January 22nd, 2005

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07:26 pm - on the creation of net identities...
So here's something that has been weighing on my mind. Where did your net identity come from? Some of them, like anukul and jameel are obvious. But most people don't use their real name as an email address or LJ name, presumedly because most people have pretty ordinary names and Mike and Stephanie (or whatever) are just already taken.

So here's the question (or questions really): Where did you get your LJ name? Do you use it other places? Email? Other websites? RPGs? IM? Do people call you that in real life? How did you come up with it? Obviously, a bunch of people on my friends list are wrestlers, and use their gimmick name, but if that's you, where did you come up with that?

For some reason made up names that have no obvious meaning to a person's personality (say qiika and drfell) or that are based on a persons name (either real name or gimmick name - sui66iy and kingdomjames) seem to ring truer to me than ones that are based on something about a person's personality or hobbies (like stuntviolist or dariaphoebe - no offense to either of you), do other people feel like that? I don't think I have any like this on my friends list here, but back when i used to use Epinions a lot, the names that always really bugged me were the ones that were based on an aspect of a loved one, like bobbysmommy or joes_wife or something like that. It just seemed weird that a person chose their identity as an aspect of someone else. Kind of belittling or something?

So the cultural theorist in me is really curious about this sort of thing. Please take a second to leave your name orgins and your thoughts and please point others who I don't know here to do the same. I want to see what people really think about this.

EDIT: Come on, work with me people. So far I only have one additional person that I don't know. I actually want to hear from as many people as possible on this one. papertygre had the right idea. Think of it as a meme.

Current Mood: [mood icon] hungry

(132 comments | Leave a comment)

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From: ex_means947 Date: January 23rd, 2005 - 07:13 pm (Link)
hi. you don't know me. LOL.

I chose the username "means" because I was pressed at the time, and the term "means to an end" has held significance in my thought processes. I find humankind non-perfectible, & tend to admire people in terms of their projected goals (or aspirations), so I think striving to obtain a goal is just as important as the goal itself. People are only as good as their aspirations, I tend to think.

I don't use 'means' for any other online persona's. The name itself is goofy & odd, so using it online (in leu of my real name) affords me enless entertainment when people quote or refer to me (as means). Since I choose to write 'serious' fiction in the form of short stories, I tend to play with my entries (and my personae) as a reaction against more cerebral research and writing.

Plus, this culture is pervasively cynical in its use of humor. As one person wrote, "a cynic is a disappointed idealist." By affecting a silly/goofy LJ title, I'm inviting the cynics/sarcastic folk to make fun of me. Since sarcasm is the national currency, & since I have a tendency to 'crack people up' in real-life unintentionally, I work with whimsy online to better understand its import.

From: ludimagist Date: January 23rd, 2005 - 07:44 pm (Link)
When I got an AOL account I was on a huge Herman Hesse kick and was nearly done with Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game which was one of the books that really resonated with me. I still count it as one of my favorite books snf the themes are still things that I think about a lot. I also like that it translates directly from the Latin as "Master of The Game."

I use it for any online identity that I don't use my real name for, including AIM.
From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:20 pm (Link)
From: ludimagist Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:37 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 06:07 pm (Link)
From: ludimagist Date: January 26th, 2005 - 08:54 am (Link)
From: ludimagist Date: January 23rd, 2005 - 07:45 pm (Link)
From: ex_means947 Date: January 24th, 2005 - 06:30 am (Link)
From: ludimagist Date: January 26th, 2005 - 08:51 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:19 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: drfell Date: January 23rd, 2005 - 07:48 pm (Link)
Where did you get your LJ name?

Contrary to popular belief, it's not exactly made up. It's a rather obscure reference, but it's not my creation. Dr. Fell was the alias under which Hannibal Lecter, M.D. resided in Florence, Italy during his tenure as a museum curator. As a fan of the good doctor, and knowing that not only would any username based on his real name be taken, but that it would also not be sufficiently subtle for my taste, I chose his lesser-known pseudonym.

Do you use it other places?

Only when my typical non-actual-name-based-usernames of choice are already taken, such as OKCupid and one of my IM names.

Email? Nope.

Other websites? OkCupid. Again, nobody gets the reference, which in that context is probably good.

RPGs? I don't play with rocket propelled grenades in the house. It's messy.

IM? DocFell03, as stated in my profile.

Do people call you that in real life? If they do, they don't say it to my face. But since the vast majority of them don't get the reference, I suspect not.

How did you come up with it? I'll thank Thomas Harris for that.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:21 pm (Link)
you know... even with the user icons, that never even occured to me. And yet it seems so obvious now. Why do you like that movie so much, anyway? (I actually like it too... and its one of beststephi's favorites.
From: drfell Date: January 24th, 2005 - 06:29 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 09:01 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: talldean Date: January 23rd, 2005 - 08:59 pm (Link)
My LJ name's pretty simple. My name's Dean. I'm really tall. About five years ago I got heroically fed up with people picking different names for themself all over the place. Whereas it might be fun, it makes it hard as fuck to sort out who's who on a large scale.

