Anonymity On The Internet

I ran into an interesting post here on the Tiger Blog that commented on the nPost startup event last week that I also attended.  I naturally tried to check out who wrote the post, but I got the internet version of the runaround – lots of about pages, but no info.

The author is apparently:

  • A former Zillow employee
  • Who is working on a stealth startup named Eggsprout
  • and whose initials might be BMA

I don’t know about you, but it bugs me when I can’t figure out the person behind the post.  10 or 15 years ago, anonymity – in the form of handles, nicks, anonymizers, etc. — were all the rage, but the internet has matured enough that anonymous posts / comments are now the exception, rather than the norm, among polite company.

Over on FriendFeed, Robert Scoble’s #1 change request for the internet is No Anonymity.  I like to poke fun at Robert, but I admire him a lot and I think he’s right on with this one – with one important caveat.  And that is – if you’re in a dissident / whistleblower situation where you are in jeapordy in real life, then by all means I think that anonymity is crucial.

However, the run-of-the-mill “I went to this networking event and met up  with a lot of cool people” posts deserve a name and a face.

I think it’s ironic that BMA has authored a post titled 10 great startup tips.  Tip #9? Be transparent.

What do you think about anonymity?


4 Responses to “Anonymity On The Internet”

  1. 1 Marina Martin July 20, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Your blog post got me all curious.

    I did a WHOIS on the eggsprout domain which brought up Hsu Ken Ooi. A Google on this name brings up plenty of other sites (LinkedIn profile, Tumblr, etc.) that all link back to a 20-something male in Seattle. Don’t see this name on the nPost wiki for the event, though, but that’s hardly a definitive list.

  2. 2 tigerblog2 July 24, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Hey Anthony,

    I feel like batman about to take off his mask… I’m Bma. Lol. The power of blogging and social networking never ceases to amaze me.

    Everyone at work has called me Bma for as long as I can remember, so its never occurred to me that I needed to write my “real name” on my blog. I wonder if I should’ve just played along with the mysterious identity thing. That would’ve been more fun 🙂

    Hope we get to meet in person someday. Great post. You just earned yourself another subscriber.


  3. 3 tigerblog2 July 24, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Hmm… Just realized I didn’t write my real name on the previous comment either. Haha.

    I’m Brian Ma – Former Zillow employee, co-founder of EggSprout, a seattle startup and the legendary ‘Bma’ of Tiger blog.

    Nice to meet you. 🙂

  4. 4 Anthony Stevens July 27, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Brian: nice to meet you as well. Look forward ot meeting you in person one of these days, perhaps at an nPost event! I would love to hear more about Eggsprout.

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