Ano, pseudo ... what's the best 'nymity?

There's an ongoing conversation in online news circles about identity and community. Vin Crosbie's distinction between anonymity and pseudonymity is a good one. I think there actually are five identity models that I've experienced:

Bayosphere and failing forward

Success rarely reveals its secrets to us even when we attain it. Failure is more generous -- it shares its lessons with us, if we just listen. In his Letter to the Bayosphere Community, Dan Gillmor undergoes the rite of self-examination as he looks back on the short history of Bayosphere.

The costs and benefits of interaction

There's a temptation to look at the Washington Post blog blowup and perform a cost-benefit analysis on interactivity. Clearly you can't just toss interactivity technology -- comment systems, forums, chat rooms, whatever -- onto a website and get nothing but happy flowers and joy blossoms. User comments alone aren't interaction. Staff needs to be involved -- responding, leading, and occasionally mopping up spills. Human resources aren't free.

Going after local advertisers with self-serve video

Tossed casually into a meandering media story in Sunday morning's New York Times is a reference to Spot Runner, a significant new Web-based ad service -- it's in beta -- that lets small businesses schedule local video advertising on cable/broadcast systems.

Second-guessing washingtonpost.com's Jim Brady

Jim Brady's decision to shut off comments on the "post.blog" is being second-guessed all over the Web, and I suppose I should join in ... after first acknowledging Jay Rosen's typically excellent, thoughtful essay on the subject that includes an interview with Brady. Read it before you read anything I have to say.

Are your Internet search records public?

Big Brother wants to know what you've been searching for on the Internet, and has asked Google for the records. Google, to its credit, isn't handing them over without a fight.

As for those search records ... everybody knows (thanks to the Avenue Q Broadway musical) "the Internet is for porn." Go ahead and click, it won't bite.

Deadly boring institutional local news

I missed this last week, and maybe you did, too. Tim Porter dissects local reporting in local newspapers: