Noms de Plume & reputation management

By on Jan 28th

After many years online, Facebook and the others social sites have pretty well convinced me to abandon my nom de plume. As someone who has been self promoting (in a good way) using her first, middle and last name for many years, what do you feel have been the most beneficial outcomes of this? Though more obvious, what have been the down sides? -Brodie

The best outcome is having what one journalist referred to as a "large online blast radius." As someone who works in online marketing and public relations, it's hugely valuable to have so much of my work so readily accessible to those who might be interested in it. In addition, using your real name with your own websites can give you a lot of control over your digital reputation and presence, ie when someone searches for you online, they find you presenting yourself, instead of someone talking about you.

The downsides are having to be very conscious about what you write online at almost all times. Many years ago I went through the Electrolicious archives and sanitized dozens of posts, but every now and then something will still pop in the "past posts on this day" sidebar that I'm like HOLY FUCK I CAN'T BELIEVE I PUT THAT ONLINE! I think there's a bit of a statute of limitations on this stuff (what coworker would hold me liable for being violently hung over in 2000?) but I definitely have learned to be very careful about what I write — even when I'm on other people's blogs. I have trolls known and snark about me on other people's websites, so I have to be conscious even when commenting elsewhere online. (Side note: the devotion some people have to loathing Brand Ariel is truly humbling. Thank you, oh tenacious trolls, for your undying dedication to your efforts!)

Mostly it comes down to reputation management. When you use your real name online, you have to hold yourself to pretty decent standards in terms of communication. For someone who works on marketing/pr, it's worth it to me.to