I often marvel at the phenomenon of the blogosphere. It is no small wonder that, for the first time in human history, hundreds of millions of people have a voice in world affairs. Information is no longer the privilege of a few power players- everyone that has access to a computer (the number of people that fit into that category is growing exponentially) has the opportunity to express their opinions on any subject they choose. In recent history, information was dictated only by the major media outlets, primarily television, print, and radio. That has changed dramatically in the last ten years. Occassionally you will see articles published by the mainstream media decrying the surge of amateur journalists via the internet, particularly the blogs. I don't believe they fear their demise, but rather that they no longer have a monopoly on the dissemination of information. It's not that the mainstream media is irrelevant, but that their audience can now discuss blatant bias. Bias isn't a bad thing, but until recent history bias went unanswered- the other side never got to put in their two cents. The blogosphere is a realm for people of all walks of life to discuss and debate the news of the day in a way that is unprecedented. That is a beautiful thing.
I would like to see the blogs take another step towards legitimacy. I would like to see more people scrap their anonymous handles and post comments in their own name. To put it bluntly- if you aren't willing to put your real name by your opinions then your opinions mean little or nothing. Jimbob247652 may have wonderful things to say, but has abolutely zero credibility. The debate over ideas of our time needs to be done by real people, not anonymous folks that are bold enough to make outlandish statements, but cowardly enough to do so under an anonymous handle. This post isn't directed towards anyone specifically, it's just something that's been on my mind. Unless you are in the witness protection program, what reason do you have to hide your identity? Have the courage to stand by what you write- use your real name. Let's increase the credibility of the collective voice of the blog.