A few years ago, I logged in to an old “Hotmail.com” account. There was a section where you could find the date the account was created. I had registered NuAngel@Hotmail.com on February 8th, 1999. I know I had used the name for a few weeks prior to that, but on services like ICQ, where a name could change whenever you wanted it too – your unique ID was a long number – your nickname was just a preference in your profile.
Hotmail was the first place I remember registering the name, thinking, “I like this name, I think I’m going to keep it.”
Five years ago, I made a post about how I have used the same name online for 13 years. Two years ago, I wrote about what the name meant to me. And today, marking 18 years of using the same online handle, I’m still happy to be known the world over – perhaps in small pockets, but it’s a very surreal feeling to have people “recognize you” by a “fake name” you use on the internet.
I have no legal claim to the name, I have no trademarks, and I’ve said before I’m very aware that there is a pre-existing “NuAngel, Inc.” out there in the world. But I don’t think I’m stepping on anyone’s toes – I travel in very different circles from the other company, and I’ve done my best to be an upstanding citizen of the internet (remember when “netizens” was a word people used?). At the end of the day, I just can’t see myself adopting any other name any time soon. Call me a geek if you want, I’ll own it!