Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, February 29

Gapers Block

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Hal Shipman / July 5, 2011 12:14 AM

Only "handle" I've ever used other than assigned "hshipman" variations has been "ChiRugby," which has served me well for over 15 years. Usually for commerce related sites where theyshould at least have to do a little work to get my name. Otherwise, especially if it's an opinion I want taken seriously, I use my name.

Andrew Huff / July 5, 2011 12:27 AM

Inspired by this article in GOOD about internet handles.

My first was "crypticboy." I had garnered a reputation at the school paper for being somewhat vague in my comments and allegiances — as had my friend Damon. Cinnamon and other friends began referring to Damon as “The Enigma,” and because I was slightly less inscrutable, I was dubbed “Cryptic Boy.” We did not fight crime as a team, but we did get into some good mischief.

I wasn’t crypticboy for long. In my first full-time job after school, I accidentally fat-finger typed a 3 at the same time as an e in "media." I liked how it looked, and soon thereafter I registered the domain, and then sealed the deal by joining MetaFilter under that handle. Now me3dia is Andrew Huff pretty much everywhere. The one exception is on Flickr, where I'm "deadhorse," because I signed up there during a brief period when I was changing my blog to a different domain. I shoulda switched it as soon as I changed my mind.

Hal Shipman / July 5, 2011 12:41 AM

"MetaFilter founder Matt Haughey once wrote of the changing nature of online self-identification. Haughey had found himself the lone alias in a field full of real-life, first-and-last-named commenters. 'This is one of those moments when you notice you're becoming a dinosaur,' he wrote."

Wow, don't believe that for a minute. Take a look at any gaming board, or even the local No one EVER uses their real name.

ztdavis / July 5, 2011 9:26 AM

Daxe13. I was in a public library in Indianapolis setting up a yahoo account. I had been intending a pseudonym of "Dave" but liked the typo when I saw it.

Most of high school college involved "EwigeBlumenkraft13" and "ewigekraft23", both Illuminatus trilogy references that I eventually out grew.

Ever since, ztdavis has been it.

dave s. / July 6, 2011 10:52 AM

My first one was "rookie2phenom" that I used when I was in high school back in '01, after my first years in high school debate. I earned rookie of the year honors and was named "the phenomenal team captain."

After switching through various names during my stages in adolescence, I returned to the old name (now just rookiephenom) in 2008.

SR / July 6, 2011 10:53 AM


in homage to the 80s NBA player...

Dylan / July 6, 2011 11:11 AM

My first handle was nepher. I started using it on MUDs when I was just a little kid. Came from a nephrology business card that was always on my parent's desk

flange / July 6, 2011 1:27 PM

actually, i was on the internet back in the '80s (arpanet days) when it was rare to see a handle; most folks had their full name, work address and phone number, and email address in their signatures. even on what was then a thriving, non-piracy-focused usenet. i miss that a lot. aol never should have been allowed in.

now that you're all safely off my lawn, the first time i had to use a handle, i used pogo, from the comic strip.

Lisa G. / July 6, 2011 3:20 PM

I was 'evilisa' - a college nickname. Ever since, just my business name - gizmodesign :)

Oh, and i was LisaLisa for a while - how awful!

maardvark / July 7, 2011 5:09 AM

Maardvark. It is constructed by combining my name with that of an African mammal. The only other handles I ever use are more or less my real name.

Daniel Honigman / July 7, 2011 8:50 AM

danman360 on aol. not proud of it.

amyc / July 7, 2011 12:35 PM

I started out online as AmyC, which was also usually my "handle" in real life (there were always other Amys in my classes and jobs). In 2000 or so, I started my blog and became RubberNun, which is still what I use pretty much everywhere.

Carly O / July 8, 2011 4:21 PM

Primal CLO on AOL. After a party in high school, we all gave one another names that began with "Most". Apparently I jumped on some dude and madeout with him (read: acted like an uncoordinated wild animal) and was dubbed Most Primal. So...yeah.

carlotta / July 9, 2011 10:24 PM

alpha-2000, in honor of the new start of the millennium

Cinnamon / July 11, 2011 12:18 AM

Being anonymous online didn't occur to me when I first got online access so I used my name (Cinnamon) everywhere I could. When my university-sponsored email address expired I was looking for something free and came across I tried signing up as Cinnamon but I found someone had already gotten the username. I was livid that it was really a woman named Therese who had "cinnamon-colored eyes". I had to resort to something and the automated suggestions were awful and "CinnamonCooper" was too long.
I have a habit of taking the "Cinna" part of my name and adding nouns or adjectives to the end of it. For example, my brothers called me Cinnamonster or Cinnabitch if my mom wasn't around. So I decided to become cinnachick mostly because I thought it was cool to be I've let it stick, but only places where Cinnamon is already taken.

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