not yet. Sometimes (today, for example), I even have a sign-on problem even though I have a Google account and administrative rights on this blog. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to sign their comments because we believe that people should stand by their opinions and not hide who they are. We don't subscribe to the CCA's position on anonymity.

Linda Felaco and Beth Richardson have both suggested the simpliest solution, which is to sign your comments in the body text. And that's what they've done. I like Beth's approach of signing it at the top, rather that at the end. If you do something like, "Beth Richardson posting" or "Beth Richardson says," those words appear in the brief snippet under "Recent Comments" (right hand column).

Finally, despite its flaws, I suggest you consider signing up for a free Google account. Yes, Google wants to take over the world. Yes, Google is far from perfect. Yes, Google is part of the conspiracy to cover up the Death Star Nibiru. But a Google account allows you to set up your own news page, get free e-mail service, sign on to Progressive Charlestown (sometimes) and IMO most valuable of all, set up "Google Alerts."

As a professional strategic researcher, I use Google all the time. I keep track of dozens of topics of interest by setting up Google Alerts where I have Google watch for certain topics and search terms (e.g. "wingnut conspiracy"). Anytime those words appear on the web (and I can adjust where Google looks), I get an e-mail with a link.

We'll post an update if we come up with other ways to help comment posters liberate themselves from the cloak of darkness. And if any of you have ideas for a tech fix to this problem, please post them or e-mail us at