First online handles

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 29, 2011

From Good, an article by Amanda Hess on The Eternal Shame of Your First Online Handle.

So how did I choose to define myself in this new world? I booted up my parents' modem and launched head-first into online forums with an alias inspired by my cat's name. Later, I spent hours negotiating with AOL's log-in field, testing out various combinations of Nine Inch Nails lyrics until I found one that hadn't already been snagged by an equally tortured soul (I was later forced to explain to a college admissions counselor why my e-mail address was ImDrowningIn@aol.com).

My first handle was "derbis", which is how I thought "debris" was spelled until far later in my schooling than one might expect of a native English speaker. It actually started as a self-imposed nickname IRL...these guys I knew in college DJ'd parties and they all had their DJ names and not wanting to be left out, I picked one for myself. To date, I still have not DJ'd a single event, but the first thing I ever designed was a flyer for a friend's rave party; I signed it "cybergraphics by derbis" (all lowercase, naturally). It had a lot of fractals on it.

And if you thought that wasn't sufficiently embarrassing, my AIM name is still "damptrousers". IIRC, Greg remarked that the phrase "damp pants" was hilarious right around the time I signed up for AIM but "damppants" was taken (?!!) so yeah. (via ★natalie)