Looking at using pseudonyms on the Internet. What are they? Why use them?
Well continuing my new found tradition of putting an apt favourite music piece in my post I thought I would add ‘The Who’ – ‘Who Are You’. You can see I am not interested in scoring professional blogging points here am I? It’s my blog and I’ll play if I want to 🙂
Right going back to the plot, well the side plot… I thought I would take a break from writing articles to writing an article?
The title “Throw the iPad & Back To Books” by Paige Turner – that’s not a real article or book and please do not try this at home – it’s not an economical thing to do. Anyway I am sure the splintering of the glass screen into millions of shards may provoke a new thesis for the person interested in Chaos Theory, but it is a little more expensive exercise than say Isaac’s Apple – so the world can wait.
What on Earth am I on about?
Back to the plot…
Well it’s all to do with pen names, pseudonyms, handles, avatar names, user names, login names, screen names, nick names or for the thespians among us, stage names. Having another name that you would use. In this case more specifically having another identity that you can build your Internet reputation and web sites on. So sorry nothing to do with iPads.
Going through Ed Dale’s 30 Day Challenge you will find the writers among them, Caro and Michelle mention pen names and the question comes up in their forums. I couldn’t help wondering what the rules were here and I must admit I felt uncomfortable with the idea of presenting myself as someone else. I noticed however using Market Samurai and digging through the backlinks how easy it was to see what people were doing on the Internet. Quite often you will see people in a niche and I am pretty sure you can find all the other niches they were targeting just by looking back through what they have produced on the Article directories. There were some real gems there who were finding very nice niches and it is very tempting to jump in and follow them – obviously this could save a lot of research time on finding niches. It occurred to me then how easy it is to find almost everything that a person has been doing on the Internet and if someone were a little vindictive how much trouble could be caused for them. So I decided I will start with my defences up – I am sure nobody will find what I am doing right now of help to them, but later this could be a different story. So I dug deeper into having pseudonyms.
What is a pseudonym?
A pseudonym is a fictitious name that is used by a person, or sometime a group of people to hide an individual’s real identity. A writer will often use one or more pen names because it either protects their real identity or it means they can try out different styles and areas to write in without confusion. An example of the more prolific of them would be Stephen King who has used another identity Richard Bachman. Ideal also for the more famous when booking reservations 🙂
Is it kind of wrong to use a false identity?
Well part of my reservation was that it didn’t feel legitimate and could probably produce problems later on. In fact, it is accepted more in copyright law than I first thought. For the US there is a a useful page that covers this at http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl101.html . Essentially work produced under a pseudonym isn’t considered fictitious and if you wanted to register your name, because obviously you do not have a birth certificate identifying you, you can register at the Copyright Office your pseudonym and its connection to your real identity, even after your death.
Other than hiding your identity then – What advantages does a pseudonym give you?
- Well in the Internet Marketing area if you are building sites under a pseudonym then that identity can easily be transferred to another, say, on the sale or auction of the site.
- Being strict with the use of your pseudonym then you can build up a reputation based on it, which is useful if you start becoming an authority with a niche. No confusion can be caused if you have a completely different site under a different subject, your pseudonym will be identified solely with your niche.
- If you have a site that is doing well you may well employ, outsource or have a joint venture with another source of content. Of course using a pseudonym will allow not just one person but a group of people to contribute. Though I imagine this can be quite a challenging task if you wish the personality or profile of the pseudonym to remain consistent.
- It cures my concern about the ease by which all your work can be identified and someone less scrupulous taking advantage of the information they can glean from your activities on the web.
- One thing, personal to me but I think there are quite a few out there with a similar issue, their own name is a bit of a problem. This could be that as luck would have it you get given the name of I.P.Nightly and are in the bed products niche or that you are simply unhappy with your name. For me, I am not unhappy with my own name but it does given me a headache having to spell it and explain it often. It’s Shawn Du’Mmett, the pronounciation is DuMay, I’ll spell it out again, Yes it is unusual isn’t it, Yes the root name is Dummett and not as in your letter ‘DumNutt, Dammitt, DimNitt, DumMutt etc., Yes it comes from France, Near the Somme apparently, from a place called Dumart En Ponthieu etc etc etc. So you might guess a pseudonym for me sounds great 🙂
How do you choose your pen name or pseudonym?
This I struggled with at first, I wanted to do something clever and use the letters in a different order, I made a few names but I thought then wasn’t that defeating the object. If someone worked that out then there was a pretty good chance you can be connected.
Well, I found this – it’s a brilliant random name generator for the pseudonymically challenged – http://www.kleimo.com/random/name.cfm
On my journey I found a funny page of books that were never written and some more made up pseudonyms – http://dan.hersam.com/lists/books_never_written.html
In this search I picked up a few tips on making up a pseudonym on – http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Pseudonym
I had an idea which I think will work well too – Vanity Alerts
If you make your name just unusual enough so as not to appear on the search engines then your vanity Google alerts will tell you when you have been mentioned on the Internet. Just put your rare pseudonym in quotes in the Alerts and get it fed into Google Reader, you’ll be alerted as soon as your name has been found on a page by the Google. This is a great thing to do too if you have a name like ‘John Smith’, you’ll find any reference to you easily without trawling through all your other like namesakes on the web.
So I will go forward happily with no identity issues. I know who I am – I’m xxxxxxx, yyyyyyyy and zzzzzzzz 🙂
Should I worry that “I’m Me” or “I’m Not Me” for the 30 Day Challenge
Now I really don’t think it is an issue using your real name if you are just starting out in Internet Marketing for the first time – the more important thing here would be to ‘follow the program’ and let the flood of information settle before tackling anything outside the box. If you are like me though and have probably even gone through the Google Account Schizophrenia then getting a good solid handle on this, so to speak, it is a very good idea and there are some neat advantages.
– Really – Yes – That is me 🙂