I often see users who appear as user12345 or something similar. I personally dislike this for a few reasons:
- I'd prefer to know who I'm dealing with
- I think the quality of questioning is generally better from users who have an identity
- Somehow it seems like cheating... disrespectful in some intangible way.. here we all are helping each other for free, and what? You can't even be bothered to show your face?
I've read the question What's the preference on using real names and photos? and there the conclusion seems to be that we don't mind whether the identity is real or adopted.
Fair enough. My problem is with people who can't even be bothered to have an identity at all. (I understand that in some cultures, it might be seen as problematic to make community contributions on your boss's time, even if there's a net gain. Lots of the user12345 folks seem to be asking for work-related answers: even full-blown solutions.)
Coming back to my first point about wanting to know who I'm dealing with; I actually can't tell the numbered users apart. Those numbers just don't stick in the brain, so it becomes like trying to interact with the Borg. Even if people have reasons to conceal their 'passport' identity, why can't they at least be encouraged to put some minimal imagination into making up a fake?
Stack overflow has successfully gamified all sorts of things, so isn't there a way to lean on people (ever so gently) to put a little bit of effort into dumping the auto-generated name. Nag them every 5 logins? Whatever.