I would like to encourage folks to change their display name to their first name, a space, and their last name. I think this helps to build a better community. Not only do folks tend to be a little more .... real (less anonymous) but you might actually meet some of these folks in the real world!
Most of you probably aren't aware of this, but I set up some forums ten years ago at javaranch.com and had this as a policy. And it has turned out to be really great. It seems to attract good, wholesome folks and seems to keep away a lot of trolls and nasty people.
I think that when somebody has a pseudonym, they tend to be a bit more .... brazen? Sometimes, inappropriately so. And that, in my opinion, leads to a lessor community.
Plus, I like the idea that if I go to an event and learn that somebody's name is "Gwen Lynn" then I might be prompted to ask "from the permies forums? I know you!" whereas if I hear the same name at the event and yet I always knew that same person as "flibberty22" then the connection is not made.
Joined: Sep 04, 2008
I thought of something..spaminousity! Some of the internet names i.e. flibberty22 sound like spammers. I clicked on something once at the permies site thinking it was a new post, but it was a spammer. Most of the spam I've seen on here didn't use a legit sounding name.
jeremiah bailey wrote: Eric S. Raymond recommends this as well. Perhaps you've read the Hacker How-To?
Nope. I haven't read that. Why does mr. Raymond recommend this?
Joined: May 05, 2009
Not so much that he recommends the exact format, but he recommends using you real name or initials in general. This is pretty much for the same reasons as mentioned in this thread. The overall maturity level rises with the use of real names. Raymond mentions that there is a certain pride in having one's actions associated with their real name. Using a silly handle raises doubt as to the credibility of a person.
I have a feeling you'd enjoy his articles. http://www.catb.org/~esr/ Much of his stuff is geared toward hackers, as in software engineers. Not crackers, as in wannabes, script kiddies, and thieves. In his Hacker How-To he makes the assertion that the Hacker mentality is often present in other communities besides technology. Using real names helps set the hackers apart from crackers. The Hacker How-to is a good starting place on his site. It is listed in the Howto section http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/ As you've mentioned your interest in programming in other threads, I think you'd find it a good article.
Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Location: Missoula, MT
I wanted to thank a few folks for switching to first and last names recently. It makes the forums and the conversations more authentic to me, and I hugely appreciate it. I can also track who's saying what a lot easier. Thanks!!
paul wheaton wrote: Plus, I like the idea that if I go to an event and learn that somebody's name is "Gwen Lynn" then I might be prompted to ask "from the permies forums? I know you!" whereas if I hear the same name at the event and yet I always knew that same person as "flibberty22" then the connection is not made.
I happened to meet a gentleman at a field trial and we got to talking horses. He mentioned a friend of his who had a horse, and I knew the name from the breeders list, on my computer. Even though I ran out of time for the breeders list (where we discuss the breeding of fine horses) as I replaced it with this fourm (where we talk the building of dream homes) that mutual friend and I are still friends, though we have not yet met in real life. I may take a mare to his stud in the spring.
A few months back, I had a good contributor here email me to say "I refuse to change my name, I have reasons why I don't share my real name! I'm leaving!" I replied that this is not a requirement, but merely a request. But I'm pretty sure he never came back.
I can understand the need for anonymity. I would like to think that 90% of the folks out there would use their real name - like I do. And for the last 10% I would like to ask that use a name that sounds like a real name: all of the anonymity plus feeding this closer community thing that I (and others) like so much.
Another person wrote to me recently to ask how do you change your name. Near the top of every web page is a button that says "profile". Click on that and then a link to the left appears that says "account related settings". Once you click on that, check out the field that says "Name: This is the displayed name that people will see."
I tend to have handles based around my name. Which really is Marina Jade, the first and middle names my mamma gave me. I tell people all the time "Like a boat harbor" and then they don't forget. I changed it to just Marina because people on this board were turning marinajade into MJ, and I didn't really like that.
