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Hey murderers apparently need love too, so why shouldn’t Anons? *g*

KristieJ has an interesting rant about anonymous commenters, and how they should really have the courage of their convictions, and post under their real names, or at least their online personas. I started responding, but then it got waaay too long, and the only person who’s blog I feel comfortable bleeding over is Monica’s, so I brought it over here.

I’m not too fond of anons myself, mostly because I’m nosy, but I recognise the need for some anonymity in Blogland, or should I say Romanceland.

The fact is, there’s a lot of back-biting in this here Romanceland, and basically, what goes on the net, is forever cached on the net, so I can understand why an author would prefer to say what they have to say anonymously, than get tarred with the Fucktard Brush. I say that even as the person who often holds that very brush.

The reason I’ve homed in on authors is because I believe that the majority of the people who anonymously commented on my various EC posts were authors.

And I mention EC because the number of anon comments seemed to increase whenever EC was the subject, which leads me to think that the majority of anons were either, authors from EC, or people who have had dealings with EC in the past.

If this is the case, then I’m not sure I can blame them for saying what they have to say anonymously. I hear that the higher-ups at Ellora’s Cave are fond of suing people.

It’s easy for me to say what I want, about who I want, when I want, but then again I’m not a writer, aspiring or otherwise, so there can be no repercussions for me. My career is not dependent on you guys out there. I simply have nothing to lose.

The same can’t be said about authors who decide to tell it like it is. Especially those authors who are e-published.

There are disgruntled authors out there who aren’t happy about one thing or another, but are too scared to take a public stand, because the repercussions for them could be a lot more far reaching.

They could take a public stand, and say exactly how they feel, but then they’d probably become persona non gratis with their peers, readers, and their publishing company. (Read: see Authors Who Should Know Better list) Who needs the hassle?

The same goes for anon readers who come on the blog to berate me for one reason or another, or just to slag me off because they don’t like my online persona. The fact is, the majority of those people are scared too.

Of me.

And why shouldn’t they be, let’s face it, I’m not afraid of tearing a strip off people who annoy me, and they mostly know it, and want to avoid the hassle.

I’m just imagining the number of people going crazy because dammit, they aren’t scared of me. My challenge to those people is, if you truly aren’t scared of me, then post a comment, using your online persona. Tell me I’m a jumped up bitch from hell, if you dare. I promise, I wont be mad. (At the very least, I’d know which blogs to avoid in the future. *g*)

In short, even those people who come on and tell me that they think I’m wrong, have an absolute right to their anonymity. Does it annoy me? Of course it does, but then so do people who belong to the ‘If You Have Nothing Nice To Say’ brigade.

Even more annoying than those people, are the ones who claim they’re fed up of blog dramas, yet come back again and again, to watch the train wrecks, whilst trying to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony on their own blogs. The hypocrisy always makes me want to smile. You know who you are.

Anonymous commenters are cowardly by the very virtue of the fact that they daren’t openly say what they feel, but I’m not going to condemn them for that, because in my opinion, they’re just being practical.

If people don’t know who you are, then those bitchy comments that you made anonymously once upon a time, when you forgot to take your meds, probably wont come back to haunt you later.

Sounds like plain ‘ole common sense to me.

71 Comments »


  • Anne
    July 1
    7:06 pm

    I have to agree with Kristie J. I am annoyed as hell with people who post anonymously. If you don’t want your identity known, then use a fake name for fuck’s sake, but don’t use anonymous. It makes you like a cowering sissy who can’t stand up for what you believe in. I get the whole pubbed/aspiring to be pubbed thing, but if there’s something I believe in strongly enough to comment, damn it, I’ll own up to that comment. It’s MY belief, my point of view, and if people don’t agree, so be it.

    And hell yes, even if we are pretty decent friends, I live in fear of you Karen. Who doesn’t? You can be one of the scariest bitches I’ve ever met in my life. And you know what? I love that about you. :-)

    To summarize:
    Anonymous = Cowardly sissy

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  • FerfeLaBat
    July 1
    7:29 pm

    My. This is new. I’ll be happy to oblige.

    You are a jumped up bitch from hell.

    Only that’s not the words I would have used. I would say something more like …

    You like for people to fear you which makes you one mean-assed, fucked-up bunny.

    Works for you though and it’s entertaining as hell for me (I don’t think less of your targets btw, they’re just people getting on to get along being human) so carry on.

    ::Fondly recalling when you were talking to walls thinking it was me::

    Good times.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 1
    7:38 pm

    Ahh, Ferfe, I lost the bet, you weren’t the first to comment. Dammit.

    I swear, for somebody who’s trying to stay away from my blog, you spend a remarkable amount of time on here.

    You really can’t stay away from me can you?

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  • FerfeLaBat
    July 1
    7:46 pm

    I never said I wanted to stay away. Hope you didn’t lose money, I got here as soon as I heard. ;-)

    You would miss me if I were gone. What fun is it for you to be bad without me to disapprove?

    I figured you’d delete me, but just wanted to tell you I still care.

