Thursday, April 17, 2008

Oh Dear. That Might Be My Nasty Side Showing Again.

I am feeling very petty today. No, not pretty, PETTY.

This will be a very petty rant. I recognize it for its inherent pettiness and I am still upset enough to go ahead and let my pettiness show.

Bear with me, for I am very, very petty today.

I fully understand that I do not own my name; millions of other parents gave their daughters the same name; they did so before I was born and they're still doing so because I have, if I may say so, a pretty cool name. Nobody is responsible for the name on his/her birth certificate. That name was not our choice.

Other names, in our lives, ARE chosen. And when one chooses a name to be known by, one should be careful.

When one wishes to have an online identity, one tends to be rather possessive of the name one CHOOSES to be known as. Our online, internet, blog-names are choices we make, and as with all choices, care should be taken.

In the beginning, the Blogosphere was sparsely populated, and any name one chose was probably the ONLY name of that kind "out there." However, the Blogosphere has now Big Banged, and there are lots of us "out there," and in order for the Blogosphere to maintain individual identity for its inhabitants, it's extremely important for the new neighbors to. . . DO A LITTLE RESEARCH BEFORE CHOOSING AN IDENTIFYING INTERNET NAME, BECAUSE WHEN YOU DON'T CHECK IT OUT FIRST, YOU MIGHT CHOOSE A NAME FOR YOURSELF THAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS ALREADY ESTABLISHED HIMSELF/HERSELF WITH . . . and that creates confusion and hard feelings.

Did I mention the hard feelings?

Yes, you can choose any name you want, to sign your posts with. Sigh. Use Dooce's name, or Michele's, or Siggy's, or MommaK's, or Hoss's, or Monty's, or Fausta's, or Suburban Turmoil's, Kenju's, or Muzik's, or Cary Grant's, or Popeye's, or Little Lulu's, or Herman the Hermit's, . . . but you can bet people won't appreciate it, and you can also bet that your neighbors in the Blogosphere will think you're a complete and total tool for A. not doing your homework first and discovering that HELLO, these names are already in use! and B. not realizing that such things are simply NOT DONE. At least, they're not done by the established Blogosphere.

Please, Newbies, before you start posting and commenting using names that someone else has already built a following with, do some simple research first. Google it. If it comes up, choose something else. Please.

It's not pleasant when one starts to get email and Google Alerts, etc, for posts one hasn't made and knows nothing about. It's also extremely unpleasant when I see my Blogosphere Name in the comments of other blogs, because until one clicks the link, it would appear to be MY comment. Yes, I capitalize "Blogosphere Name." It's that important to me.

Because it's my name in this neighborhood. You newbies, with your brand-new blogs*, who decided you wanted to blog under the name "Mamacita," there's no law against it. There's nothing I can do. It's a generic word. It's up for grabs. It's not copyrighted, nor can it be, because it's just a word, like "mother" or "auntie" or "sister" or "papa-san" or "sweet petunia" or "amazing lack of credibility or creativity." Pick any name you like. There's nothing anybody can do about it. There's nothing I can do about it.

Except maybe give you these few pieces of advice, the main one being, "Get your own damn blog- name and don't use someone else's!"

People work hard to establish themselves under a certain name. It's not nice to elbow oneself in and try to blog using a name that someone else is already associated with.

I do not for one moment believe that any of the recent Mamacitas chose this name out of malice or anything remotely such. I think they all just didn't know any better. They liked the sound of it, or that's what they're called at home, or it just seemed cool, whatever.

But I do believe that the days of assuming that on the internet, one can choose to be whatever or whoever one wishes to be, are over; there are far too many of us living here now, and we prefer not to get someone else's email, or to be mistaken for someone else because that someone else has chosen to use an already-established name.

I have blogged about this issue before, back when it was still kind of funny; but after getting that last batch of Google Alerts about "myself," I'm not laughing any more. I'm actually really pissed.

How pissed am I? You really don't want to know.

Let's just say that when my students try to claim or pass off something as their own when in fact it is actually associated with someone else, I fail them.


*By "brand-new blog" I am referring to any blog less than four years old.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:15 PM | |


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