By in Persona Paper

Consistency of User Names between Writing Sites

We expect caterpillars to change their name and shape, but what about online writers? Many of the writers here on Persona Paper either currently write for other sites or have done so in the past. I'm one of those, having an online writing presence for about eight years. Sites come and go, rise and fall. There's one thing I just can't understand lately though. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

On all the sites I've written for in the past, or currently write for, I've used the same user name, valmnz . As far as I'm concerned, this means that any followers I have on one site can easily locate me on another. However, in my short time here on Persona Paper I've discovered many people I've followed on other sites have changed their user names to write here. I don't understand that. Surely, if a writer wants to keep followers, no matter where they migrate to, it's an easier process if the same user name is retained.

Thankfully there are just as many writing here whose user names I recognise from previous sites. That is wonderful, I can find or recognise those people easily. Maybe someone can explain to me the logic in changing names when changing sites? I'm curious.

Image Credit » Personal photo of Val Mills, writer of this post

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CoralLevang wrote on February 18, 2015, 12:27 AM

If I were going to write a different genre, I might change my moniker. In fact, I did have another blog for awhile that told some stories and gave some advice that was more "racy" than I wanted the normal reader to ever know about me and my past. Thus, a pen name.

LadyTrouble wrote on February 18, 2015, 12:39 AM

I understand how you feel. I am one of those people who have changed their username. I used to work on and had used somecowgirl as my username, I let that username follow me. The username got old after awhile though, and so when I came here I wanted to re-invent myself. With that being said, I've also re-invented myself on another writing site I recently joined. I suppose you could say my reasoning for doing so is as an experiment.

allen0187 wrote on February 18, 2015, 12:39 AM

I've always used my current handle name and have no plans of changing it. However, there was a time when I used different pen names that suits the topic of the post that I wrote. A good example was when I used Hennessy Daniels ( mixing my two favorite poisons) to write an article about alcoholism among teenagers. I know it was inappropriate but it was a subtle dig at my then editor in chief and her equally uninspiring and myopic boss. LOL!

SoundNFury wrote on February 18, 2015, 1:03 AM

I agree, I think it's best to try to keep the same name, if possible. Even if it is already taken somewhere, add a number!

bestwriter wrote on February 18, 2015, 1:03 AM

I am one of those, just trying to write on a clean slate! emoticon :tongue:

FernandoSHA wrote on February 18, 2015, 1:07 AM

I agree with being consistent as far as using usernames across different sites for easy identification among and between connections unless one does not want his presence in these sites known to his connections on each site.

valmnz wrote on February 18, 2015, 1:09 AM

aah, now you have me curious emoticon :smile: but yes, I can understand your use of a pen name there.

valmnz wrote on February 18, 2015, 1:10 AM

Reinvention is probably a good idea for some, yes, I can see that. Lol, being reinvented as LadyTrouble is an interesting reinvention though emoticon :smile:

valmnz wrote on February 18, 2015, 1:12 AM

Something like that could be fun. It's those who change names, yet are still identifiable through their writing style and content that intrigues me.

valmnz wrote on February 18, 2015, 1:13 AM

I'm starting to wonder if, from the comments so far, you and i are boringly consistent emoticon :smile:

valmnz wrote on February 18, 2015, 1:15 AM

You are lucky if your clean slate means you are not easily identifiable from your location, style and content. Lol, there are not that many online writers who have emerged as confessing to being from New Zealand and most of us follow each other.

valmnz wrote on February 18, 2015, 1:15 AM

It seems from some of the comments here that maybe some people would prefer to not be recognised.

Last Edited: February 18, 2015, 1:16 AM

bestwriter wrote on February 18, 2015, 2:05 AM

So far no one has identified me. Actually I really do not bother how many here have changed their user ID - those that I must have already interacted in a couple of other sites. I pay attention to the rapport I develop here and here alone.

johnmariow wrote on February 18, 2015, 3:32 AM

I try to use the same name in most places, but not on all. I understand what you are talking about. The more people who can find me, the more views I get.

Dawnwriter wrote on February 18, 2015, 3:48 AM

Sometimes people are not comfortable seeing their name associated with a site for a myriad of reasons. I want justascribbler on Bubblews but for every other site I am Dawnwriter. If I wrote for a professional site, I guess I would use my real name.

crowntower wrote on February 18, 2015, 4:17 AM

maybe they don't want to be identified. Hehehehe, but I recognized a lot of writers here using the same name still. Hehehe and I keep on following them. I hope you are having a great day today even though you are wondering about the other blogger's user name. Lol! God bless.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 18, 2015, 5:03 AM

I am bac2basics on Hubpages but changed my name when I joined bubblews simply because I thought you had to. When I learned differently, I keep my Hollyhocks100 when I moved here.

BeckyWiegers wrote on February 18, 2015, 6:19 AM

My "online writing presence" is very new. I "blogged" on social sites such as Yahoo360 and Multiply for ten years or so before moving on to Blogster when Multiply went belly up. Through all that time I was Moptop55 because, as you point out, it made it easy for folks to recognize me. This type of writing is a bit different, a little more serious I suppose, so I opted to use my real name for this venture.

Feisty56 wrote on February 18, 2015, 8:55 AM

I've changed my username a few times through the years for a variety of reasons, until I settled on the one I use now. I intend to keep this one for the foreseeable future simply because I do want old friends and acquaintances to be able to find me if they care to.

Porcospino wrote on February 18, 2015, 10:58 AM

It would be a lot easier to find old friends if people used the same name on every site, but some people like to charge their usernames. I have used the name Porcospino since 2008, and sometimes I even use the same avatar.

DWDavisRSL wrote on February 18, 2015, 11:10 AM

Unless you are writing in a completely different vein, or just want to start over with a fresh slate and not retain followers, I don't see why one would want to change ones user name from site to site.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on February 18, 2015, 1:18 PM

I don't get that, either, unless it's a situation like CoralLevang described. My goal is to build a following across sites, so I've always used either my real name or the name of my first blog in conjunction with my real name. When I do use my screen name, I always include my real name, at least in a (c) notice, for search engine purposes in addition to legal ones. The screen name is more of a brand for my current purposes. If I was going for anonymity, I'd have to come up with something else entirely.

RonElFran wrote on February 18, 2015, 11:21 PM

I started my online writing on HubPages, and that's where my best content resides. I'm trying to establish a "brand" for my serious writing. That's why for a couple of sites where the content would be a lot less than "serious" I adopted a different screen name. At this point I'm trending the other way - keeping a consistent online ID and making sure anything I write supports the brand I'm trying to establish.

valmnz wrote on February 18, 2015, 11:25 PM

I likewise try to create my own brand, to support other writing I do. That's why I have no hesitation to including my real name on my profile.

VinceSummers wrote on February 19, 2015, 1:03 PM

I can see a name change if one writes for high-dollar sites AND low-paying sites and wishes no one to connect the two back to them. Other than that, you've got me!

MaeLou wrote on February 19, 2015, 1:34 PM

I did because I didn't want to be deleted from Bubblews while I was still owed money. Of course, now, I just wish I had gone with "Heather"

valmnz wrote on February 19, 2015, 7:43 PM

But, I love thinking of you as MaeLou emoticon :smile:

WordChazer wrote on February 20, 2015, 12:57 PM

It goes against Google's preferred authorship algorithm to change names, unless you want to be someone completely different because you're writing in a different niche, I suppose.

valmnz wrote on February 20, 2015, 2:16 PM

I agree with that and the comments about opposing types of writing above. But, for general writing such as here, I can't see any sense in not establishing a consistent brand.