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  • Anonymous
    July 1
    8:01 pm

    I mostly post anonymously because I don’t have the inclination to log into my google account when I’ve just seen something to post on. I have two google accounts the one that got tied up with blogger and the one for the email. Oh wait I’ve got another gmail address so I’ve got three google accounts. It really is a bit of a pain to keep logging in and out of stuff all the time. If I happen to be logged into blogger I will post with my blogger account but when I’m not I don’t see the point of logging in just for that comment. Then having to log out again, and log in again to check my emails or check into the groups that I’m a member of.

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  • Barbara B.
    July 1
    8:05 pm

    I knew this would draw out The FerfeLaBat! Good times indeed. One thing, the ONLY thing I like about Ferfe is that she’s fearless. Karen, I was actually pretty surprised when you thought she was “the anonymous poster” who ragged on you at JaynieR’s blog.

    Say what you will about Ferfe, she doesn’t intimidate easily. She’s batshit crazy but she’s got brass balls. I like that!

    I get why cowardly authors post aonymously and I must say I’ve wallowed in their spite these past few weeks. And yet I have to wonder why they don’t keep their fucking mouths shut if they’re so fearful. It’s not like they’re whistle blowing something of importance. It’s just GOSSIP for fucks sake. You’re not facing a crisis of conscious if you don’t reveal your dirt.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 1
    8:38 pm

    I still think it was her on Jaynie’s blog Barbara, as for having balls, yes she certainly does. *g*

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  • Nora Roberts
    July 1
    8:44 pm

    If I have something to say, or that I want to say, I post. I use my name. If I’m too weenie to sign my name, what’s the point of posting? An anon post means nothing to me, except the person wants to spout off with impunity. So, in fact, it means nothing.

    If you have an opinion, but don’t have the balls to sign your name to same, just don’t bother. You can always spout off to your pals instead. Otherwise, for me, it’s really just jacking off.

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  • Anonymous
    July 1
    8:55 pm

    I always have to blog as anonymous because I don’t have a blogger, google or livejournal account. I’m a reader not a writer. I always try to remember to sign my name but have forgotten on occasion.
    Hi I’m Jo (or sometimes Joanne) and I’m a reader and sometimes commenter (but more usually a lurker)

    Jo

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  • Angela James
    July 1
    8:59 pm

    Damn. I was going to call you a jumped up bitch from hell but I don’t want you to think I’m like Ferfe because *shiver* scariness. But I do think you’re a jumped up bitch from hell. But I also think there’s nothing wrong with that because, well, you’d just look at me and say “hello pot, meet kettle”.

    Anyhow, I commented on that thread of Kristie’s and while I was typing, I was thinking that I suppose sometimes people should be able to say what they’d like without fear of repercussions, so I can understand that. I mean, there have been whistleblowers in politics and other arenas (Deep Throat, anyone?) who were anonymous and I don’t think they should have kept silent just because they couldn’t own it. So I realized I do understand the why of anonymous commenters. I’d like to think that if an author said, non-anonymously, that Samhain was the worst publisher ever, that the executive editor was totally inept and that no author should ever write for us, that I’d be okay with that because hey, everyone is allowed their opinion. But I’m not that self-deluded ;)

    But on the other hand, my dislike of anonymous commenters, which I said at Kristie’s is personal, I suppose, because how often has someone accused me of being one of those commenters? Or someone I know of being one of them. I’ve made ONE anonymous comment in all my time online over the years and it wasn’t a comment slamming, insulting or otherwise degrading someone. In fact, it didn’t harm anyone at all. And it was years ago. But, well, it’s hard to prove a negative. So I guess I get itchy skin from the anonymous comments because of how it affects me. But I guess holding a view based on how it affects us isn’t that unusual.

    Here’s a question for you, Karen. Do you hold with the same validity the opinion of someone who posts anonymously as that of someone who puts a “name” to it? It’s harder to know what’s behind a comment–the emotions, the knowledge, the motive, if you don’t know who it is, don’t you think?

    This is such an odd subject, very gray area. I have very mixed feelings on it.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 1
    9:03 pm

    Hey Nora Roberts, where you been? You’ve been missed muchly.

    By the way, for those people who say they have to blog anonymously, you do realise that you can just select ‘other’, and put your name in the box labelled ‘name’ right?

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  • FerfeLaBat
    July 1
    9:03 pm

    Damn. I was going to call you a jumped up bitch from hell but I don’t want you to think I’m like Ferfe because *shiver* scariness. ~ Evil Angie

    *Roll Eyes*

    *eg*

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  • Jo
    July 1
    9:14 pm

    Sorry, no I didn’t know that I could use the ‘other’ button and I feel really thick now! I think I clicked it once, saw reference to ‘your web page’ and as I don’t have a webpage either I just went straight to anonymous as I didn’t read the ‘all fields are optional’ bit. Talk about missing the bleeding obvious.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 1
    9:15 pm

    Here’s a question for you, Karen. Do you hold with the same validity the opinion of someone who posts anonymously as that of someone who puts a “name” to it?

