Once the world’s information was put into context, we looked beyond the keyboard, and collectively shifted to people. We focused on social context by asking questions like: Who are you? How are we connected? What is on your mind? What matters to you?

Making the Internet more social enabled people to share their real name, likeness, voice, and the things that they are connected to. Now we always have an understanding of who is talking, who and what they are connected to, what they are saying, and to whom; through understanding identity and social context we have achieved greater openness as a society.

DAVE MORIN

Internet Entrepreneur; Co-Inventor, Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect

In “Context Is King

Two of the last three posts on this blog got conversations going on steroids. In both instances the genesis of the overdrive is a commenter that appears under the username DarthMed. Surprisingly, DarthMed is the ONLY commenter in both conversations who didn’t offer a link to a website where we can understand a bit about his/her background and expertise. This is an immediate red flag in my world. Anonymous comments in blogs are IMO not acceptable. As Jaron Lanier writes in his latest book, “You are not a gadget”:

“Anonymous blog comments, vapid video pranks and lightweight mashups may seem trivial and harmless, but, as a whole, this widespread practice of fragmentary, impersonal communication has demeaned personal interaction.”

One of the points I make most often about ACOR success in promoting high level conversations is that we do not tolerate anonymous conversations. When you discuss issues that often have life and death implications you must use your real name. That is a pre-requisite for trust.

In the case of DarthMed, this anonymous avatar has made all kinds of strong statements, usually interspersed with numbers used as sledgehammers, making it appear that the comments are based on uncontrovertible facts. Just look at these 2 examples: “…the remaining 95% of “patients” out there are not motivated to become informed…”, “Why spend $10M setting up a online support group for 1,000 active patients around the country, when with that money we could fund 10,000 regional support groups (touching, say, 100,000 patients) where people could actually chat with each other, share drinks and actually exist in the same space.”

So, Yannick Medou DarthMed, come clean, please. Who are you and why do you have expertise to make these broad statements? I’d love to comment back on what you wrote but will only do so when you present yourself as a real human being. Until I know who you really are, you will just appear as a vaguely disguised Sarah Palin.

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