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Forums Letters to the COW Team The name game

  • The name game

  • David Roth Weiss

    December 12, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Yippee!!! I suddenly noticed that you Cow people up in Paso had laid off the vino for a few minutes and changed the entire way personal names are displayed. I for one think its great to be back to real names again on the Cow. It can bad enough to be insulted, but when its by somebody named blutodude from nowhere, who calls himself a professional, it really sucks…

    David Roth Weiss
    Director/Editor
    David Weiss Productions, Inc.
    Los Angeles

    POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

    A forum host of Creative COW’s Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.

  • Tim Wilson

    December 12, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    Back in the day, we all knew each other, and we all used real names. There have always been some along the way, but as we approach 1.5 million posts, we felt strongly about requiring real names for 2 related reasons: the credibility of the Cow, and the accountability of its posters.

    We’re far from the first to require this, of course. As Ron has said to me several times, he and Kathlyn might have implemented this earlier if they’d known that the Cow was going to grow this big so fast. 🙂

    Two unexpected pleasures have also come out of this. One was that we’ve confirmed our belief that women make up a large percentage of our membership, and growing.

    The other is that it’s much easier to see the international makeup of the cow. Not geography as much as culture, since of course names have nothing to do with where people live more often than not.

    Both of these bring out the third reason why we’re requiring real names: that exact visibility. We want to foster connections between real humans who know each others’ names.

    It feels good to US to be doing this, and we’re gratified to hear from so many people like you that you feel the same.

    Best,
    Tim

    Tim Wilson, Creative Cow
    My Cow Blog
    Join my LinkedIn network

  • hamish boyd

    December 13, 2007 at 5:06 am

    yikes..
    Question.
    Does this affect all previous posts that you have made?

    I understand your reasoning but I do like my invisible cloak on the net. this is not so I can go around insulting people, its just a little personal distance from people I don’t know from a bar of soap.

    There is also the fact that SO many in the industry refer to this sight that it leaves open the very possibility that people you work with or could potentially work with know more about you than you care for.

    In short.. I can’t ask embarrassing questions about some tech stuff I should know but are a little unsure of when I know that someone could identify me in a professional sense. Thats not being sneeky or deceitful, thats just sensible, particularly as a freelancer. I don’t want to be judged by what I say here, no matter how benign all my posts are, I’d rather be judged by the results I give to clients.

    So if this is the way it goes now.. guess I’ll quietly back out now and watch from the sidelines.

  • Tim Wilson

    December 13, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Your new user name will have the old screen name in parentheses, ensuring continuity and searchability of old posts.

    Please don’t worry about asking questions. Why else would other industry folks be here if THEY didn’t have questions? They’re sure not coming here to humiliate anyone ELSE asking questions.

    Besides, here are some people who I can think of who come to Cow to get help:

    –Many, many Emmy winners

    –a winner of a best documentary award at Sundance (picked up for major studio distribution). Sean Fine even provided a blurb for us saying how crucial the Cow is for his work, even asking questions from Uganda while on location

    –Two DPs for major films and TV series including Friday Night Lights, X-Files, the recent Tin Man mini-series for Sci-Fi, The Green Mile…Those would be Todd McMullen and Tom Burstyn, both of whom have written whole articles that included mention of the help they’ve gotten from the Cow

    –The winner of a lifetime achievement award from the cinematographer’s guild

    –The creator of the Max Headroom ad campaign for Coca Cola, also created the original Saturn launch campaign among others, Arthur Vibert

    –a director of the original Star Trek among scores of others (Alan J.Levy, another guy who’s provided a blurb)

    –one compositor who’s worked on Stranger Than Fiction and the new Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium with Dustin Hoffman (Pete O’Connel);

    –another compositor for Ray, Traffic and others (Steve Wright, yet ANOTHER public blurber describing how useful the Cow has been for him)

    –The winner of a technology Oscar (Pete Litwinowicz)
    –and the assistant director for half a dozen Oscar-winning features in a 43 film career so far (David McGiffert)

    Now that I’ve written those, I’m thinking of many others…if you want, I can reel off some more…but you get the idea. ALL of those guys have identified themselves publicly, and have been quite specific about the help they’ve received.

    Not to be a weenie, but I’m asking anyway: are your credits bigger than theirs?

    None of THOSE guys are embarrassed to be seen in the Cow, so you shouldn’t be either.

    And again, nobody reads all of our up to **1000** daily posts looking for people to hassle. People come here for help.

    They also come for the community that’s been built here, and is fostered by real names. We’d actually seen a dramatically upward trend in real names, and so have followed their lead.

    I hope that addresses your concerns. If not, please write me following the link below.

    Regards,
    Tim Wilson
    Creative Cow

    Tim Wilson, Creative Cow
    My Cow Blog
    Join my LinkedIn network

  • hamish boyd

    December 13, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Ok , I’ll use up my last Mr Invisible post to post here because I think its important to debate and have this discussion open for everyone…

    I certainly don’t pretend my credits would come close the list of people you have mentioned. I’m not in their league at all. But I still have concerns about standing nude in the spotlight of online forums, so to speak… Its not about me putting tickets on myself.

