Friday, October 20, 2006

The Blogger Identity

This post comes because of a long-running history of efforts to "individualize" myself on the internet. By individualize, I mean that I have made an effort for other anime bloggers to know me by the alias I use. It's not really all that difficult, since the only thing truly involved is making enough intelligent posts for the blogger to take notice and say, "hey, [alias] is involved in my blog and likes what I write - I'll return the favor." But there is a small problem.

Most anime bloggers don't have this problem because they either use a nickname (TJ Han) or a true internet alias (Bateszi, for instance). In my case, however, I settled for using my given name, Michael. This did not pose a problem in the beginning, as I was typically the only Michael on the blogs I frequented. However, over the course of time I have seen an influx of "other" Michaels into these blogs...and things have become a bit messy.

For the most part these "others" are harmless - just a reader posting a comment without the link attached to the alias. One case stands out alarmingly...that of Anime Otaku's Michael (hereafter referred to in italics, while my alias of Michael will be bold - after all, this is my blog, right?). It's too great a problem to ignore.

I suppose that I could give in and change my alias, from Michael to Samurai_Kenshin or something like that (in fact, Samurai_Kenshin is my typical alias in forums). But then what will happen to all the investment I laid into building up my original alias? Does it even matter? Will people just naturally accept it, and it'll be like nothing even happened?

This isn't an identity crisis, it's a crisis of practicality. When it's getting to the point where this Michael and I are both posting on the same blogs, on the same topics, with the same general answers (he even loves NHK ni Youkoso! as much as I do), well...what's supposed to happen?

A compromise, perhaps? I can change my alias to Michael B. and he can keep his as is? Or maybe he can add his last initial to his name? Just a thought. You people with the crazy names (Hige, Bateszi) have it so easy...Michael is such a gdf-ing popular name.


At 10:11 PM, Anonymous lolikitsune said...

My name is Michael, too.

Proposed solution: develop a dangerous fetish. :P

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Ten said...

How about including your last name? Or maybe just the initials?

As far as changing your nick, I think it won't be that bad, especially to those familiar with how you write. For example, there's maya (from Itsumo) who's been known as kawaii in the anime blog circles for quite some time. I don't think she had any problem with the transition.

So far, I haven't encountered someone with my nick. I use 'Ten' in real life since it's a contraction of my name.

At 6:43 AM, Anonymous tj han said...

I understand your pain. The other Michael is not one you would like to associate with.

But I would like to point out that tj han is my real name (initials though) and people do call me either han or tj in real life.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Michael said...

lolikitsune: Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I can't develop a dangerous fetish overnight, so that option's out. :)

Ten: I guess I'll give it a go then, and just change my nick to Samurai_Kenshin. Better than having to sift through all the Michaels there are nowadays.

tj: Thanks bro, I appreciate your empathizing with me. And yeah, I did know that "Han" at least was your real name - I figured that TJ was some sort of shortening as a nickname of some sort.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger J.Valdez said...

I tend to remember the blogs URL or layout over the names of the bloggers. It's that there are so many anime bloggers that it's hard to keep them all straight. Although, I’m a genius at forgetting peoples names so that may be the reason why.

If you do decide to change your handle, I’ll make a note on my next post about it. That way at least like three more people will be aware of the issue =)

At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Michael S. (?) said...

Hmm. Seems like I'm making problems for you. So what do you propose?

(I'm the one from animeotaku. I didn't really intend to mess things up - sorry if I did.)

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Don't worry about it - I changed my sig on other blogs to Michael B. so it's all good. The post was meant more for the subtle humor involved with building a unique online identity, and then finding out that you're not unique at all (particularly if you use your real given name).

At 12:54 AM, Anonymous impz said...

this is pretty interesting. I actually use my nick Impz that has stuck on me for like the past 10 years of my life.

I guess i like it simply because it is very unique and enjoyable to use. It also makes me rather mysterious, since it's hard to tell the gender of the name...(though with my contents, it might or might not be obvious).

Nice stuff, i also love that entry of urs about blogs failing and succeeding.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Impz: Glad you liked some of the posts I've made. I've been having trouble keeping the material on this blog refreshing and interesting, as I tend to stay away from series posts (and especially episdoe summaries). Hopefully I'll have time soon to make another post, but for now I'm too swamped to do anything.

And as an aside, the gender of the name is definitely ambiguous, though I think I can guess.


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