[disinformation ed.'s note: the following is an excerpt from Deanna Zandt's book Share This!: How You Will Change the World with Social Networking, courtesy of Berrett-Koehler Publishers.]
Thanks to social networks’ transparency, it’s also more important, and more accepted, to use your real name and identity. Identity is a key component of your work in the ecosystem. When you act anonymously, your reach is limited because you’re not leaving a record of your actions. When you participate publicly, your actions leave a public trail. It’s still fine in some cases to build your relationships and social capital under a pseudonym (and there are a few cases where it’s necessary). As divisions between online and offline life dissolve, however, it has become much more valuable to combine many of your identities into one powerhouse.
Contributing our opinions and experiences to public conversations using our real identities plants a stake in the ground, and on the public record, wherever it may be kept, that validates the identities we create for ourselves online.… Read the rest