(This is a temporary “Claim Code” entry for Technorati to verify my claim on ownership of this blog: 6MFG8NXDDUV2 – it will be removed once the blog has been verified.)
Venetian Mask - image from Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons licenceIt seems like every other day I get an offer from someone to provide guest posts on this site.

Sometimes that turns out well, as for example with two new contributors, Joe Pawlikowski and Celina Connor.

Some are wanting to provide articles whose titles and content are at best only tangentially relevant to the group this blog is intended for – and that’s a pretty big group. These I decline as politely as I can.

But most of the messages have a distinct air of phoniness about them. These are usually sent from a gmail address whose user name looks like a real name but with a number. There is an artificial heartiness about the messages and there it no supporting information about the sender.

What the people obviously don’t get is that blogging and other elements of social media is about transparency and openness, not about masks and other forms of deviousness and trickery.

The dumbest of these basically anonymous messages recently began: “We’re interested in doing a guest post on ‘URL'”.

Whoops! They forgot to fill in the blank with the name of and link to my site.

Another had a photo of a woman, with a woman’s name, but from the Rapportive app I have installed I was able to see that the owner of the Gmail account appeared to be a man and indeed when I click on the LinkedIn profile link displayed there for that person it was indeed a man, whose various activities described on LinkedIn included “guest posting”. It was pretty clearly a case of a phony ID, not a bit of cyber cross-dressing. For the fun of it I sent a reply asking just which one of these identities was asking to be a guest contributor. Amazingly, the person replied (with the woman persona), offering a topic title.

Amusing? Yes, up till now. I believe I’m getting bored with this parade of nonsense and will from here on refrain from attempting to be polite to these time-wasters.

But I’m still interested in hearing from real people who have something worthwhile to offer and are ok with my guest posting guidelines.

And who understand and demonstrate transparency.

And as I really don’t have time to be to-ing and fro-ing with people who don’t seem to have a real identity behind the Gmail address, I’ve now added into the guidelines a requirement that people who want to guest post here must have a substantial LinkedIn profile, with a reasonable number of connections with other real people.

Image credit: Venetian mask, Verona, from Wikimedia Commons: Rinina25 & Twice25, Creative Commons


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