    I was going to say no straight away to that question, but then I thought again about some of the asinine comments that I’ve read from people who put their names to their words, and decided that, it’s not as white and black as that.

    So my answer will be, it depends. I know, total cop-out, but here’s the thing, I can point to a number of anon posts that were perfectly sane and reasonable, whilst some comments from named people, have been little more than ridiculous ramblings.

    An example would be that RT Falk woman, I mean, what the hell kinda drugs was she on? Give me an anon over her anyday.

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  • Nora Roberts
    July 1
    9:28 pm

    Family vacation in Ireland for a couple of weeks. Mega fun for all.

    Re Deep Throating. Mostly these blogs and commentaries are not delving into national security. The fate of nations is not at risk. It’s pretty much my opinion is: Blah, blah, blah-di-blah.

    So I figure if your opinion is blah, blah, blah-di-blah, SAY so. Otherwise, say nothing. It’s really not going to spin the Earth off its axis either way.

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  • Angela James
    July 1
    9:35 pm

    Well, just for fun, let’s say you have two commenters and they’re both talking about something to do with, well, to avoid any blog wars I’ll use myself as an example ;)

    Let’s say you’ve just written a total smackdown about me and how much I suck (please don’t do that, k?) and you get this:

    Anonymous comes on and says: Angela James edited my book and she didn’t make any comments, I’m not sure she even read it. She’s the worst editor EVAH!

    Then someone who leaves a name comes on, one of my authors and says:
    Anonymous, I don’t know who you are but that’s not how Angela works. She’s an incredibly thorough editor and tough as nails during the editing process. She’s the best editor EVAH!

    Which one of those commenters’ opinions are more likely to bear weight with you?

    But then you get these two:

    Anonymous: Karen, you’re smoking crack. Angela James is wonderful. She’s the best thing since sliced bread. Every publishing company should be so lucky to have her.

    And then an author who leaves their name writes:
    You are so right on. She DOES suck. What was her company thinking when they hired her? She’s going to drive that company into the ground if someone doesn’t wake up and see what she’s doing.

    So, thinking out loud here (obviously), I guess I’m saying it’s not just that an anonymous commenter leaves a negative comment that makes them suspect or what they say or how reasonable they sound (though I do see your point), but that you don’t know what their motivations are, what their connection is, or why they’re leaving the comment.

    In the first case, anonymous left a negative comment and yeah, it sounded like sour grapes. Might be valid but since it could really be someone who’s never even worked with me, we don’t know. But in the second case, the anonymous commenter is gushing on me but for all we know it could be ME. Or someone I paid ;) And that’s what makes anonymous commenting so difficult. You just don’t know who’s giving you the information and what their basis for that information is. If someone puts a name to it, it seems to add validity for people because they can take what they know about the person and use that to process the information.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 1
    9:50 pm

    Great examples Angie, in those instances, I’d probably dismiss both anon comments, because I couldn’t be sure of their motivations either way. Because I’m a cynical kinda gal, I would assume that the anon slagging you off, had an axe to grind, and that the anon praising you, was probably one of your authors.

    Having said that though, If one of your authors did come on and say that you were the best thing since sliced bread, I’d pretty much ignore them too, because of course they would say that, you’re their editor, and the only one foolish enough round here to slag off their editor publicly is that Carol Lynne woman. *g*

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  • Barbara B.
    July 1
    10:00 pm

    Interesting post, Angela James. Not exactly concise but interesting. In the situations that you describe, your best reaction might be not giving a damn. By now you’ve probably noticed that you industry types can get up to some serious fuckery when you try to defend and/or explain yourselves. *See Jaid Black.*

    If that doesn’t work you could always try that “laughing all the way to the bank” thing that they’re so fond of at EC. *g*

    If Raelene Gorlinsky is to be believed that shit works everytime!

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  • Karen Scott
    July 1
    10:01 pm

    Family vacation in Ireland for a couple of weeks. Mega fun for all.

    Cool, an American with a passport, I’m so impressed, *g*

    I’m kidding people, don’t get your knickers in a twist.

    Seriously, Ireland is amazing, the most drunk I ever got was in a bar in Dublin many years ago. Good times.

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  • Ann Aguirre
    July 1
    10:01 pm

    “If you have an opinion, but don’t have the balls to sign your name to same, just don’t bother. You can always spout off to your pals instead. Otherwise, for me, it’s really just jacking off.”

    Agreed. Any opinions I have that I wouldn’t go public with (and the ‘net is public) can remain in emails.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 1
    10:02 pm

    If that doesn’t work you could always try that “laughing all the way to the bank” thing that they’re so fond of at EC. *g*

    If Raelene Gorlinsky is to be believed that shit works everytime!

    Now, that is FUNNY!

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  • Angela James
    July 1
    10:18 pm

    If one of your authors did come on and say that you were the best thing since sliced bread, I’d pretty much ignore them too, because of course they would say that, you’re their editor,

    So, essentially, if anyone says anything nice about me, whether anonymous or not, they’re suspect and what they’re saying is suspect. Well dang, there goes my plan to take over the universe one blog comment at a time.

