Sunday, March 4, 2007

A Blogger By Any Other Name

Dear Whore,
Can you write under a user ID and still be 'real' enough to be an authority?

Really a user name or ID is nothing more than a pen name, a pseudonym. Sure, MonkeyBoy23 or BBW_Brenda isn't as real-name sounding as Nom de Plumes Mark Twain or George Eliot, but that doesn't make them less credible. And look at the number of actors and actresses which have stage or screen names ~ certainly doesn't stop them from getting work or being recognized. In fact, there are many examples of folks whose 'fake' names became so popular or credible that they have taken their pseudonyms as legal names. (This is not recommended for MonkeyBoy23 or BBW_Brenda ~ or would that be "BBW Underscore Brenda"? *wink*)

Credibility and authority are based on what you do, who you are, not what your name is.

Have you done your research, presented information, shared enough about yourself to show that you are an expert in your area? (Those things we've discussed in past Marketing Whore Newsletters.) If you've made mistakes do you print retractions, updates or other additional information clearly showing that you are willing to take the actions necessary to be honest and show your ethics? Doing these things shows that you are real person, ready to be responsible for what you write.

Being responsible is a start, but how about being responsive?

Can you be reached for complaints, questions, comments? Do you answer emails ~ and promptly?

These actions matter more than the moniker you use.

Look at it this way: If Walter Cronkite read the news the same but was called by another name, would it matter? Would he have been less than legendary? No. His character, integrity and all the other professional qualities he possessed is what made you want to remember his name. And that what names are for ~ a way for us to remember each other, a way for us to find one another. Do something worthy of remembrance and they'll remember your name. Do a good job blogging, earn reader respect, authority, and your readers will think as much of "MonkeyBoy23" as they would have of "Tom." That's step one in branding yourself and your blog.

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