I recently noticed that some users like to end their message with their name (either real or Username), no, their isn't a rule about that and neither am I against it, I was just merely mentioning it because it brings up the topic of style. Actually, I feel it gives a certain amount of originality to the message, but then again, why do they really do it? I mean it is obvious that the person writing the message is the same as the avatar or in the very least the username above the avatar - so why have it? Maybe it is their form of 'copyright'? Now, I am not talking about the message itself, but just the little 'add-ons' that people tend to put in it. Do you have a particular style? Here are some of the ones I have seen:
1. A rose made out of characters
2. The user's name
3. An array of dashes
4. A mystical statement
5. A brief explanation of how they feel such as, 'tired, going to bed'
When I started here, I always ended my post with my name, but that is because I am so used to participating in email lists, rather than forums. Eventually, I realized how useless it was.
I used to really like the automated taglines that various email programs had in them. Many of the tags were hilarious.
I think maybe those who sometimes end with their name do it out of habit, like they do when the send an e-mail or letter. Perhaps posting on a forum is similiar to e-mailing in a sense so they end it that way. I think putting your name at the end adds somewhat of a personal touch. Also, when you don't use your real name as your screen name, but end your post with it, it does seem more personal to me.
One one message board I posted at a while back, I began including my real name in the signature line along with a little note next to it, much like I do here. Then it was to fit into the sense of familiarity there was; a lot of the members used their real names rather than usernames they displayed.
Here, with my signature line, it's simply continuing the habit from back then. As it happens I was allowed to create 'Paul' as my name anyhow, so you all knew me as Paul from the start.
I have never used my name to end posts because I learned a long time ago when I started using the Internet that ambiguity was the best medicine to stay healthy online. Does that make sense? Anyway, I know I can trust most everyone on this forum but I still hold true to that theory, in fact, I don't think I have mentioned my first name on any of my 600+ posts here! Is that impersonal, I don't think so. I think of it as precautionary. I don't go for the frillies either, a signature line is what I include in my emails, and I rarely ever change it. I guess I am just boring that way ;)
I know exactly what you mean about the ambiguity and anonymity. I rarely, if ever mention very personal details in posts, but as I get to know and trust participants, I may offer my name in PMs or emails.
At the same time, my alter ego is quite well developed as NightHawk in a lot of different venues, including other forums and various email groups.
Unfortunately in my field I cannot be 'hidden' too much. Most of my business comes from meeting people online and if I appear to be an unknown that operates with unreal names I will not get any clients. Of course I do not reveal everything critical, but just enough that people can feel both confident and comfortable that I will not give them a 6 for a 9. At the same time I show everyone that I am no respecter of persons and seek to ensure the rules of the site. This is no easy task - many get offended - some leave and so on, but from long years of experience I know it is better to always be neutral so that no feels you are favoring one person over another.