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  • Angela James
    July 1
    10:21 pm

    Interesting post, Angela James. Not exactly concise but interesting. In the situations that you describe, your best reaction might be not giving a damn.

    Actually, I wasn’t talking about how I would view those posts but how Karen, or someone not personally invested, might view them and how much weight an anonymous comment holds to an outside observer, if that makes better sense.

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  • cecilia
    July 1
    10:25 pm

    I’m not one to post anonymously, but I’m disinclined to banish all anon posters to hell’s half acre for lacking balls. If all expressions of opinion have to be a situation of “stand up and show yourself or your opinion counts for nothing,” then I think there are a number of perfectly sane posts that are going to be omitted, which well may be a loss for the discourse. There’s certainly, in journalism, a long-standing tradition of freedom allowed by the anonymous editorial, which doesn’t, I believe, generally earn scorn for being balls-challenged. So what if people are timid? It’s not as though adding a name to a post is going to add authority all by itself. If, as Angela James, noted, a post is making statements about the quality of her work, then yes, it helps her to judge that person’s credibility, but it doesn’t help me, because I still don’t know that person. If a person is making wild generalizations, I can infer their comments maybe need to be taken with a grain of salt, whether a name is provided or not.

    If I may digress, am I the only person in the whole wide world who thinks that “laughing all the way to the bank” is a misquote of Liberace’s famous response to a question about how he felt the savage reviews he got? “I cried all the way to the bank” Is there anyone who has heard that story?

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  • Angela James
    July 1
    10:31 pm

    If, as Angela James, noted, a post is making statements about the quality of her work, then yes, it helps her to judge that person’s credibility, but it doesn’t help me, because I still don’t know that person.

    I concede that point is going to be true in some cases, but I think that our internet world/publishing world is small enough that many people might know the person, even if some bloggers don’t. So maybe it would help the majority?

    And truthfully, I’m only debating these points because I have a cold and am not good for much else today. Like I said before, it’s such a gray area for me, I have mixed feelings that go back and forth.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 1
    10:37 pm

    So, essentially, if anyone says anything nice about me, whether anonymous or not, they’re suspect

    Hey, don’t feel bad Angie, that goes for everyone. *g*

    Once upon a time, that was even a good enough reason not to buy a Nora Roberts book.

    Cecilia, you explained that far better than I.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 1
    10:40 pm

    Is there anyone who has heard that story?

    I meant to add, yes, I heard the story, and he did indeed say crying, as opposed to laughing, but I’m not sure that it’s a misquote though, I figured that somebody else had gone with the ‘laughing’ line.

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  • Angela James
    July 1
    10:41 pm

    Hey, don’t feel bad Angie, that goes for everyone. *g*

    Well of course it does, Karen. Because you’re a jumped up bitch from hell. See how these things come full circle? ;)

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  • Karen Scott
    July 1
    10:47 pm

    Well of course it does, Karen. Because you’re a jumped up bitch from hell. See how these things come full circle? ;)

    Good point, well made. *g*

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  • Anonymous
    July 1
    10:51 pm

    Nah, I’m going to stay anonymous. I also don’t much care what people I don’t know think of my balls or lack thereof. Also I usually only post information and links. :)

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  • Anonymous
    July 1
    11:02 pm

    Good for you, Anonymous! What do you mean you only post information and links? What the hell else is there?

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  • Barbara B.
    July 1
    11:07 pm

    Oops! That last anonymous post was mine. I was laughing so hard at Anonymous@ 11:51 that I fell into the trap myself.

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  • shiloh walker
    July 1
    11:16 pm

    Karen, I’d say yeah, I think you can be a bitch, but you’re honest about it. And you’re fair about it, if that makes sense.

    I’m pretty much a bitch and I’m aware of that, and I’m okay with it.

    I’ll take an honest bitch over a backstabbing coward any day of the week.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of backstabbing cowards and a lot of people who like to see people screw up~that trainwreck fascination. If there weren’t so many backstabbers out there and if there wasn’t this gross fascination with seeing people mess up, I don’t think as many people would feel the need to post anon. I try generally not to stay anything now that I won’t be able to stand by, but I am also diplomatic in what I post and where. or I try to be.

    But diplomacy and common sense don’t always help. Sometimes I think people feel there’s something they need to say and as long as they aren’t using anon to hide behind while they slander, flame or insult, I don’t care if they post anon or not.

    People who use anon just so they can be as petty, childish and insulting as they want without facing the consequences…. wellllll… they are easy enough to pick and I just ignore them.

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  • Anonymous
    July 1
    11:42 pm

    I rarely post opinion– though what I think can probably be surmised at times. I also don’t get in slanging matches with other posters. Waste of time and energy. I do like watching other posters go batshit though which is making romancelandia one of my favorite places to read right now.

