What’s In A Name?

Apparently there’s quite a lot in a name actually. Especially when it comes to online handles and call signs, to use the CB radio terminology. People spend ages trying to think of the right nickname for them and then checking nobody else has taken it before embarking on their online lives. I never did that, you’ll be surprised to hear. Much like a lot of what I do there was no grand plan at all in the beginning of my digital life. I would just go around signing up for different websites under different names and not really thinking about it. I wasn’t heavily into social networks and other such things early on anyway. That was until I joined the microblogging service Jaiku in early 2007 and my life changed forever. I quickly became hopelessly addicted to chatting with my new friends and we started so many podcasts, websites and other things together it was amazing. Many of those people are still my closest friends now, both on and offline. I didn’t have any specific username in mind when joining the service as I said. My usual logic (I use the term loosely) goes something like this:

“What shall I call myself…?”

“Dan, yeah that’ll do.”

“How can that name already be taken? I’m Dan, this is an outrage!”

Then I would randomly try other things until I found something available and just take it. My name is quite popular and I’ve had trouble with this on many sites. There are more Dan Lynch’s in the world than you would realise, one of whom was involved in the actual creation of the Internet. So trying to get DanLynch as a username on most services is a pretty pointless exercise. On Jaiku I randomly plucked dantheman out of the air and quickly became well known as that. It wasn’t something I’d been called often but occasionally in my life the odd person had called me “dan the man”, and it had a ring to it. When I joined Freenode IRC I couldn’t get dantheman so I chose RealDan as a joke, to show I was the real Dan; in hindsight not a great joke I’ll admit. I am also known as MethodDan on many other websites and services now. This is a bit of a reference to my love of the Wu-Tang Clan. I used to joke around with some friends about the names we would have if we were a poor British imitation of the Wu. Mine was MethodDan after Method Man, my favourite member of the group and it also fit with my real name pretty well. I was just relieved not to end up being called Ol’Dirty Bastard to be honest hehe.

All in all this name proliferation has gotten out of hand. So after much thinking I’ve decided I should consolidate my username as MethodDan on as many services as I can. It’s usually available, much more so than any of the other names I’ve used. It will give me one online identity and hopefully stop further confusion. The first step in this process will be to change my Identi.ca username from dantheman to MethodDan. This should be pretty easy to do, I think I can do it without losing any subscriptions or followers. I will then change my Freenode IRC nick to match. I wanted to write about it here first so everyone knows what’s going on. I will start the process at the weekend.

I hope this move doesn’t make things difficult for anyone, but I think in the long run having one name will be a lot easier all round. So the names Dan… MethodDan šŸ™‚

See ya,


P.S – I forgot to say, I’m not expecting people in the street to start calling me MethodDan or anything. This isn’t a Prince style rebranding, god no. Just that when I need a username for a website or something else I will use that, kthxbai šŸ˜‰


  1. Just think, this will increase your PageRank lolololler…

    Apparently spammers on identi.ca used me as an example of someone who had achieved a high Google PageRank by effectively marketing themselves etc etc.

    It’s not like there are many other edythemightys out there…are there?

    Where I got mine, for the (admittedly few) curious folk out there: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0160979/

    • @edy – Hadn’t thought of page ranks and so on but I suppose that’s a nice side effect. Good marketing there šŸ˜‰

  2. I thought the government were planning to bad methoddan in case anyone ended up smiling without permission from the appropriate authorities. Maybe I’m getting mixed up though.

    I had similar problems with trying to call myself Ciaran, which seems a perfectly reasonable expectation, or at least more so than Dan. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, so I stuck a G on the end. There seem to be other people going round using that name, but luckily they only sign up for things I wouldn’t dream of using, so I’ve never encountered a clash as yet. Also, anything I wish to disown or deny knowledge of, that was one of them.

    • CiaranG – That’s a benefit I hadn’t thought of, being able to blame others for anything you want to distance yourself from šŸ˜€

  3. Cue Eminem, ‘My name is…, My name is….’ j/k.

    Choosing users names and nicks are difficult particularly when the ones you want are already taken. Glad you you’ve sorted it out Dan.

  4. Heh, I feel your pain; I’ve always had a bit of a problem sticking with one handle or another; I started out playing Quake 2 as “Jack”, which didn’t last for too long for various obvious reasons.

    Good luck on your new “branding”, as the marketing types are fond of putting it. šŸ™‚

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