I have an alternate name, which I use for the web, basically—say, to post questions when I need to use a forum for help (largely because I have a very googlable name, and I don’t think anyone googling me is entitled to the history of everything I’ve ever done on the web, they’ve already got my entire scholastic history. If I could do it all over again, I’d use my alternate name for hula, where no one can quite remember my name (and I don’t remember theirs either—it’s only once a week). Luckily, since hula is me and a bunch of retired ladies, I’m pretty sure no one is going to put a list of the students on the web).

This alternate name is pretty close to my real name and my family knows what it is, and that persona doesn’t try to hide the connections to the real me as ProneToLaughter does. That name has a few email accounts, all of which live in Thunderbird (my real name lives in Entourage; ProneToLaughter and more-or-less-totally-anonymous email accounts (of which I have five or six) live in Apple Mail).** I derived an alternate userid from my alternate name, and that userid does things like post reviews on iTunes, in an account that is connected to my real name because iTunes has my credit card.

UserNameCheck.com: Where is Your Username Registered?

My alternate userid now has a blog, a twitter account, a flickr account and a youtube channel, none of them actually being used. And an avatar, which is the same as my logo on my school webpage (yes, I have a personal logo. I was bored in an instructional tech workshop one day and landed on something I liked).

* Maybe if you aren’t me, it’s okay to visit. But I never should have done it, clearly.

** It gets crazier. I want to join facebook under a permanent email address, and then I will also get my friends using that and away from my school address. Unfortunately, Gmail RealName1 is being used for business sign-ups, Gmail RealName2 is used for H-Net lists, and Gmail won’t give me a RealName3 OR my preferred alternate userid. And it has to be Gmail for the POP access because I hate doing things on the web (except rumor has it Hotmail just added free POP access so I need to go grab some accounts there). So I haven’t joined facebook. Or LinkedIn. Wait, maybe LinkedIn can go on the H-Net list name? Is LinkedIn professional or personal?

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