I have been involved with a hobby-based community for many years. (Not a secret, just not worth specifying here.) I was very active on a national discussion board associated with that community, which unfortunately has seen a sharp drop in traffic since the Facebook behemoth shifted the paradigm of Internet conversations. The board was a terrific resource, and I wish the organization continued success in whatever form it takes in the future.
Anyway — during its peak popularity, the board was a great place for people to get information and speak honestly with others outside their real day-to-day life and geographic local community. Sometimes that honesty was facilitated by discretion in the form of screen names (and yeah, sometimes anonymity brought out the jerks, but they were a minority, thankfully). We were interacting with real people, but there was a nice asterisk in the form of a cloaked identity or physical remove, plus the pace wasn’t necessarily in real time. So discussions were often thoughtful and lead to true, lasting friendships.
I never hid my IRL name, nor created an online persona, but my avatar did build something of a reputation for straight talk, reasoned analysis, constructive criticism, and if I may say so, pretty entertaining and sometimes snarky humor. So I volunteered myself as an advice columnist. It was great fun and very interesting, plus very gratifying when so many people thanked me for entertaining and helping them in turn. I still love giving advice, but the forum(s) have changed.
Because readers here have no interest in that community’s pet topic, but may still appreciate the subjects of discussion, I’ve decided to universalize and archive some of my favorites here. They are all categorized as “advice” and then further tagged by topics. I’ve date-stamped them as of the original publication, just for documentation purposes, though to be completely transparent, most were minimally edited and then uploaded in 2013. Navigate via the right rail or click here to start at the beginning.
And if for some reason you’d like some advice, I’m always happy to offer it!
Here’s a contact form. I don’t think you can submit totally anonymously, though you can use an email that shields your identity. Regardless, I am extremely discreet (and in this context, absolutely non-judgmental).