Revere of Effects Measure has a great post on expertise, authorship, and “real” names. At this point, after years and years of blogs it’s a shame this has to be said explicitly. The general points go like this:
- there are many legitimate reasons to be pseudonymous in authoring a blog. I describe some of these in my 2007 post but another one is to let your words speak for themselves instead of bolstering them by using your professional reputation, that of your institution, or that of your publication venue.
- even if you had his name, would that alone allow you trust what he’s saying (Mertonian organized skepticism)?
- people have multiple social identities – the persona of Revere != the identity the person has when writing peer-reviewed journal articles for others in his field
Some of my earliest posts on my blog complained about overly simplistic heuristics that teachers and some librarians teach for evaluating web sources. These really don’t work at all for most social computing technologies. I can’t seem to find these links now, but in blogs, trust is built up over time as you get to know the blogger (maybe Efimova said this in some of her earlier stuff?).