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  • Kristie (J)
    July 1
    11:55 pm

    LOL Karen: It was your blog and some of the other posts on other blogs that have come about because of your blog that got me thinking and ranting. I thought about your justification that some authors/blogger might want to remain anonymous and I still don’t buy it. For example ONLY – if it’s a lot of disgruntled authors working for the same publisher, if they were all to band together and then start posting about their disgruntledness – if what they say is true – there’s nothing to worry about being sued about. If it’s not true and they are just being malicious – they are mean nasty cowards – that’s the way I see it. And if they are that worried about the fallout – then listen to that expression ‘discretion is the better part of valour’ and contain the need to be viscious. I for one would like to know who they are so I could avoid buying their books.
    And as for readers who post anonymously – if you don’t like a blog then just don’t visit that blog. Or have the guts to name yourelf. I visit here ’cause I like you and sometimes Karen you do so make me laugh.
    I can see why someone – such as Barbara B *g* could post anonymously by accident on occasion, but there are three buttons to choose. If you don’t have a blog – hit other and put your name on the button. I don’t have a Live Journal account so whenever I post on a LJ blog I add my name.
    And while I’m at it – dare I hope that Nora Roberts followed the link and may some time comment on my blog. Cause that would so make my day, my week, my month, my year. And I could show my sister who is also a Nora fan and she would be so envious of her big sister.

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  • Lynne Simpson
    July 2
    12:23 am

    It’s easy to create a fake identity to avoid posting as Anonymous. Just because someone has a real-sounding name doesn’t mean it’s THEIR name. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t also posting under other equally real-sounding names, even on the same posts.

    I think anon posts have their place. It’s up to individual readers to decide how much weight to give comments made by anon posters, and the same goes for those posted by people who appear to be using real names.

    These things have a way of policing themselves, IMO. If an anonymous poster makes a statement that truly does have legs, then others with more legitimacy in the blogoverse will take it and run with it. That’s been the case since Usenet, long before blogs were invented.

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  • roslynholcomb
    July 2
    1:14 am

    “For example ONLY – if it’s a lot of disgruntled authors working for the same publisher, if they were all to band together and then start posting about their disgruntledness – if what they say is true – there’s nothing to worry about being sued about.”

    Actually Kristie (J), you could still have a lot to be worried about. I banded together with a group of authors to complain about a mutual publisher, and quite a few of us did get sued. (I wasn’t one of them). Everything we said was factual, but people still had to hire lawyers. That’s not exactly cheap. If the publisher decides to be an asshat about it, you can find yourself literally fucked.

    I just read an article over on Deidre Savoy’s blog, she posted it from another blog, but I can’t recall which one. Anyway, several editors and agents said that they do check an author’s blog/website before signing them. Therefore what you’ve said could have a chilling effect on future prospects. *sigh* Being that an unsigned author in pursuit of both, I wish I’d known that before I called the president and ignorant mofo on my blog. Oh well, I probably still would’ve done it. Not sure I’d want to sign with anyone who doesn’t agree with me on THAT point! -lol-

    I don’t post anonymously, probably because I’m too goddamned stupid to do so. Also, I’ve been online for so long and my style is so distinctive most folks could suss me out anyway. But I certainly wouldn’t cast shade on anyone who is smart enough to do so. Its certainly not worth what it can cost you otherwise.

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  • azteclady
    July 2
    1:23 am

    Hmmm…

    I’m of two mind on this one, myself.

    On one hand, I don’t have a blog, a blogger account, a LiveJournal, a website, or anything similar. I’m mostly a reader who occasionally feels the need to comment on someone else’s opinions or points of view.

    Therefore, I usually check the “other” box here, and sign with my ‘online identity’–it’s not my name, who would say nothing to anyone anyway, but the same online ID I’ve used for the past ten or so years I’ve been online.

    Which begs the question, is this any better than commenting anonymously? My answer would be yes (hello, interested party here *grin*), because after participating in a blog or other online community for a while, people reading my comments/posts get to have a general ‘feel’ for who am I–regardless of name or lack thereof. I own my opinions, my points of view, my rants, etc. just as much as Karen or sybil or Mrs Giggles do, only I’m a humble nobody. [Though I am still peeved when a certain author accused me of posting anonymously a negative comment about one of her books, when in fact I liked it *grrrrrr*]

    *ahem* Where was I?

    Ah, yes!

    So posting with a recognizable identity–your name, your pseudonym, your long (or short) time online persona, whatever–tends to lend some credibility to people’s comments and posts, as long as they are well written. Which is the first requirement for me, since people’s words are the ONLY thing that comes through in the web. No body language cues, or intonation, or even volume, to help interpret what anyone is saying. So one either writes clearly or (as is obviously my case), extensively, to make sure one is actually conveying what one WANTS to convey.

    However, there’s the other side of the coin.

    What if there’s something of value to say but saying it could cost the commenter more than s/he can afford to pay? Whistle blowing in any industry is not a pretty thing, but it has proven necessary on occasion. Yes, it’s not national security but as the Northman Gate affair proved, there can be some valid and valuable information coming forth from anonymous sources. [I can’t but think that many a Triskelion author wishes s/he had read the writing in that wall before the entire building crashed on them.]

