When Google+ launched, I went with my handle as my last name. This makes a ton of sense to me. If you asked most people what my last name is, they wouldn’t know. It isn’t “common” for me. Many people don’t even seem to know my first name. I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself talking with folks at conferences this past year and seeing ZERO lighbulbs going off when I say my name “Kaliya”, but when I say I have the handle or blog “Identity Woman” they are like “Oh wow! You’re Identity Woman… cool!” with a tone of recognition – because they know my work by that name.
One theory I have about why this works is because it is not obvious how you pronounce my name when you read it. And conversely, it isn’t obvious how you write my name when you hear it. So the handle that is a bit longer but everyone can say spell “Identity Woman” really serves me well professionally. It isn’t like some “easy to say and spell” google guy name like Chris Messina or Joseph Smarr or Eric Sachs or Andrew Nash. I don’t have the privilege of a name like that so I have this way around it.
So today…I get this
I have “violated” community standards when using a name I choose to express my identity – an identity that is known by almost all who meet me. I, until last October, had a business card for 5 years that just had Identity Woman across the top.
Display Name – To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of these would be acceptable. Learn more about your name and Google Profiles.