Hoping to start some discussion here about the role (if any!) for anonymity in online environments, especially when people are pitching sales or services. I’m starting to think I’m pretty much opposed to anonymous stuff in almost all circumstances because it fosters so many of the bad things in the online world, and helps in so few cases.
At Twitter on prominent guy was pitching for $50,000 in startup funding, then appeared to be retweeting his pitch via … at least one fake profile though I can’t be certain it was fake. However there’s enough deception now at Twitter that it requires almost as much skepticism as we have for bogus email scams. Skepticism is healthy and good but we need to *reduce it whenever possible* to create more effecient and safe business environments online. There is *FAR, FAR* too much tolerance of scammers in their various and sundry forms even as search engines work very hard to eliminate those who seek to manipulate their search rankings.
Tangential point here: Google – I’d argue very evil-y and non-Googley – worries far more about certain SEO tweaks that have little impact on users than they do about lying and cheating scammers who deceptively advertise using adwords. In fact we could not even resolve an issue a few years ago where our India Travel website was hacked and payments made to somebody else for adsense advertising. Google is a lot more interested in protecting their advertisers [cough Cash Cow cough] than protecting their publishers or their users. This point is so rock solid I’d like to debate it sometime with a Google person, for although I have a lot of respect for them in some areas I’m pretty much tired to death of the idea they don’t value advertising dollars above pretty much all else. There are now *thousands* of example of this. That kind of hubris very deservedly hurt Microsoft’s reputation and it’s starting to hurt Google’s too, though in fairness they are unlikely to *ever* reach the level of opportunism we saw with Microsoft products and services. In my book Google remains on balance “good guys” and are likely to stay that way – perhaps even as the competition from Bing.com and search upstarts heats up.
More on this Anonymity topic after the feedback here I’m hoping for…