Last night, I was given the opportunity to speak to the New Generation Rotary Club at their weekly meeting. I want to thank the club's president, Mr. Ceballos, for his glowing introduction of me, and the members for their warm welcome.
I basically spoke about my experience as a blogger. Fascinating stuff, I know. Anyway, I didn't see anyone taping my presentation. That's a good thing, because my nerves were on full display. Most of it is a blur at this point.
One thing I noticed, and Que Fregados can correct me on this if I'm wrong, is that only the male club members asked me questions. I think I relaxed a bit during the question-answer session, but what's up with the ladies? Didn't they get the "Keyrose is Laredo's Most Imposing Blogger" memo? I digress.
One question that struck me dealt with a blogger's identity. A club member asked me if something needs to be done to have bloggers fully disclose all their personal information, such as name, contact information, etc. I agreed that a blogger's identity should be available, but I wasn't fully convinced on my response. I noted the fact that the information out on the intertubes can get nasty and accusatory. If someone is making slanderous comments, and can be charged with libel, a remedy should be in place, I thought.
But in our community, where retribution can be swift, anonymity can be useful to allow people to come forward. The fear of retaliation can stifle free speech. I've heard too many stories of local politicians imposing their will on hapless citizens. If you cross one, the result can be unpleasant, to say the least.
The point is: full disclosure, along with some degree of professionalism and etiquette, can add to one's credibility, but I don't think it's necessary in our volatile culture. A lot of information needs to come to light at the local level. A firewall, so to speak, needs to exist for those who want to come forward. It might be our burgeoning blogging community's only hope.