    This website has been critical for my professional development. I have loved everything you guys have done and the time and patience of all the people who have answered my often silly questions, but my reservations extend to all online forums. It is not about me thinking too highly of myself at all, far from it. Its more a question of personal space and a little privacy online.
    I certainly respect those who happily put their names to their posts, but I don’t believe that should now be thrust upon everyone. It should be up to the individual to choose.

    Every online forum has to deal with the issue of Trolls and all those who want to undermine the collective good of forums and I can certainly see where your coming from, but it seems a little presumptuous to assume that all of us agree to that.

    Of course this is your forum to do with what you will, but please understand the reservations that some may have and that those reasons are not about wanting to undermine what you do, or thinking too highly of ourselves, it is simply not wanting to identify ourselves for our own reasons what ever they may be. And that should be respected.

    Obviously this is now set in stone, but I thought it important to make the point in any case.

    Over to you….

  • Tim Wilson

    December 13, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    I can certainly see where your coming from, but it seems a little presumptuous to assume that all of us agree to that…

    When the Cow started, the ONLY accounts were real names — thousands and thousands of them in a shockingly short span. There was never any thought to articulating a rule requiring real names. They WERE the rule. The only exception we can think of was a guy who included his real name, real place of employment and the town where he lives in every post.

    If there had been any notion of how quickly the Cow grew, the real name policy absolutely would have been in place much earlier.

    We are hardly the first to take this position by the way. As much as we justly pride our industry leadership, this is an area where we’re late.

    If there are a handful of people — you are the second we’ve heard from with this policy in place for over a week now — choose not to associate their names with what they’re willing to otherwise say, that’s certainly their prerogative.

    ..it is simply not wanting to identify ourselves for our own reasons what ever they may be. And that should be respected.

    I’m not sure why you think that. We think that standing by what you say is the most distinctive characteristic of accountability.

    Yes, in the world of political discourse, I personally feel that anonymous speech is one of the rights we have to defend most vigorously. But that’s in the context of fighting forces that have the power to crush us.

    Here, we’re a community dedicated to solving practical problems in a tightly defined space. We vigorously defend people’s right to ask silly questions. This community was started because WE had basic questions whose answers simply weren’t available anyplace else.

    Finally, we take the issue of consent very seriously. But I hope you can understand that with Oscar and Emmy winners, and others at the highest level of accomplishment in our industry willing to post with real names, it’s hard for us to support objections to having your name associated with what you say in public based on pride or bashfulness. We’ve also firmly demonstrated that we defend the newest of newbies.

    So if we’ve demonstrated that there’s no basis for fear, and shown that the biggest of wigs agree that there’s no basis for shame, what’s left?

    Not that I feel that you have to justify your reasons to me or anyone else. I’m just saying that we feel that we’ve established such a level of trust that it’s reasonable to ask for the same in return.

    What am I missing?

    Don’t worry about continuing this conversation as Seamus, a name that would make tears of pride well up in my Irish father’s eyes (and a name I’m fond of myself). You started a good-faith conversation, and I’m happy to continue it, honestly. I wouldn’t consider ending it before you’re ready, and you’re the one who’ll enable your real name by editing your profile.

  • Tim Kolb

    December 14, 2007 at 1:31 am

    I’ve always used my real name on all the forums I’ve participated in over the years…yes, lots of people seem to find me, but that’s kind of the risk you take.

    Nobody knows it all…I’ve posted questions in the last week…and I’m a host on a handful of forums here.

    Being the person you want to be comes from a lot of effort and learning…and then giving back. The first part adds to your credibility as much as the second.

    …but you have to be visible for the first part.

    TimK,
    Director, Consultant
    Kolb Productions,

    Creative Cow Host,
    Author/Trainer
    http://www.focalpress.com
    http://www.classondemand.net

  • Tim Kolb

    December 14, 2007 at 1:34 am

    [David Roth Weiss] “It can bad enough to be insulted, but when its by somebody named blutodude from nowhere, who calls himself a professional, it really sucks…”

    Ummmm…. sorry. “Popeyedude” was taken and I don’t really see myself as an Oliveoyle (sp?)

    TimK,
    Director, Consultant
    Kolb Productions,

    Creative Cow Host,
    Author/Trainer
    http://www.focalpress.com
    http://www.classondemand.net

  • David Roth Weiss

    December 14, 2007 at 2:02 am

    [Tim Kolb] “Popeyedude” was taken and I don’t really see myself as an Oliveoyle”

    Ah, but Tim, I suspect Sweetpeadude may be wide open… You should jump at it, or crawl perhaps?, as I don’t think Sweetpea ever managed to walk. Poor guy/girl… or whatever. Serously now, what was Sweetpea???

    David Roth Weiss
    Director/Editor
    David Weiss Productions, Inc.
    Los Angeles

    POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

    A forum host of Creative COW’s Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.

  • Tim Kolb

    December 14, 2007 at 3:36 am

    [David Roth Weiss] “Serously now, what was Sweetpea???”

    To REALLY go into the wayback machine…I think Sweetpea was a Jeep…(the character the vehicle was named after).

    TimK,
    Director, Consultant
    Kolb Productions,

    Creative Cow Host,
    Author/Trainer
    http://www.focalpress.com
    http://www.classondemand.net

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