I am not sure I agree with Gary's thoughts on authenticity. Are we better humans here than on lists? I don't know... (Gary, you may be right, I am just pondering outloud) I think some of has to do with the fact that you know something about me through my blog and my posts here reflect on me and my blog. I have also come to know many of you through your blogs as well and there is some form of community and respect that is built online. My blog shares and carries my personality along with it... so does most of yours. That leads to a certain degree of respect. John Dvorak complains that blogs don't criticize each other enough but as a general rule, I don't publically flame those I know personally. The fact that we have gotten to know each other, even if only through our blogs suggests a change in the tone of "voice" that get used.
That kind of exchange can happen online in a discussion group but it is unusual and seems to only come when there are offline relationships between the people.
There are my 2 cents (which are worth less since they are Canadian pennies)