I am danielbowen. danielbowen I am.

Every so often, some new online service will present itself. Some turn out to be duds, but some turn out to be pretty compelling. As most of them are free, it’s often handy to grab your name early on while it’s available, in case it becomes useful later.

In the prehistoric days of the net, I used a nickname. But I went off that, and switched to the same alias that usually matched my corporate email name: dbowen. So back when Excite was a portal and email service that people actually used (as opposed to a the ghost town it is now), I managed to nab the dbowen user on there, as well as a bunch of other, more obscure services.

At some stage it got too hard, and I switched first to dfbowen, then to danielbowen. Certainly longer, but this is an easier one, and is also more readily identifiable with me.

There are obviously other Daniel Bowens around online, but I seem to have usually managed to beat them to the punch on this stuff. I’m obviously more of a geek than they are. The most recent was Facebook, but here’s a list of the main places I’ve grabbed my name:

  • — blog… and really, the only one of these that I truly own
  • danielbowen at — now my main personal email — I periodically get emails for one of my namesakes here. The same logon is used for a multitude of other Google services
  • danielbowen at — an email address I no longer use, but it’s the same profile used for YahooGroups, and also for…
  • — my Flickr photo feed
  • danielbowen at — I don’t use this for email, but it is my Passport logon, for various (mostly Microsoft) services. Someone’s got this one mixed up too, as I’ve noticed an influx of dating service emails, apparently directed at a namesake in Western Australia.
  • — the Twitter feed, providing useless snippets of information, 140 characters at a time
  • — I don’t really use this very much, but it combines the blog, Twitter, Flickr, posts, and my Google News EgoSearch into one handy stalking package
  • User:Danielbowen — my Wikipedia user page. I dabble in Wikipedia, undoing obvious vandalism when I see it, and occasionally adding things to articles
  • — but note, I don’t really use it that much at the moment. Mostly Scrabble, and keeping up with friends that I actually know in real life, and a handful I know well online. Stick to the blog/Twitter/Friendfeed if you want to stalk me.

What’s your handle? Do you have a single one you use online? Have you missed out on your preferred logon on some services, and had to compromise, or have you got something reasonably unique?

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

6 replies on “I am danielbowen. danielbowen I am.”

Hey, Daniel,
I use multiple “identities” on the ‘net. This comes from my time in information security. I’d recommend that to anyone interested in protecting their own identity.
Does, however, have the drawback that you have to think who you are currently each time you access a resource…

I use two main identities on the web. The first is more prominent and that’s my professional ID attached to my website, my blog (still to bite the bullet and get my own url like you) and twitter if I sign up for it. The other is more anonymous and is my nickname.

I use a separate online identity because I have an internet unique name. Both my first and last name are uncommon. And let me tell you, it is a curse. Any search online is guaranteed to find you and only you. All those embarrassing posts you made back in the early days of the web when you were young and thought that tv show was the best thing ever are STILL up. For petes sakes people, it’s been over 15 years since the show was axed, let the server die :)

I use a nickname for the exact opposite reason as the #3 poster. My name is so common as to be one of 2000 or more. With a nickname I can easily point people to my sites if I so choose. And .. my family doesn’t know the nickname so they can’t stalk me online. But then again family likely doesn’t care :P

Nice that you’ve gotten all the daniel bowen addresses :)

Back in the old Chicago (Win95 beta) days on msn I used to go by the name USS_Enterprise.

Stuck with that for quite a long time actually, wasn’t until I started my business that I began using that (DVD Plaza) as my username everywhere.

Only in the past year have I begun realising that perhaps I shouldn’t, since if someday I sold or folded it then I’ve got a nickname everywhere that’s irrelevant. To that end I had to the hard job of trying to come up with something that would be unique in a world when millions of people are now online and taking names. Thus I came up with USS_RubberDucky.

Have been using that for a few things, including Facebook (yes I eventually caved in and joined despite swearing I never would!) just last week with its new username service, until I suddenly realised I already had a great nickname – Tillsy, the name colleagues at work call me (due to multiple Chris’). Why I never thought to use that before I’m unsure, and what a shame since most systems don’t let you rename accounts :(

Passwords on the other hand are a nightmare for me, as I use a different one for every system I use so I am constantly getting them confused!

Waaaay back in the early days, I was known as glittergirl, which lasted about 2 years. There are a ridiculous number of glittergirls online, plus or minus ~ or * or a combination of many. Once I stopped wearing glitter on my face for work and play, I “upgraded” to frannybee, my family nickname since childhood. I’m frannybee for just about everything, but I missed out on Facebook. This annoyed me, which is stupid, but I’ve been so used to being the only frannybee! I don’t use my given name as I have a hyphenated surname and it’s very unusual – I’m very opinionated about a lot of things and some of my opinions don’t need to be publicly searchable by my given name, eg employers, exes etc.

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