    Yes, I certainly admire people like Millennia Black, who’s standing by her principles and putting her career on the line for it–but I also understand that not every author out there can *afford* to do the same, in a very very real sense. Many of those may not write full time, but I’ll wager that plenty depend on those royalty checks to help ends meet each month.

    Should they keep silent then? I think that they should be allowed their say. After all, as lynne simpson above said, if there’s fire under that smoke, it’ll be evident to everyone sooner or later.

    Eeekkk….! Apologies for the long ass comment, Karen *sheepish*

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  • Anonymous
    July 2
    1:27 am

    Roslyn, can you post the link to deidre’s blog? I tried deidresavoy.blogspot.com and also did a search but didn’t find a link. I’m sure blog/web isn’t the only thing agents and editors check…they also gossip with one another the same way authors do. If that is Gorlinsky as the writer of that email posted on Der Schadenfreude–outspoken EC authors beware.

    Anon because I can be :-P

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  • sybil
    July 2
    1:46 am

    I had a long post here but decided it was way too informative.

    Long story short if you are posting anon because you have something to hide for fear for what it could do to you – don’t. All it takes is one fuck up or pissing off the right person with the skills, time or the favors to call in to have it figured out.

    Nothing dies on the internet and very, very little can hide.

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  • sybil
    July 2
    1:57 am

    I think the blog with the comments from publishers is The Midnight Hour

    http://www.themidnighthour.net/11-editors-agents-on-websites-and-public-dissing/

    But that could be the wrong one…

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  • sybil
    July 2
    1:58 am

    try this link instead

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  • eggs
    July 2
    2:04 am

    I agree with azteclady, in that I don’t care what name people use as long as they consistantly use one that is recognizably theirs. That way you know instantly if there’s a comment by someone you’re interested in reading – or one by someone who you’d much rather skip over.

    In general, I don’t take “anon” posts seriously, because you can’t really engage in any conversation with them. It’s like a stanger shouting out a random comment from a moving car or something. There can be no engagement.

    I have been “eggs” for close to ten years now, and I would feel strange posting under any other name. I often wonder what my kids will make of it all when they google me in the future and see all the stupid things I’ve had to say. Assuming they can be bothered to google me at all!

    Suzie Egg.

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  • Lynne Simpson
    July 2
    2:16 am

    You’re absolutely right, Sybil. Most people don’t have the skillz to pull off total anonymity, anyway, and even those who do can be tripped up. Every activity leaves a footprint. If I wanted to discover the identity of an anonymous poster on my own blog badly enough, there are many things I could do to find out, and that’s just the completely legal stuff. If someone’s willing to break the law or get a friend to do so, there are even more options.

    But there’s more to anonymity than just technical skills. Lots of people forget that.

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  • roslynholcomb
    July 2
    2:44 am

    Thanks sybil, that’s the one. I was posting on the fly (I’m supposed to be unplugged at the moment, trying to get some word count!)

    I agree on the tech savvy tip. I learned this lesson back in 1997 when I was still on the usenet. There was this one racist troll who used to post the most godawful foul crap. Dude was absolutely horrific and a total troll. Somebody decided to backtrack him, and posted his home address, the address of the business he owned and even the school his kids attended all over the net. Even then when the net was much smaller than it is now, his life was totally wrecked. I think he had to shut down his business and move.

    That’s one of the reasons I’ve never tried to maintain any type of anonymity. Not only do you have the tech savvy, there are also people who recognize writing styles. This is particularly apparent when someone is a writer. I’ve had a stalker for more than a decade now, and no matter how many times he disguises himself, I always recognize him immediately. He changes his name, but not his writing style.

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  • Doom Turtle
    July 2
    3:08 am

    Wow. I never considered that people might track you down. Posting about the guy’s kids seems a bit extreme though.

    I think there’s a big difference between posting anonymously because you’re a troll and because you don’t really want to announce who you are to the less tech savvy. Also, if it’s something you might get sued for, don’t post it.

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  • Ann Bruce
    July 2
    7:22 am

    Damn, everyone’s beaten me to calling you “a jumped up bitch from hell.”

    (BTW, what are you jumped up on? Is it something that can be grown in among, say, mint leaves and other fine herbs?)

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  • Ann Bruce
    July 2
    7:34 am

    Being that an unsigned author in pursuit of both, I wish I’d known that before I called the president and ignorant mofo on my blog.

    This is so coming back to bite me. Anyway…

    Roslynholcomb – If you’re talking about the current US administration, they should’ve been banging down your door and begging you to sign their contracts!

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  • Karen Scott
    July 2
    8:06 am

    Syb, I read Chey’s post, and the responses that she got were awesome, this particularly response from a senior editor at Avon made me giggle:

    And if a published author is unhappy about something, I think she should go directly to her editor to address the problem. Posting complaints on a blog rather than communicating with your editor is just unprofessional

    Hmmm, I can think of a few people who wish they’d read Chey’s post first.

