I need a new name.
In a lecture last week we were told that the key to social media success is an original online presence. This means having a name unique to everyone else on the interweb.
You would think with a name like Edith this shouldn’t be a problem. I am a young digital journalist, fresh out of uni with a knack for online. How many Edith’s can there possibly be?
Here’s a sample of those featuring above me in the google race:
Nowadays, it’s expected that future employers are going to google your name. However, if your future employer is a journalist you want to be in the top two search results. Otherwise you’re not working hard enough or no one likes you.
Sure, my linkdn and twitter profiles do come up in the first page, but that’s a pretty small gain considering who’s beating me to it: A canadian real-estate broker and a heroin addict.
So how am I going to beat my demons? The easiest way would be to start calling myself Edie. All my friends call me Edie anyway. It’s a seamless link between my public and personal lives. Edith is stern and distant, Edie is friendly and reliable. Let’s try it.
How are there still so many!?
GODDAMN YOU CANADA.
So this is my problem: I’m battling for internet fame with a woman who sells houses in Nova Scotia. She’s dominated the scene and stolen both of my names.
What happens next? Our tutor Ben Whitelaw suggested we stick a middle initial in there. Studies show it makes you look smarter and journalists have been using the middle initial as a quick-fix for decades.
My twitter handle is @Edith_L_Hancock. This is my little experiment to see if adding a middle initial not only makes me look distinguished, but gives me an identity. Plus I don’t have to have thousands of numbers after my name. Let’s try that on google search.
So far so good. Even though I don’t even show up on the first page, all my competition is dead.
But this doesn’t really fix anything. My wordpress account username is still ediepeadie (In my youth I started a baking blog but it was never meant to be), and apparently there are a lot of Edith L Hancock’s in the world because the gmail address is already taken. I’ve had to go for firstname.lastname@example.org, which is a bit more Bebo than journo.
There are of course other options. I could completely switch and start using my middle name: Lily.
More search results than any other name. Perhaps not.
Or I could do an F. Scott Fitzgerald. E. Lily Hancock has a nice ring to it, but I’d be betraying all the Ediths in the world. Despite what google search says there isn’t that many of us. I’m proud to have a uncommon name and I’ll be damned if I’ll let google envy take it away.
For want of time to really tackle this issue, I have left the blog address as edithandedith for now. I think it sums up my first world problem pretty well. Until I can hack into this woman’s website and change her name to Susan, I am in the shadow of my fellow Ediths. Be they into real-estate or hard drugs.
Any suggestions for identity ideas, drop me a line!