Archive for the 'Site Related' Category

Going Anonymous?

Monday, July 25th, 2011

I have been considering lately the idea of going anonymous.

For a long time (read: since I was 14) I’ve had a strong web presence under my own name.  Anonymity was never very important for me.  However, with my change of jobs (I am somewhat higher profile now than I was before), I would rather dissociate my personal life from my professional one.

What’s more, with the resources made available to me at the College, I really have a lot less reason to host my own website.

Does this spell the end of’s history?  I haven’t quite decided, yet.  I may, however, branch out as an anonymous blogger in cyberspace.  My thoughts on anonymity are still somewhat cloudy… 

We’ll see how things develop.

Why I have no pseudonym.

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Some of the world’s great blog writers have pseudonyms (or “writing names”).  I, however, am very public about who I am (the site name, which I have had for some years, now, says it all).  I have considered whether or not this is a smart idea.  Afterall, there is a big stigma against making information public on the internet.  I am certainly a big fan of anonymity for my Family and also for my students.  The freedom that comes with an internet-name also comes with other baggage, however, that might be worth the risk carried with being who you are online.  As much as I wish to discourage “in person” attention for myself with those who might read this blog (with whom I have no prior association), I believe that the problems of anonymity outweigh the benefits.  Allow me to elaborate:

1) Anonymity encourages flippancy.  I enjoy a good joke (and even a jab) now and then (see my earlier post on SPAM comments).  Some of my favorite blogs (I am new to the world of reading other teachers’ blogs) are becoming those of teachers with fake online names.  Why?  Because they can speak from their darkest emotions as classroom teachers and can face little to no consequences.  Let’s face it, Mr. LaFazia is human, and he can get pretty miffed at people (not just students) now and again.  You’ll probably never SEE this, but if I were to “tweet” my thoughts as they came to me (before they could be channeled correctly) then I would probably reach for the backspace key.

No, I believe that a degree of professionalism, even when discussing personal ideas (my site, my right, correct?) is necessary.  One of the great tragedies of anonymity online is that people can be their worst, walk away from it, and not care about how they just presented themselves.  Yes, it is a way to get out the frustrations of the day…but there are healthier ways to do this.  Ranting about students or co-workers or your employers (and so forth) in public (for that is what a blog is–very much a public place) is a pitiful practice.

So return to pseudonym-carrying teacher blogs being my favorite to visit, so far.  Why, again??  They allow me to see the most human side of teachers from around the world.  And, from these raw views, I get ideas for blog posts–ones which, admittedly, are usually in directions very different from those which helped to inspire them.

Overall, it is safe to say that I firmly believe in professionals taking ownership of their online personas.  Now, if I want to start a blog about gardening, then I will likely have a pseudonym…

2) I am forced to be creative.  If I wish to make a snide remark, it must then be an intellectual one–cleverly disguised.  On the other hand, I do have the option of being blatant in my jokes.  The requirement simply is that they are appropriate to my audience (something which everyone should consider in ALL aspects of life) and that they are not damaging to anyone.  Even my “SPAM comments” post was not particularly scathing…in the event that some of those 5 posts (the numbers even now are increasing) were true-to-life people and not simply spam-bots.

I am not sure whether my delicacy will ever be appreciated, but it certainly adds some challenge to my thoughts  ;0)

3) I can be ME.  Mr. LaFazia (pardon my occasional use of the 3rd-person…this happens in the classroom, as well) is an okay guy most of the time (I like to think).  I enjoy putting on my instructor’s cap.  It would be uncomfortable for me to have to consider how revealing my personality might be…not to mention the fact that (locally, at least) I doubt I could fool anyone for long.  I look forward to sharing my discoveries and ponderances (I’m no English teacher, so if that is not a word, then you’ll have to excuse me) with an Education-based audience.  I can even make “religious” comments here and there if I want (afterall, I am out of the classroom–I limit myself to “yes” or “no” questions (if even those are appropriate at the time) in the physical or online classroom).  Christ has always been my life-line, my anchor, my rudder, my ship, etc., etc., &tc.  I appreciate being able to make reference to Him now and again, online.  I do admit to being initially uncomfortable with the prospect of mentioning and even discussing my Faith since this blog is of course accessible by students, but I am beginning to realize that it is not as much of a breach of my in-class silence on the subject as I had at first feared.  Do not get me wrong–I am not a timid Christian (nor an unschooled one).  However, I have always been aware of my role in the classroom and how I am limited in my discussion of Christianity by law and by principle.  As much as I am called to witness to others, I have always considered it a poor judgement on a teacher’s part to discuss religion in the classroom.  This is likely due to my science-ed background (history teachers go all-out, apparently!).  Gradually, though, I am convincing myself that a “Christian Commentary” section would not be out of place in my Categories list.

