A few readers have emailed the team at Ask Gothamist privately asking that their questions and requests for advice be kept anonymous. We are glad to comply, and figured a set policy on protecting the identities of our readers was worth broadcasting to the Gothamist community at large.

Ask Gothamist never includes the email address of those who write us in our responses and, when asked, will gladly change all names in order to shield the not-so-innocent. For those who are truly embarrassed, we recommend using a creative, made-up name. Among our favorites: Sleepless in Secaucus, Woozy in Williamsburg, Hairy in Hell's Kitchen, and Larry King.

Certainly advice on how to get in to New York's chess scene or whether or not it's ethical for roomates to sign up for family plan cell phone programs hardly require the cover of anonymity. Then again, if we remember our junior high school days correctly, admitting you're into the chess scene can be some serious social suicide.

What we won't answer or respond to is heresay that involves real people. If Joanne of Staten Island writes "While visiting my borough, Mayor Bloomberg hit on me," chances are the team at Ask Gothamist will politely decline the accompanying request for advice on how Joanne should tell her husband. That's between you and hizzoner, Joanne.

There are three people who won't remain anonymous, and that's your fearless Ask Gothamist writers. Posts will always say who wrote them and readers are free to call Erin, Kiki and Doug on the carpet when someone doles out some bad advice.

Now keep the questions coming!