One of my WPP Fellowship (@WPPFellowship) essay questions was about how I feel about anonymity on the web.
It’s just not plausible for a modern human being to remain anonymous in a modern profession that involves use of the internet. Anonymity is so 90’s, like Tom Hanks in “You’ve Got Mail!” We all were anonymity freaks in fear of of an unclear web future, that somehow a great unforeseen power may tarnish our good, however miniscule, obscure names. This is why we experienced pseudonym vomit like AzureTyger and Trollenator. Unless a user meticulously surfs with I2P, Tor, or even Google incognito, most attempts at anonymity are futile. With IP Address tracking I am more focused on privacy of sensitive information than I am anonymity. Keeping my financial information, medical conditions, private family matters and embarrassing moments in general private is of utmost importance and worth great efforts to preserve. On the other hand, in a individual branding crazed world, the more my name spreads around the internet the happier I am. It’s not just a narcissistic practice to shamelessly plug my name onto the newest social sites and blog comments, but more about what I’d like to call web karma.
It’s fairly evident that the people at Google, with their seemingly god-like, bird’s eye view of the internet believe about anonymity; they don’t. Google+ canceled thousands of pseudonyms in what I think is the most recent revolution of web sociology, which is about taking a risk by trusting in humanity, and being confident enough to build a personal brand. A great influence of the personal brand movement is the recession, leading to a huge decline in company loyalty, an increase in white collar turnover, canceled retirement policies and the death of the one company career path.