Frankly , I find it alarming that there is a call for basically shutting down the only remaining open forum for MFDBs, or feeling the need to pressure people into revealing their names and contact details.
Last time I checked, it takes a badge to order somebody to id himself, and no anonymous person on the internet will ever get me to give up that information....
Also, I do not see any need to take such drastic messures in this forum; while there have been a few postings where the language could have been chosen more carefully, the discussion seems to me civil and mature. Plus, it seems to attract almost exclusively people who are interested in the matter, which naturally doesn't include amateurs.
Knowing the real name of contributors means nothing to me; I only know a Yaya or James Russell by their postings. For all I care , they can choose any screen name they like and be a 400lbs transvestite in Ohio; if their posts are knowledgable and helpful, I welcome the contribution.
That said, in Yair's case his known connection to Leaf enhances the value of his contributions; in James' case, he could use Bubba as a nick, and I still would only judge him by the content of his posts.
Personally, I hardly ever visit the websites of members of this forum, nor have I ever heard of anyone posting here outside of this place ; what matters to me is the quality of advice someone is able and willing to give.
Honestly, unless your name is Nadav Kander, I'm not interested in your work or your client list.
Let's face it, this place is about high-end gear, not high-end photography...
Then, there are a few hard facts to consider:
- You don't want a client googling your name come up with your postings on an internet forum.
- The email address one uses for work should be spread as little as possible through circles not directly connected to your business. Internet 101....
- RG went down the drain partly due to rigorous restrictions such as insisting on a real name used as a handle. Needless to say, one still could use any screen name , if it only sounded real.
- As stated above, the restricted, private DB fora founded in the wake of RG's demise never kicked off. Unless there is a company behind it, paying people to keep a message board running and maintained, and actively working on attracting new members, that simply isn't the way an online forum works.
- The tone and behaviour in a forum is set by the majority of members; I've seen frequent mean-spirited discussions on a forum which reqired the moderator to get not only your name, but your phone number (!) to be allowed to post.
Requesting personal information from members to control a message board is not a new concept, but I have never seen it work, imho it makes no difference whatsoever.
I think it might be more beneficial to ask members to add their field of work, equipment details and years spent as professional to their profile.