Solomon Rothman‘s comment on a recent blog post made by Aaron Wall in his SEO Book blog about getting recognized as a writer stirred up my thoughts. If we write great articles or blog posts, it is unusual to get quoted by people who never know us in person. They don’t know us yet they recognize our efforts.
Cyberspace is a place where we get to meet a lot of personalities. Many of them don’t bother to let their identities be divulged for a variety of reasons. Others tell their names and talk more about themselves. I for one, show my identity (a photo is often tagged along) in my profile so people will know the person behind the SEO articles I do and Hong Kong blog entries I make. Even if I don’t get seen in person by my readers, showing my real photo and revealing my name hopefully make them feel they’re dealing with a real person.
Obviously there are reasons why people would prefer to hide under pen names or remain anonymous. One of the reasons I feel a little hesitant to show my real identity is that thoughts I present could be out of context to what many would think. If I write an article that’s contradictory to mainstream ideas it is not enough to defend it by saying it is my own idea. I have a reputation to build and protect. I’d rather remain unknown than be quoted with antagonism. Other reasons are more dubious, such as using someone else’s identity to prey on teenagers at MySpace or access adult web sites.
I feel that doing my stuff online will allow me to play in a level field with the elite personalities. I have longed to join in search engine conventions but I am always unsure if anyone would recognize me in person and with my socialization skills missing I might end up sitting down at the corner waiting for someone to come over and talk to me. In cyberspace, it’s less obvious although you’ll notice that the current number of my five subscribers is less than five.
I don’t want to be popular, I just want to be recognized. It’s not much of an ego thing, but just getting what I am worth getting. In the world of search engine optimization, there are a lot of topics to talk about. But if I don’t have much idea to talk about it, I’d rather shelve it. Otherwise, I might produce an article that’s quoted by people and my name gets mentioned.
There are popular people who are also known by their pseudo names than their real names: evilgreenmonkey (Rob Kerry), graywolf (Michael Gray), rustybrick (Barry Shwartz) and SEO Book (Aaron Wall) are good examples. They built their brands not only through their real names.
I used my ewc21 handle because some forms require usernames instead of real names. Having to register my own domain name was supposed to be a name building effort. But I am also drawn into other thoughts such as using keyword-specific domains to attract visitors and let them know me more when they reach my sites.
Getting credibility is a difficult task to do for me, so I don’t wonder if not one of my posts deserve to be placed in Danny Sullivan’s link finds at Search Engine Land though I’d say a big thanks to Barry for posting a couple of my posts in his site. It is a difficult task to get myself known without digging further on topics that are well-researched and sometimes unorthodox style of writing. Hopefully I am getting towards the right direction.