What's In a Name?


    I've maintained several website personas over the years, but eventually as I got older, I decided to start using my real name online. Now why would I do this? To control my message.

    More and more interactions occurr online, and tying those interactions to my real life persona is crucial for networking. I like to be able to say that my website, Twitter account, and other social networks are united under my name. It adds a sense of legitimacy and it also makes me accountable to what I'm putting out their online.

    By publishing my content under my name, I'm also owning my search results. If you do a Google search on my name, you'll get content that I've created. Because it's not limited to just my professional work, it makes me a well-rounded person and shows that I am more than my resume. Of course there's that one MySpace model who also shares my name, but hey, that's just one result :)

    Jeff Jarvis has recently written a book, Public Parts, that talks about this concept. He believes that embracing publicness is a strong asset in this Internet connected world. It helps us maintain what we really want to be private because the public information will dominate any search results, leaving the private information as secured as it can be. It's never 100% secure - if someone wants your information, they'll get it - but by embracing a public persona, this means that you can control it to the best of your ability.

    It might be weird, and it's definitely not for everyone, but try using your name a little more on the Internet. You might be surprised at the results. I mean, y'all love me right?