Monday, August 06, 2007

Vivek's wise words on anonymity on the web

Just 10 days ago, Vivek wrote Anon 101: An Introduction to Anonymity on the Web. In the section on those who assume two different identities, at least one of which is anonymous, he wrote:

Do not make the mistake of maintaining two blogs/avatars: one with your real identity and the other anonymous. [...] It requires a lot of effort and skill to maintain two identities, if only online. You would require two completely different styles of writing. [...] You would also need to write posts on different topics, or else to use completely different phraseology for your posts. [...] Remember, it just takes a momentary lapse for the manure to hit the fan.

These wise words came alive when I was reading this NYTimes story outing the man behind the fake Steve Jobs blog [Link via Shripriya]. Here's the relevant part in the story:

[Daniel Lyons' forthcoming] book, in part, led to [his] unmasking. Last year, his agent showed the manuscript to several book publishers and told them the anonymous author was a published novelist and writer for a major business magazine. The New York Times found Mr. Lyons by looking for writers who fit those two criteria, and then by comparing the writing of “Fake Steve” to a blog Mr. Lyons writes in his own name, called Floating Point (


  1. Krish said...

    There is much more to this Lyon fellow Abi. He wrote an article in 2005 criticizing anonymous bloggers for using anonymity of the web and spreading lies, libelous stuff, etc.