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Pros/cons of using Personal names on sites and alternatives?

samb
Posts: 33
Joined: 05 Aug 10
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Pros/cons of using Personal names on sites and alternatives?

Hi,

I am intrigued by you views on using one's personal name as the main branding for a site. Obviously one's real "known by" name is a precious thing and one would not want to devalue it or have it accidentally tarnished.

So I see 4 possible options

1) Use real 'known by' name
2) Use real name... but not known by... ie middle name(s)
3) Use a fictional name. I have seen this on a number of blogs. It is an "actor" approach in my opinion.
4) Use organisation type name for the blog...ie "The Music Zone".... and then use first names to report ie Fred, Josh etc

A lot of this is to do with branding, and one's own name (option 1) is one's ultimate brand.

Thoughts appreciated,

Ed (I am Ed BTW :) )
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cecille.l
Posts: 6944
Joined: 25 Feb 11
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Hi Ed,

You'll find that most marketers use "pen names" (#3 in your list up there I think) and this is because most of the time, they promote products in various niches. And it is simply impossible to be an authority on several niches. So the workaround is to use a pen name, or any of the choices there in your list.

It is about branding and reputation, so you take care whatever name you use to represent your website.
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Cecille


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samb
Posts: 33
Joined: 05 Aug 10
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Thanks Cecile... Having read a bit about this now I agree. The keyword is branding. However one of the problems I have come across is the use of photos and video since one cannot identify oneself if one is using a pen name. I am uncomfortable using stock images of other people. I would never make a spy !! However the idea of making a cartoon/ caricature of myself seems a good halfway house. It is still me, but not totally identifiable. With videos the only option seems to be to not show yourself at all. Perhaps have the cartoon in a corner. It would interested to know how this slight depersonalisation affects the credibility and general effectiveness of the blog site.

This is all quite a challenge when you are trying to create a personal relationship. I would be interested in any nice examples of where this has been implemented well especially where video has been used.

Is Mark Ling really Mark Ling :)

Would be interested in your feedback.

Thanks,

Ed
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PremiumMember
gradyp
Posts: 1062
Joined: 28 Jun 09
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Generally, I would use a pen name. The one exception to this is if I happen to be targeting a market that I might have contacts that already know my "real" name. For example, because I have taken part in a writing event called NaNoWriMo for the last 6 years, and my name might be recognized from that, if I were building a website to target authors, I would use my name, making sure that my username from that "market" is prevalent, since I use both (and my username there is basically my name anyway).

But, if I were getting into a market, like say singing, where my name isn't as known already, I'd use a pen name.

(And I only have about 2 or 3 markets where I"m using, or plan to use, my real name.)
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thebigventure
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Definitely stick with pen names especially if promoting products or creating products in different niches. It starts to look suss if you're an expert on multiple niches... Not that it's impossible, but that it's just like you may have lower quality products.
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jabujohn1
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Joined: 10 Jul 11
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If you've built up a great blog/product/brand, and would like to sell off the website at a later stage for some reason, it would be best if you'd used a pen name in the first place. You don't want to be misrepresented or have your real name tarnished by the new owner.
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This topic was started on Jul 05, 2011 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.