If I'm talking to you, I want you to know it's me, and vice versa. I picked a name that's 100% trivial to remember, if you've met me and remember my name.

Bought the domain, as well. Unfortunately, someone with the same name had the same idea; AIM was gone. I use my name in my AIM screenname; same reason. It's very hard for me to track a few hundred people who all use names that don't relate to them.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:25 pm (Link)
yeah, I try to stay Mav or close as much as possible. And though it shouldn't because its a pretty obvious cool sounding alias, it always surprises me when its taken. it especially surprises me when I can't get chrismaverick.

Then what's really amusing is when people write me at gmail and ask if I don't mind giving up maverick@gmail.com so that they can have it. Not do I want to sell it mind you, but can I just give it to them. Ummm... no, I wanted it, or I wouldn't have registered it in the first place.
[User Picture]From: arilinn Date: January 23rd, 2005 - 09:09 pm (Link)
Well, my name doesn't really mean anything.

I was in high school, trying to think of a name for something (i think aim?) and was also reading books from the darkover series by marion zimmer bradley. There was some magical tower named the tower of arilinn, and I thought the name was cool and took it. My aim name is arilinn1 becuae i signed up for netscape with arilinn and there was some weird thing that I couldn't cross my names over.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 25th, 2005 - 05:00 am (Link)
hmm... but isn't that meaninging something?
[User Picture]From: dr4b Date: January 23rd, 2005 - 10:15 pm (Link)
Where did you get your LJ name? Do you use it other places? Email? Other websites? RPGs? IM? Do people call you that in real life? How did you come up with it?

It would be boring if I did this for "dr4b" because the answer is -- yes. I got it as my login at CMU, it's just stuck with me due to zephyr, I use it as my email address most places, and yes, I have dr4b.org, and use some variant for most sites (deannaddr4b, deannadr4b, etc, if dr4b is too short). It's not my IM name, which is even MORE boring, and is just my actual name.

Though, my alternate LJ account, mostly dormant but used for videogame scores/stories, is "Janthina", which has been my alternate name for many many years, starting back in the whole modem-BBS days, going on to IRC and MUDs in high school, and several D&D characters, before becoming my Puzzle Pirates main character name. The name itself comes from an Ann M. Martin book called "Ten Kids, no Pets" -- Janthina was the tenth kid, and each one was named after a letter of the alphabet. She was the funniest character. I also thought the name sounded elven, so when I needed a D&D character name for my first ever D&D character in 1991 or so, I just picked it out of thin air. Then it became a handle/nick for me tons of other places. I never used it much at CMU though -- no need when I had dr4b as a useable nickname.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:27 pm (Link)
its so weird that so many people used their andrewID as lj names. And they all seem to have come up with that of their own volition. I have no desire whatsoever to return to being ch4a.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 23rd, 2005 - 10:57 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:28 pm (Link)
so do you ever manage to get artemis? It seems like the kinda thing that would be frequently taken.
[User Picture]From: mg4h Date: January 24th, 2005 - 06:15 am (Link)
Well, mg4h was my Andrew-assigned userid. I was going to take griffin but someone had it already. My other online handle was a bit long I thought for an lj name, so instead of Alanafiona I just took mg4h.

As to where I got Alanafiona from... well, I was looking for SCA names, and I thought they might work out. I managed to find actual documentation on Alana being used in period, so it was a valid name. Fiona isn't, it seems. But I'd already had trouble coming up with a unique userid in places, since often griffin was taken, and so was alana - but no one seems to take alanafiona. So, that's the alternate.

And if people start using that so now I have to come up with a new userid, I'll keeeeel you ;p
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:29 pm (Link)
wow... oddly i signed up with that for about a dozen different websites only yesterday. What an odd coincidence.
From: mg4h Date: January 24th, 2005 - 09:32 pm (Link)
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 24th, 2005 - 08:40 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:32 pm (Link)
wow... and you spell girl correctly. How retro. Its a cool sounding name. Very 50s superheroish. Thanx for dropping by.
[User Picture]From: rainbowpookie Date: January 24th, 2005 - 08:41 am (Link)
This is how I came up with my lj name:

I'm extremely bisexual, I think that rainbows are extremely beautiful and I used to dress in extremely colorful fashion--thus 'rainbow' in my name.

My ex-boyfriend used to call me 'pookie' as a loving nickname. It stuck so much, that I was considering to adapt it as my middle name. My parents and my little brother still call me this sometimes, even though I'm not in contact with my ex anymore. "Pooky" was the name of Garfield's teddy bear, whom Garfield loved very much, thus my ex creatively thought to call me this name. I always liked "Pookie" spelling better over the traditional "Pooky" one.

So, my lj name was born: RainbowPookie...and it stuck...

Yep, I use this name in addition to other names on different websites. My AIM name used the most is RainbowPookie, etc. etc.