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  • Arin Rhys
    July 2
    9:04 am

    This romance blogosphere of ours is pretty passive-aggressive (sometimes this passive-aggressiveness disguised as professionalism) to the point where sometimes if you are a writer that you can’t say something negative without it biting you in the ass. I can’t really fault anons because some people really don’t like it when another person pops their bubble even if its in their own best interest so they get pissed and do a little gossip of their own to ruin a rep of a person with the pubs and other authors. Its a sad thing, but until we can have more open discourse anons will be a fact of life.

    Trolls are a different thing entirely.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 2
    11:58 am

    The following e-mail was sent to me by an author who wishes to remain anonymous:

    “Using anon to flame, insult or cause trouble is cowardice.

    But there are times when using anon is the only logical choice. Staying silent isn’t always the right thing to do, particularly if you are aware of unethical issues. Many people have found themselves in a bad spot and they could have avoided it if somebody had shared information. Triskelion was mentioned and there are probably some authors out there who wished they had known ahead of time what was coming.

    But voicing these sort of concerns can have far reaching consequences. It isn’t just law suits or the threat of them. It’s the possibility of your publisher deciding you aren’t going to get another contract, or delayed edits or unavailable release dates.

    It’s not having your name considered for big projects. It’s running the risk of agents seeing your name and believing you are a troublemaker without being aware of the entire situation.

    So you have dilemma. Do you say nothing? Do you risk your career? Or do you find a way that lets you voice your concerns and hopefully protect your career?

    You might think these sort of things do not happen, but they can, they have and it will continue to happen.”

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  • Nora Roberts
    July 2
    12:18 pm

    Even my grandbabies have passports! (Cuuute) We are so sofisticated.

    There have always been issues and unethical practices. Word still got out. By phone, face-to-face, snail mail. Not as fast, certainly, and not everyone got the word as clearly or as quickly as others. But you knew who was saying what, and could weigh that into the mix.

    For me, who’s relaying or commenting on information is a factor. If I don’t know, it doesn’t carry much weight for me.

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  • Jane
    July 2
    1:08 pm

    I would prefer that anonymous commenters choose a name, any name, rather than “anon” but I do see why people do it. Look at the Anne Stuart situation or the Dixieland mafia incident. Both times, the author or wanna be author got excoriated by her peers. On that basis alone, if I were an author, I would want to post anonymously.

    Anon comments, though, have less impact and are easily dismissed. They are often the bitch-iest and rudest comments. But they are sometimes the most insightful.

    As for Karen being a jumped up bitch – did I miss that anonymous comment somewhere?

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  • Jaye
    July 2
    2:02 pm

    My preference is to see a name ascribed to a post. If the poster has been active on line, the weight of history comes into play. BUT, I can understand why someone would post under an anon siggy. I also think it’s fairly easy to suss out by the phasing language used as to whether or not a anon poster has a axe to grind, is a flaming suck up, or has a legitimate contribution to an ongoing discussion. Also, some else mentioned ‘voice’, sometimes anons shouldn’t even bother posting as anon because certain words/phrasing give them away.

    On a separate (related?) topic, I can’t help but feel that there’s a big ole ‘side-eye’ going on over here. lol

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  • Karen Scott
    July 2
    2:27 pm

    You know what Jaye, it’s just as well that woman is as successful as she is because truly, there will be a few industry people looking at her like she done lost her mind. All that business savvy, and yet she seems so clueless about the basics.

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  • mary
    July 2
    3:02 pm

    Jaye, are we suppose to pick which one we are?

    From that link you gave, Jaid Black and gang differentiate between:
    1. Spamming troll: Posts to many newsgroups with the same verbatim post.

    2. Kooks: A regular member of a forum who habitually drops comments that have no basis on the topic or even in reality.

    3. Flamer: Does not contribute to the group except by making inflammatory comments.

    4. Hit-and-runner: Stops in, make one or two posts and move on.

    5. Psycho trolls: Has a psychological need to feel good by making others feel bad.

    (giving everyone the “side eyes” :) )

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  • Anne
    July 2
    3:13 pm

    Anonymous said: I mostly post anonymously because I don’t have the inclination to log into my google account when I’ve just seen something to post on.

    You could still sign your name, you know. Hmmm.

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  • Anne
    July 2
    3:24 pm

    I think I’m a flamer, LOL Since I inspired their no-flamming warning and moderating comments.

    I only spoke the truth. Pffft!

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  • azteclady
    July 2
    3:26 pm

    Interestingly enough, I came here today to post the link to the original article (http://www.cio.com/article/106500/Online_Harassment_Five_Tips_to_Defeat_Blog_Trolls_and_Cyberstalkers%3Cbr%3E ) (I don’t know how to do proper links, apologies for messing up the format, Karen)

    I wonder whether JB/TE knows that posting an excerpt without citing and linking the source is a copyright violation? IANAL nor do I play one online, by the way, but some things are supposed to be common sense, no?

