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I am debating dropping the pseudonym for my MN account and I'm curious to get feedback from other professionals. One of my reasons for posting under a pseudonym is that I am engaging in professional discussions about various things on which my viewpoints sometimes evolve over time (as I think is true for all of us). Practices change, and in the nature of these discussions, often of a speculative nature, it's nice to be able to exchange without the pressure of making a public statement that can misrepresent your work. I don't think I'm saying this clearly, but hopefully you get the idea.

I tend to be very anxious and guarded about making public statements, but in this day and age it is getting to be necessary to have an online presence. For that reason I am considering dropping the pseudonym or more likely starting a new account in which I would use my name, but probably be more guarded in what I post. Probably shy away from things of a speculative nature etc... with greater concern that everything reflects on my work. 

I suppose I could keep the pseudonym account and use it for things of speculative nature, but that seems somehow inappropriate and annoying. In any case, I'm curious to hear what folks think on the subject. Thanks.

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Well, IMHO, two accounts is kinda weird.  I say either keep posting under "Lurker" or come on out!  I know what you mean about online presence, I have been going back and forth about a professional ( who am I kidding?) FB account for awhile now.  Ultimately, what reflects your work is your instruments and the music that people play with them.  Be it set-up or making.  Good luck!

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In for a penny, in for a pound. I've always felt I might as well be me..... never quite understood the pseudonym thing.

Makes me humble when I ask a question..... never a bad thing.

And think twice or more when I posit an opinion.

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Hey Lurker... I don't believe I've really ever felt too exposed.  If I post an opinion others disagree with, I honestly don't mind the feedback.  If I am about to "say" something that I don't want my name attached to, I just don't say it (and that's probably a good thing :) ).

...but do what you're comfortable  with. Your not the only one who uses a screen name hiding your identity.

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I would encourage you to use your real name.

There are a couple of people here who I know well, and who post under pseudonyms for good reason, but generally speaking I think it's good practice to say only what you feel comfortable saying in your own name. There are many anonymous posters here whose opinions I take far less seriously, simply because they are anonymous and they don't wish me to know who they really are. All the trolls, shit-stirrers, embittered snipers and boors are anonymous, although of course using one's own name is no protection against being a bit of an arse.

My view is ... let it all hang out. 

Jeffrey Holmes, Bruce Carlson, Jacob Saunders, Christian Bayon, David Burgess, etc etc - if they can take it then you can.

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I don't see any reason to worry about people disagreeing with. the issue I see is if you stand behind what you say both in RL and online. If so, then what you say online is not a negative it is what you believe. If you change you mind, well, that is called learning - I hope I never stop learning.

 

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3 minutes ago, martin swan said:

I All the trolls, shit-stirrers, embittered snipers and boors are anonymous,

Birds of a feather - do you really want to associate with or be associated with these types? 

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When I decided to join this form, my next decision was whether to use my own name.  I have never regretted my decision to use it.  As Martin says: "I think it's good practice to say only what you feel comfortable saying in your own name."

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10 hours ago, MaestronetLurker said:

I am debating dropping the pseudonym for my MN account and I'm curious to get feedback from other professionals. One of my reasons for posting under a pseudonym is that I am engaging in professional discussions about various things on which my viewpoints sometimes evolve over time (as I think is true for all of us). Practices change, and in the nature of these discussions, often of a speculative nature, it's nice to be able to exchange without the pressure of making a public statement that can misrepresent your work. I don't think I'm saying this clearly, but hopefully you get the idea.

I tend to be very anxious and guarded about making public statements, but in this day and age it is getting to be necessary to have an online presence. For that reason I am considering dropping the pseudonym or more likely starting a new account in which I would use my name, but probably be more guarded in what I post. Probably shy away from things of a speculative nature etc... with greater concern that everything reflects on my work. 

I suppose I could keep the pseudonym account and use it for things of speculative nature, but that seems somehow inappropriate and annoying. In any case, I'm curious to hear what folks think on the subject. Thanks.

I have no problem with your screen name, you can always put more your info in your profile if you want more exposure. Oh I also  find your post very helpful

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Thanks everyone. In general I tend to have a high level of anxiety, and even a Facebook page shared only with friends makes me feel uncomfortable sort of like public speaking. The exposure to a crowd makes me uncomfortable. So that is certainly a part of the issue. 

To better illustrate my professional concern, there is a local shop who I used to work for, and I've witnessed a bit of back-handed and slanderous commentary of other luthiers. I've seen it happen with former employees starting the day that they quit even though they were in good standing all the way. The sort of statement that I stand behind, but could be used to make me look bad is something like tight bond in the purling channel. Controversial, but it makes sense to me to have a gap filling glue with a little creep in the purling channel. One of the employees in the competitor shop (a really good guy, not part of the smearing of other luthiers) had mentioned that he's heard commentary about other luthiers along the lines of "I wouldn't trust his work. He uses super glue" or that type of thing. Undoubtedly out of context. I use super glue for things like hardening the area around the notches on top of a bridge if the strings have been cutting in or filling portions of chipped ebony with super glue and dust. Anyways, it's more about perception than what I stand behind. And perhaps, as you can see, my anxiety plays a role here.

I'm not hearing people say that they've had their comments on a public forum come back to them used out of context or create some sort of professional problem, and that's good. It helps me to push aside my anxiety over the issue as being part of my own neurosis and not a real world problem. Thanks again.

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You could use two identities:  "MaestronetLurker" for your sensitive stuff and your real name for comments that wouldn't be a problem.  