Yep. People call me Pookie all the time. (see above).

Although, I've been called Rainbow in certain circles, too.

I love my name, and it's going to stick for a while.

[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:33 pm (Link)
cool... and by the way, the Maxim party thing sounds cool. I wish I could have been there.
[User Picture]From: snidegrrl Date: January 24th, 2005 - 08:46 am (Link)
A fellow geek was around when I was trying to come up with a handle for a online flight sim (Allegiance, not that many people remember it.) and I wanted something that made it clear that I am female, since that's such a small presence in that particular arena, but that also put off any would-be suitors/harassers. Thusly was born snidegrrl.

I use it for IM too.

People call me that in real life, but usually in a joking tone.
[User Picture]From: snidegrrl Date: January 24th, 2005 - 08:47 am (Link)
p.s. i adore your background and wish i could borrow the idea.
From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:35 pm (Link)
From: snidegrrl Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:46 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:59 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: missmeridian Date: January 24th, 2005 - 08:50 am (Link)
Where did you get your LJ name/How did you come up with it?? from my old diaryland diary, i chose "missmeridian" for many reasons: the book by alice walker, the coffeehouse at college, it means "south," my fascination with southern women, my full embrace of "miss" for unmarried ladies of a certain age.
Do you use it other places? no
Email? yes
Other websites? RPGs? IM? no/no/no
Do people call you that in real life? no
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:36 pm (Link)
fully embracing the concept of miss. that sounds interesting. can you explain further? Thanx for taking the time to answer someone you don't know, btw.
From: missmeridian Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:53 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: cuddlyd00m Date: January 24th, 2005 - 08:54 am (Link)
Where did you get your LJ name?
I wish there was some great story behind it. People who see me on the street are often afraid of me (I have no idea why), so in order to compensate for this, some of those who know me refer to me as a big teddy bear (hence, "cuddly"). The "doom" part is because I was an Amber GM at the time, and I didn't want people to think I was _too_ cuddly. Sort of a Jungian, "duality of man" concept, really. Yeah, that's it...

Oh, and the zeroes for o's is due to the fact that I once was an 3133+3 (how many of you remember _that_ "spelling"?) p1r4t3, in my younger days. I actually used to type like that. I make fun of myself, so that no one else can laugh at me.

Luckily, people started putting out stuffed diseases and elder gods, so now I have some excellent user pictures.

Do you use it other places? Email? Other websites? RPGs? IM?
It is indeed my AIM name, as can be seen in my profile. Nowhere else is it used.

Do people call you that in real life?
No. I have no nicknames at all. (Not counting shortening Jonathan to Jon.)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:38 pm (Link)
4ND U G4V3 UP 5P3LL1NG L1K3 7H47!?!?! Y?!?!?!
From: cuddlyd00m Date: January 24th, 2005 - 06:06 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 06:10 pm (Link)
From: cuddlyd00m Date: January 25th, 2005 - 07:52 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: lacechenault Date: January 24th, 2005 - 09:52 am (Link)
LaceChenault - well everywhere I go on the web it's either LacyChenault or LaceChenault, because of my art mostly - I want my name to be known!

On RPG's I always use Lacina if it's a girl or Lark if it's a boy.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:40 pm (Link)
yeah, after all these years, I was actually pretty amazed to learn that your last name wasn't actually Chenault. Anyway, it totally works for you.
[User Picture]From: blk Date: January 24th, 2005 - 10:53 am (Link)
blk was my CMU username. I felt that it became an identity on its own, and liked it enough that I kept it even after I got married. (before college, my most commonly used BBS handle was "stranger," but that's far too common for most places.) I managed to get on the LJ craze early enough that blk wasn't taken, so I took it.

I envied the older cmuers who had the old-skool usernames, which were basically 4 random alphanumerics, so after I ran out of unique short identifiers for places, I decided to create my own fake old-skool userid, bk7j. I've actually had a couple people identify me by it, because they assume that I went to CMU several years ago, and had initials of B-K.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:41 pm (Link)
like I told nckd I find it fascinating that you would make up your own old school andrewID. I hated mine. A lot of people did. When they offered to let us change them, there was a huge scramble to get that done. To each their own, I guess.
[User Picture]From: annexation Date: January 24th, 2005 - 12:15 pm (Link)
Back in '97 I needed a name for chatting on AOL. I whipped out the dictionary and settled on the first thing that sounded cool and had a wicked definition. Annexation: to take without asking. I liked it, and have since used that name for everything in the online ether.

Of course, I didn't realize it then, but there are tremendous benifits to using this moniker:

A) It's wickit cool.
B) It's never been already taken.
C) It's an "A" word, meaning anything that arranges people in alphabetical order places me near the top.
D) It gets remembered and rarely misspelled.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 05:43 pm (Link)
hmm.... so did you start at the beginning of the dictionary and go word by word or did you like just randomly open it and point?
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