Do Web nicknames set back Government 2.0?

I write a personal blog with the goal of advancing Government 2.0 ideals and adoption. A post this week, “Nickname? Lose It,” generated a lot of discussion. You can read and comment on it here.
The GovLoop audience is much broader than the folks my blog reaches on its own. And if you haven’t checked out the blog, I would love to know what you think.
For example, letters to the editor are already a mixed bag. But Wired mag prints letters from folks like, “Alby,” “Technophile,” “RascalNikov,” PerfuseGuy,” and “ChipsMcSlagle.” Maybe that last one is a real name, but I doubt it.
I posit that to advance Gov 2.0, we have to be willing to approach government (or the Chamber of Commerce, for that matter) with at least some acceptance of its terms. And I doubt “PerfuseGuy” is taken seriously by the millions who’ve been in power for generations.
What’s your take? And if it’s scary to take on the Web, you can e-mail me in confidence. I genuinely am interested.
(And for the record, I used to use the nickname “CrazyMan” to sign off on proofs at my second newspaper job.)

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Henry Brown

Suspect that the use of alias will probably go on about as long they are allowed….

I have been blogging on the internet since at least 2003. I personally am from the school that if I have something to say I believe I should take the responsibility for my own remarks and I have learned how to deal with the occasional individual who for whatever reason will be on their own power trip so have almost always fully identified myself whether it be a blog posting, letter to the editor, or ???

As I see it there are TWO problems as far as blogging with real ID.

Problem 1. A lot of people are not willing (and never have and probably never will) to take responsibility for their actions. Not to say that they don’t SOMETIMES have good ideas.

Problem 2. Managers/Leaders/Supervisors SOMETIMES react somewhat negatively to any hint of variance from the “company line” for various reasons. Not to say that they SOMETIMES have valid reasons for trying to “muzzle” the loyal oposition

Andrew Krzmarzick

As you know, I am @KrazyKriz on Twitter. I use that name because (a) it’s memorable and (b) it’s a nickname based on my last name…which is a tough one. I don’t use @AndrewKrzmarzick because (1) it’s really long and (2) it’s easily misspelled, which can be problematic in a forum like Twitter. I’ve thought about changing to GenShift – shortened version of my blog name for consistency and branding, but I’m open to suggestions.

Michelle McClellan

I think there is a line between work and play. I use my name when working and I use a nickname when I’m playing on blogs etc. I’m quite happy for people on Govloop to know who I am. But am I happy for anyone I work with to Google me up and see what I like to do in my quiet time? I’ve been in a situation before where someone I work with has taken exception to something I wrote on a blog.

Plus as a public servant we are limited with what we can say about politics etc, and I love to discuss politics!!!! Honestly, I have this weird fascination with arguing about politics. So I have to do that under an assumed name, or I’d be breaching the code of conduct.

Adriel Hampton

@Michelle – Ah, that sounds like a different rule than we have here. My understanding of U.S. law is that we cannot use work resources for politics, but there can be no abridgment of our speech rights. Of course, that is difficult if you work from home or, as you state, haven’t separated work and off-time clearly. You’ll see a fair amount of disclosures on personal accounts from U.S. officials.

Sharon Ballard

Hi Adriel,

Boy, you really have a hot topic with this one! I must say that I really want to think about this. However, I will say one of the ‘old golden rules’ that also has to be weighed very carefully and that is “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

Also, in my opinion, ‘be who you are no matter where you are’ and ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Suzanne Long

Yes, a hot ‘button’ topic indeed. I’m of the ‘be who you are, no matter where you are’ school and find aliases confusing (and lacking in professionalism), for the most part.