That way you could even disagree with each other like Gollum.

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I see both sides here as well, and I feel a bit of the same over-thinking things and kind of anxitety that you describe, MNLurker. I am not professional in THIS business, this is my hobby. However I have been mis-quoted in what IS my business in another occation. Something I posted online was taken out of context, and after being distorted a few times it became a big think on internet about how we apparently found (and implicitly took) some ancient coins on a historical building site we were working on... Even a newspaper wrote about it, after picking the story up on a blog that had (intentionally or not) misinterpreted the whole thing. Actually, my first post was about me PLACING some (modern) coins in a hole in a wall in a building site - for future generations to find...! 

Even on facebook, posting to "friends only" I often have to think throuh 4 times what I write. Using a pseudonym lets me discuss more freely, however - when I communicate on private messages directly to other members of the forum I allways sign with my full name. If you want to know who I am, write me a PM. But Google wont be able to tell you. :) 

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4 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Hey Lurker... I don't believe I've really ever felt too exposed.  If I post an opinion others disagree with, I honestly don't mind the feedback.  If I am about to "say" something that I don't want my name attached to, I just don't say it (and that's probably a good thing :) ).

...but do what you're comfortable  with. Your not the only one who uses a screen name hiding your identity.

In the time I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jeff face-to-face, I am perfectly comfortable in stating with 100% certainty that he is not one to expose himself.  Beyond short sleeve shirts and probably shorts -- though I can't remember a gams sighting.  I have yet to see him join the movement toward men in skirts, aka kilts.  But these things take time.

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When I joined I tried to use my own name but I wasn't allowed to because I have the same name as someone who, it seems, has a bad reputation :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

In the time I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jeff face-to-face, I am perfectly comfortable in stating with 100% certainty that he is not one to expose himself.  Beyond short sleeve shirts and probably shorts -- though I can't remember a gams sighting.  I have yet to see him join the movement toward men in skirts, aka kilts.  But these things take time.

:)

 

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My take on the OP of to pseudo or not to pseudo:

My posts may be elementary enough or left field enough to elicit some shaking of heads.  But in the cases of folks here whom I respect, I believe that does not represent an enduring judgement.  If others want to pigeonhole my expertise, that's their prerogative and perhaps in some cases their loss.  That's something that doesn't preoccupy me.  As evidenced by the quality of at least some of my posts.

Am I risking an element of professional reputation in some way?  Possibly.  But I'll take the chance that the instruments I produce over time will speak more loudly than any daftness I share here.  Not the same as not giving a toss, just a different focus.

Me, me, me, me, ME.

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14 minutes ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

Am I risking an element of professional reputation in some way?  Possibly. .

Me, me, me, me, ME.

Naw, you hippies folks in Austin have a reputation that won't wash away.  Especially the steer worshippers. ;):lol:

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I'm sure there are a couple of people on here that have multiple identities and even sometimes liven up a quiet evening by arguing with themselves. :ph34r:

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Shortly after my joining there was an event where a few members of Maestronet were being attacked. I took the opportunity to change my identification and conceal my identity. Luthery is a hobby to me, my reputation in the field is unimportant.

My ear is good, better than most, but not good enough for me to ever become a great maker. I have good relative pitch and my ear does not lie to me as much as it does to most. Sadly, my ear it is not golden. Sadly an ear good enough to be a great maker is a rare thing. I should probably switch to making banjos. :) 

I enjoy sharing my thoughts, but my thoughts should be respected or despised on their own merit or lack of merit. Out of respect for the amazing members of this forum,  I try to give my best observations.

I would rather that my good ideas spread and outlive me, than have my name remembered. Anything that I say that is true, is simply a reflection of the universe and I cannot claim to own. Anything I say that is false is sadly mine.

For me, there is no advantage to use my name and tell who I am. In general though, I respect those on the forums who identify themselves, more than the cowards that make up the group I belong to.

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When I first signed on, I had never been on line in my life.  I asked a respected member his opinion and he had mixed opinions. So I decided to split the difference and just not give my last name.  The idea being that people that know me can guess and have asked in person.

I'm still scared to death of the internet and will just assume that what I say will be taken for what it's worth rather than who I am or am not.  I'm not afraid of many people on MN knowing who I am, I'm just afraid of EVERYONE IN THE WORLD knowing. :)

I respect most those who give their name freely, but don't disrespect those who feel better using pseudonyms.  

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Lest anyone doubt -- and since they can easily identify me -- I completely respect anyone's decision to remain anonymous on MN.  It's not as though we're stating political positions (thanks to Jeff's vigilance).  

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1 hour ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

 It's not as though we're stating political positions (thanks to Jeff's vigilance).  

I've noticed little hints from time to time, but fortunately they fizzle pretty fast.  HEY!  Maybe it's not music that is the "international language," but violins!  Imagine if interest in violins brought peace love and togetherness to mankind.  :)  

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Interesting thread this. My experience in my professional life has been that voicing almost any opinions in public forums leads to enormous backlash from people outside of my profession who think they know more than me based on their personal experience (veterinarian and pet owners). With Maestronet, my first post was asking advice about a local shop selling a violin with the label of a living maker in it which was not the work of that maker. l live in a small town and was not particularly keen to cause too big a set of waves, so anonymity helped me ask for advice. I am happy to id myself in PMs etc should anyone care, but since I am here to learn and to enjoy the discourse and regrettably have almost nothing to contribute I'm pretty sure no-one gives a hoot who I am.

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