I’ve been on the Internet since the dawn of the dinosaurs. Well alright, not that long. But I have been using the Internet since 1993 when it was sorely lacking of good information, and quite honestly, good communication. Obviously in the past almost 20 years, the Internet has absolutely boomed, and not only is there an overwhelming amount of information (both accurate and inaccurate), but there is broad arena communication methods via millions of users.
One thing I did late in the 90’s, as the Internet was “catching on” was to choose an online persona and try and stick with it, regardless of where I registered/logged on.
I chose ‘simplywriting’ as my online persona, because it is defines who I am, and has always stayed consistent. No matter what I am doing on the Internet, what topic I am interested in, or what website I am joining – I am always, simply writing. Of course, I also use my name in all of my writing, which helps.
When you are choosing a handle or name to use online, you should try to come up with something that defines you, that isn’t already used by a half million other people. For instance, DogLover is probably not the best handle, since a quick Google search for it, yields 212,000 results and just glancing through page 1, it is clear that they are not all the same person. Another example, that fits more into the writing field, might be Writergirl. This one yields 170,000 results. But if I took a spin on that, and try Writergirl828 (my birthday), there are NO results.
With all of that said, using my handle that I have had since around 1996 or so, “SimplyWriting” and plugging it into Google Search comes up with 21,100 results. On page 1 alone, only two are not me. And the two that aren’t me, have not been using the handle as long as I have. Moving past page 1, to page 2 – only 1 is not me.
I realized quite some time ago, that it is important to stay consistent in not only your handle, but your name as well. I just got married, and as a writer, it is a difficult choice on whether to change your name or not. I have made a name for myself in the writing world, I have written thousands of articles under my name, and changing my last name was not something I was prepared for.
What did I do? I changed my entire name around. Kept my first name, took my former last name and made it my middle name which I use now in the writing community and then took my husbands last name. Be sure you keep to the same names, same handles/nicknames and it is a lot easier for people to find you that way.
Have you had a problem with people using a unique handle or nickname you came up with? Do you have a super common name that yields dozens of search results when you plug it in? Please, tell me about it in the comments field.