For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by Internet handles. That is, what name do people use on the Internet. Do they use their real name? Are they semi-anonymous with a pseudonym or screen name they like? Is there identity a complete mystery?
In December, I finally decided to act on my curiosity and started asking. The interviews are posted at Origin Story.
I didn’t tell many people about it. But I started to send emails with that subject line, What is your Origin Story?
I debated long and hard about what questions to ask. I didn’t want to ask too many. I didn’t want to ask too much of people’s time and attention. So I tried to keep my questions brief. And even then, the questions have evolved since the first interview.
Here is what I’ve asked everyone.
- What name do you use on the Internet?
- Do you keep the same name everywhere?
- Where did it come from?
- What does it mean to you?
- Why did you choose it?
- Do you ever think of changing it?
- Why do you / don’t you use your real name?
- What was your first internet screen name?
- What is your favorite name you’ve seen in your travels across the net?
I added this question when I realized I was asking these interesting people about their stories. I should also ask them whose story they’d like to hear.
- Whose origin story would you like to hear next?
Even later on, I realized the blunder I was making by not pointing my readers to these fine folks. So I added the last question.
- Now that people have heard your story, where can they go to find out more about you?
I’m sure it will continue to evolve as I figure this thing out and bug more people for their stories. I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to take part in my little project so far.
- Richard J Anderson
- Patrick Rhone
- Casey Liss
- Tony Giunta
- Dr. Bunsen
Thank you all! I’ve had a lot of fun with this project so far. And I hope those who have taken part have enjoyed it. I feel like I learn something about each of these people from the answers they send back. And the best part is getting to know people I hadn’t previously crossed paths with on the internet.
It’s been a lot of fun so far. So if you should see an email in your inbox asking about your origin story, I hope you’ll take part.
New Origin Stories go up every Monday morning at Origin Story. New posts are tweeted from @StoriesofOrigin.