Those are a few of the reasons why I carry no pseudonym with my blogging.  Perhaps someday I will deem it necessary to blog from behind a made-up name, but for now I will let anonymity fall by the wayside.

Spam comments–the lifeblood of blogging

Monday, November 15th, 2010

So far in the short life of this blog, I have only ever received spam (stupid, pointless, annoying messages) comments.  It started out 2 comments to moderate (i.e., “mark as spam”) each time I checked, here.  Now, I am up to 5!  The site must be growing in popularity  ;0)

I decided to share with you the comments which I have had to delete, today.  They are pretty typical…  Most are no doubt left by “bots,” although some may actually have been typed out by a real, living person without the aid of a program.  Perhaps one of these will be good for a laugh.

C1) Mitch Deland | | | IP:

I really love what you blog about here, very insightful and intelligent. One issue though, I’m running Firefox on Ubuntu and parts of your site structure are a little broken. I realize it’s not a popular setup, but it is still something to to keep in mind. Just shooting you a heads up.

R1) Thank you very much, Mitch (from “M.I.T.”)…how creative.  I will most definitely take time out from my busy schedule to restructure my site so that it meets the needs of all five of your Ubuntu using colleagues and yourself.  In fact, let me go back and relearn all of the web-programming tricks that I picked up from almost a decade and a half of straight HTML code use to make sure that you do not run into this inconvenience on my site ever again.  I really appreciate your comments, here–very insightful and intelligent.  One issue, though…YOU’RE A SPAM BOT!

C2) Tandarts | | | IP:

Hi this post is nice and interesting. I’ll use it for my blog :). Can you comment me some related articles that I can read too?

R2) Whoa whoa whoa…WHERE in the whole entirety of do I say that you can use one of my blog posts for your own blog?  I believe, artsy-tartsy, that you should instead ask my permission first (which will summarily be denied).  I will gladly comment you some related articles.  Try one of my all-time favorites:  “How To Rip-Off Site Content” or perhaps you would enjoy “Plagiarism for Dummies”!

C3) Shantae | | | IP:

I admire the worthwhile info you offer in your articles or blog posts. I will bookmark your web site and have my children check up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else! Yours trully, Shantae.

R3) Shantae, it is so nice to hear from you again!  How are the kids?  What’s that?  NO, I had NO IDEA that Sonic had bad credit  :0o  Seriously??!  I’m going to have to go out there and buy some more slushes if they’re going to survive THIS scandal  :0(  Thank you EVER so much for the heads up!!  I owe you one.  Give my best to the kiddies.

 C4) federal student loans | | | IP:

Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far.

R4) Dear Neldini, I am afraid that you have come to the wrong place.  Seeing as you are already an employee (in fact, owner??) of the Federal Student Loan “dot com,” you might be better served asking one of your peons (who are overqualified for your position and too highly motivated to seek it, in any case) for directions to the nearest lavatory.  I am afraid that query goes far beyond the scope of this resource.  You may, however, find some enlightenment in the archives. 

C5) thai seo | | | IP:

good molly , i comment your blog , that a nice blog and useful. Best for me. a lot of Educational Commentary and content. i going to visit to read and review your blog.

R5) Mr/s. Seo, you have no idea how happy I am to see this comment.  You are the first intelligent poster I have had so far.  It pleases me greatly to see that you enjoy my Educational Commentary, and even the content!  Please continue commenting so that I can enjoy the honor of reading your words.  Good molly to you, too, and I hope to hear from you again in short order, Mr. L.