Identity isn't about digital

Mallary Jean Tenore has a piece at titled Journalists Develop, Dismiss Digital Identities that includes the predictable "other side" in which a luddite just doesn't have the time.

In this case the luddite happens to be the "editor/opinion pages" of the Houston Chronicle. That's sad, because it's another example of failure to perceive opportunity.

"Digital identity" is just plain identity. Either people know who you are and what you stand for, or they don't.

The Internet isn't some fringe thing. Every day, more people use the Internet than read daily newspapers. If you want fringe, take a look at newspaper editorial pages, read by a tiny minority. If you want enhance the marketplace of civic conversation, go where the people are and show some leadership.

Tenore links to a (pirated) column by the editor, James Gibbons, that has a puzzling line: "I find that most blogs lack the elegance, wit and insight one looks for in magazine commentary and editorial pages in their ideal state." Isn't it true that most of everything fails to measure up to the ideal? That's Sturgeon's Law: "Ninety percent of everything is crud." I wonder if newspaper editorial pages can claim to beat that average.


One reason newspaper and magazine writers suggest that blogs lack elegance, wit and insight is that print writers are often skewered in real time by the elegance, wit and insight they refuse to acknowledge. Have a look for an example. If anything has been democratized by the Internet, it's media criticism. And it ain't all bad (or without elegance or wit).

I think people can have different identities online then they do in real life. Some people like how anonymous the internet allows them to be.