I'm uncomfortable putting my last names (I have two of em. Biological and adoptive dads....) on a publicly accessed message board. I just am. Sorry. I understand the possible upsides but....yup not comfortable. Not yet. Mostly because of building code paranoia....how searchable is this board?
If you were to google a person's name, would their threads show up somewhere in the results? I haven't googled myself in a minute...
You can keep using what you're using now. That's fine.
You could also go with "Marina McDaniel" if you want. Sounds real enough.
Joined: Oct 23, 2011
ha! But that's a "real" alias and isn't that ultimately worse than just the first name?
It has a lot to do with the fact that it's pretty safe to assume that NO ONE else has my full name. There are probably a few other Paul Wheaton guys around, but when you start combining a sort of uncommon first name with a weird combination of last names.....it just gets very....unique. I googled myself last night. Entertaining.
I think that if you had a name that looked like a first and last name, and if a newbie came here and saw that almost everybody was doing it that way, then they would be more likely to follow that path.
When a lot of people think of permaculture, they think of a bunch of dingbat hippies sitting around stoned and pontificating about "the man" and what a downer he is. I think the use of pseudonyms endorses that a bit.
I think that if somebody came to this site and saw that it was dominated by "firsname lastname" it would seem like a group of professionals that mean business. We're interested in science, engineering and economics. We are about getting things done.
..... just my obnoxious opinion ....
Joined: Oct 23, 2011
I think there's a good point to what you just said, Paul. I'll add one of my surnames for the sake of consistancy, how's that?
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Location: NW Michigan
Well I just read this and changed my display name I've been using Shamrock for quite awhile now, I guess I just got used to it. I am a member of the American Legion Riders, and Pony Express. Both are motorcycle organizations devoted to charity work and raising money for veterans and their families. I was given the road name Shamrock, because I have a big dark red beard and smoke a pipe, they said I looked like a 6' leprechaun. (and the name Leprechaun was taken by a guy who is about the size of one )
Joined: May 08, 2008
Location: McIntosh, NM
After reading this group of posts, changed my display name to what people know me here in NM as. Got gun shy for quite a while after successfully training racing horses for years at the big tracks back East. Got hurt really bad and work hard to live a quiet life now.
Just read that you are asking us to use our real names so I changed mine today.
Wow, every time I stop by I read something else that is sooo interesting that I can't stop and get stuck in computer land way too long.
I just love it that you give so much information. The nerd in me is very happy slurping up the details. I came to this idea of permaculture accidentally. Seems I have been moving towards this for years but didn't know what it was called. Now it seems to be everyplace that I look around in Oregon there is a wealth of knowledge so I am lucky here.
Joined: May 03, 2009
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
Hum, I'm not sure how I feel about this. My user name is the same on all the forums I frequent. Many people know me by it even in person. It pre-dates the internet from a time when I was always told I should never give out my real name over the air waves nor should I openly share my exact location unless with other people for safety reasons. I guess that early training is very ingrained. I generally really don't like to even see my real name used in posts. The internet is really searchable and most forums are no exception.
My Handle is fairly well respected on several other forums, I would prefer to keep the same identity across the board, to save my own confusion as well as others. I have never been a flamer, troll, or troublemaker of any sort on any forum, I promise to keep it that way.
Far too paranoid to use my real name. It's not rational, if "they" wanted to get me, there is probably little I could do and not using my name on the internet wouldn't help much. But I have a long many years ahead of me and it can't hurt to use caution.
Though, this is almost exactly my name and if you said it instead of wrote it, I would know exactly that you were talking to me.
Joined: Dec 26, 2008
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
I agree with the security issue.I shit in the ground folks and am a very contriversial person in many ways.In case you never noticed,sustainable living and self determination is totally outlawed in most of the first worldI had to remove my email due to people overload in my life.I value these forums because of the annonimity Im allowed.Plus maturity level increasing equals bordom increasing.If I needed friends,I would look in my closer community.Being able to be blunt without fear of damaging my community relationships is pretty much a major reason for this outlet for me.
There is nothing permanent in a culture dependent on such temporaries as civilization
subject: please use first name, a space, and last name