Jun 30, 2011  •  In Blogging, Personal, Web

Online Handles

I saw an article titled “How Dumb Was Your First Online Handle?” yesterday on Gizmodo and I couldn’t help but let out a small giggle. It sure brought back some good memories…

The year was 1996.  Everyone was talking about the wonderful new invention called the internet.  AOL was starting to gain in popularity, especially among the 15-30 crowd.  And, in the usual Hwang family fashion, our parents only surrendered their credit card number after all our friends were online.

The hardest part about setting up the account was the username.  It had to be something unique.  It had to be something that represented me.  And I had to choose fast, because my sister was waiting for her turn.

I quickly entered every possible choice after choice.  It soon became apparent the immense number of AOL members.  Either that, or I wasn’t very creative.

I then remembered a character in an Ann Rice novel — a teenage vampire who burns alive.  Baby Jenks.

Unfortunately, BabyJenks was not available.  But BabyJenk5 was…and 5 kinda looks like an S, right?

Thus BabyJenk5 was born.

I continued to use BabyJenk5 for ten years. On AIM. Message boards. Shopping sites. Even my first blog at Xanga.

What was your first online handle?
Are you now embarrassed by it?
Or do you still use the very first handle you chose?

As much as I grew attached to BabyJenk5, I never loved it because it seemed too cutesy for who I really am as a person. So when a close friend first referred to me as a “geek in heels,” I immediately loved it. I knew that I was ready for a change, and that Geek in Heels was it.

When I first registered this domain name, there was no one else using “geek in heels” or the “geekinheels” moniker on the internet — at least not according to Google. And last year, when I wrote about possibly snatching up some popular top level domain names for this blog, most of my readers seemed agreeable to the idea.

…Except I was too lazy and never got around to registering those domains.

Recently, it has come to my attention that numerous others have been using this handle — there now even exists a geekinheels.net and a corresponding Facebook page for that business! I had told myself that I would think about creating a Facebook page for this blog once it grows a bit more, so I was a bit disappointed to see that facebook.com/geekinheels is no longer available.

There is also a geekinheels Tumblr blog, and various forms of the name are being used all over the Twitterverse and other popular web services.

I know that I may not want to stick with “Geek in Heels” in a few years, as my friend Eva pointed out. However, I became unnecessarily paranoid and proceeded to snatch up the rest of the popular top level domains for geekinheels, in addition to registering for various popular web services with that handle.

I was able to get these domains for a pretty good price via Name Cheap,
which was voted Lifehacker’s Best Domain Registrar last year.

Once again, this may strike some people as being unnecessarily paranoid. But as a SAHM who is finally starting to generate some moola via her blog, I figure that I better protect my investment…wouldn’t you agree?

P.S. — Today is the last day of the month, and as I checked my site stats this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see that I may just hit 100,000 unique visitors for the month of June! Loyal readers may remember that I had promised to do a big giveaway in celebration if this happens…so keep your fingers crossed (and maybe share some of your favorite posts with your friends?) and you may become eligible to win a pretty nice prize!

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8 Responses to “Online Handles”

  1. Rebekah says:

    My first handle was idabomb2. I used it for my hotmail email address because, of course, idabomb and idabomb1 were taken. Let me tell you, I was not da bomb when I was 14.

  2. Amanda says:

    I love this – my first online handle was something ridiculous involving the nickname my BIL had given me at the time (“manda panda”). I don’t remember what it was exactly, but it was very cutesy and embarrassing!

  3. heidikins says:

    My first email address was IBPickles, which partly came from a scene from Little Rascals where two of the munchkins are talking about pickles, a scene oft quotes amongst my friends. And the “IB” part came from a t-shirt that said “UBU, IBMe”, a acronymned derivative of “you be you, I’ll be me.”


    (Also, hi, I just found your blog and absolutely love it!)


  4. ABC says:

    My mom made my first AOL email address/screen name, so it was RoyBoy (and then some numbers). Roy Boy is the name of the Cabbage Patch Kid I got when I was two. And I’m a girl. I changed my screen name to SilentSinger (and then some numbers) because I was in a sign language choir at church. Then I outgrew the choir and found a fantastic nail polish color: Silver Lilac. Since SilverLilac was already taken, I went with Silvrlylac. I still have that AIM address…I’ve now adopted ABCmrs on Twitter and elsewhere–I figure that one can probably stick, since it’s my initials and my marital status, which I don’t expect to change. (And, of course, MrsABC was already taken by the time I adopted a new moniker).

  5. Corey Ann says:

    My first online handle was chewbeanie – after my dog’s nickname (chewbacca). Luckily I got rid of it about a year later. It never occurred to me until MUCH later how provocative that name was. I innocently thought it was a cute spin on my Dog’s/Star Wars name. lol.

    I moved onto Corey Ann in 1998 or so and have stuck with that. However my Dad had BurpsonDunes, I still laugh at that one.

  6. MrsW says:

    I’m not going to say my first handle in this comment, but if you’re interested it’s the email I use in the comment form. Yeah, I still have my very first hotmail account that I opened circa 1998. It’s how I signed my drawings when I was little: “by[my initials]”, and then a few relevant numbers. I still use that handle in gmail, but I’ve moved away from it in the blogosphere (don’t want offline friends knowing I’m me if we somehow read the same things… not sure why) and in most secure settings (like online bill pay).

  7. JenInTosa says:

    My first ever was JenDrea (a combo of my sister’s and my name), then LimeGrBug (because I love green and I wanted a VW Beetle). I’ve been using JenInTosa for a few years and I really love it… Tosa is short for the city I live in and I’m moving soon… now what???? JenInMorgandale doesn’t sound very cool… :/

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