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  • Anonymous
    July 2
    4:00 pm

    I wish people would stop stealing my name. It’s so annoying. Everyone thinks they are me. I should sue them for falsely using my name on the internet.

    Anonymous

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  • Karen Scott
    July 2
    4:05 pm

    Anonymous, that was hilarious, lol!

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  • Jaye
    July 2
    4:05 pm

    Honestly, I saw the post and–to quote Elaine from Seinfeld– “I laughed and I laughed and I laughed”. Essentially it’s pointing fingers without pointing fingers, when really, if one wants a situation to die, well, let it die already, don’t keep poking it with a stick. The only thing slick about that is the trail that’s left behind. Either you ignore something or you ‘man up’, and be done.

    I guess, I’m a serial Hit and Runner. lol. I may only leave one or two comments, but I keep coming back. ;-)

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  • Nora Roberts
    July 2
    4:25 pm

    I want to be a Kook. Or maybe a Psycho. I think I want a whole new category: The Psycho Kook. The PK for short.

    I know we’ve all encountered the Kooky Psycho Trolling Flamer who hits and runs.

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  • Lauren Dane
    July 2
    6:29 pm

    If it’s worth saying in public, I’ll put my name on it.

    HOWEVER, I have answered a public question via email because I wanted to say something but not on a blog. Still, it could easily be passed on.

    Yes, there are things I wish I could respond to in public but I don’t because yes, this is a business and what we do gets noted. I may be subtle in my response to something I find ridiculous – my last thursday 13 for instance. And sometimes I just say it because silence in the face of stupidity is a stance I can’t take in some cases.

    There is whistleblowing and I understand why someone would be anonymous over that. But what happens, more often than not when we don’t have to sign a name is we become less careful with the truth becase we aren’t responsible for what we say.

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  • Anonymous
    July 2
    7:52 pm

    Anne said…

    Anonymous said: I mostly post anonymously because I don’t have the inclination to log into my google account when I’ve just seen something to post on.

    You could still sign your name, you know. Hmmm.

    My mistake. I usually post on message boards where signing your name with your posts is downright frowned upon because your name is at the left hand side anyway. I’m not in the habit of signing my name to everything I post. The last time I checked the other box on blogger they wanted me to sign into some open id thing and I don’t have that. Have they changed it? I admit I don’t normally check.
    Stacey.

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  • Tawny Taylor
    July 2
    9:41 pm

    I’m a published author and yet I sign all my comments because:

    I am not going to slam my publishers, editors, agent or fellow authors on a blog.

    I’m willing to stand behind whatever I post.

    I rarely comment, but if I do, I try to stick with facts, rather than opinion.

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  • Ann Bruce
    July 3
    12:15 am

    Definitely kook.

    Maybe semi-psycho. I don’t need to make other people feel bad; they make themselves feel bad by not thinking before they type. And I don’t feel good about it; I just find it funny as hell.

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  • Lynne Simpson
    July 3
    12:44 am

    You said it, Arin. There’s a big difference between trolls and people who are posting anonymously due to real-life reprisals that would result if their names were known. We’ve all seen nasty cyber-bullying in Romancelandia, so it’s not hard to understand that some people might not want to make themselves a target.

    If a blogger wants to ban anonymous comments on her blog, that’s absolutely her right. Blogger, WordPress, and LiveJournal give blog owners plenty of options for that. But I think a lot of the complaints in these situations come not from the blog owners where the anon comments occur but from other visitors. I admit to being curious about how these comments look from the server side — oh, what I could do with a peek at those log files — but it’s not enough to make me angry about anon posts. :-)

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  • shiloh walker
    July 3
    1:08 am

    We’ve all seen nasty cyber-bullying in Romancelandia, so it’s not hard to understand that some people might not want to make themselves a target.

    You know what, bullying is one thing I hadnt’ thought of, but it’s definitely going to be a reason for some. One reader, in particular that I know. She voiced her opinion about a book~she didn’t flame it, didn’t insult, just stated it wasn’t her cup of tea and she had readers ganging up on her over it. It got to the point that she didn’t even like visiting the site anymore.

    I can’t remember if it was a group or a blog, but I remember her telling me about it and thinking how ridiculous.

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  • Anonymous
    July 6
    9:46 pm

    NO time…3 teens & a home business = no time to attempt figuring out how to log into some sites. If they don’t require sign-in, I comment under my initials. Complicate sign-ins are just too time consuming (and often don’t work anyway), so I comment under anonymous…and sign it.

    I also don’t flame, so maybe I’m not the type under discussion.

    -dl

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  • Angelia Sparrow
    July 11
    5:29 am

    I was about to apologize for posting anonymously since I don’t have a blogspot account.

    But Blogspot lets us sign in as “other.”

    Many years ago, I learned to stand tall and take it when someone didn’t like my opinion. The net has a long memory and nothing is ever truly gone.

    And yeah, I’m still paying for crap I said 16 years ago. But I said it. I meant it then.

    I came in because of the EC discussion (I’m valarltd on LJ). I write for EC. I also write for Phaze, Torquere and Circle Dark.

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