What’s in a (user)name?

Quite a lot, I’m beginning to think…

When I signed up with Twitter a year or so ago, I went with the username I have for my shared email account with my husband: klandmiles. It combined our names: mine (Keri-Lee) was shortened to KL and his name is Miles. K-L & Miles = klandmiles. It was easy to remember, we’ve been using that as our email address since 2001 when we moved overseas. I am usually the first to adopt a new tool etc, so I have kept the same username for each new tool I use (delicious, diigo etc).

I didn’t for a moment stop to think about what my username would say about me to others. I met @hitechhall and he said, “Oh, so you’re K – Landmiles!” and he wasn’t the only one! @Skardalien did the same thing, but I said, “No, it’s KL and Miles. This caused him to then ponder, “So how do you pronounce your surname? Is it Andmiles?”

This begs the question; can I really have a 2-person username in this day and age?

Some people I’ve talked to said they feel they’ve outgrown their username or don’t like it anymore. But do we have a choice?

It appears we do! While forcing helping to sign my husband up to Twitter, I found this message on the settings page:

“Change your Twitter user name anytime without affecting your existing updates, @replies, direct messages, or other data. After changing it, make sure to let your followers know so you’ll continue receiving all of your messages with your new user name.”

Do you take notice of people’s usernames? What do our usernames say about us? Do they even matter?

My final question is this: should I change my username or not? Ideas and suggestions welcome 🙂
Should I change my username?
( polls)

3 thoughts on “What’s in a (user)name?

  1. I was exactly the same as you. My username use to be dswaters – initial of my husbands first name and mine. Personally I find names that a mixture of letters or pseudonames make it a lot harder for me to relate to that person and also remember their correct name.

    Which is one of the reasons why I changed my name. The other reason was to build my online identity and personal brand. It makes it easier with people to connect using the one name.

    It is quite painless changing your name. But I advise you to log out of all your twitter clients before you change your name because a couple of them were really hard to log back into once your name has been changed – due to the automatic login.

    Keri-Lee, notice you are trying to embed a poll – would you like my help embedding it into your post?


  2. A real dilemma! My husband and I share an email account – have for years. That seems to work for us at home. Naturally, at work we have separate accounts, and all our professional usernames are individual – I am dickinsonn (Nadine) and he is dickinsonm (Mike). Because these letters are side by side on the keyboard, and because we are both international teachers in the same school, we often get emails meant for each other. This can be both annoying and interesting, depending on the content of the email!


  3. Classic, I’ve often pondered this, should I have a fancy online name – then thought, nah that’s just not me. So, craigsteed I am, wherever I go online. I feel it represents me well (it has done so for nearly 40 years after all, gee 40 years? 38 anyway). Similar to sue, I find the initial pseudonames hard to get my head around, but after a while, you get to know people and it doesn’t make a difference. Same with profile shots, I kinda prefer photos. Maybe I’m a bit boring in that respect, but I like to see my online life as real as my real life, hence being me – my name, my photo.


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