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Friday, July 23, 2010

I Dub Thee...

I've been renaming some of you--and you can't even tell.

My reader has well over 500 blogs that I scan daily. As colorful, original and downright cute some of your blog names are, I almost always rename them with your actual names when I subscribe them to my reader.

There is no way I'd remember over 500 blogs, but I can remember people's names a little better, especially when there's a face to the name. It makes it so much more personal too.

The only time I don't rename the blog is when the blogger leaves absolutely no clue as to who he is.

If the blog is just day to day stuff, it probably won't affect you to remain marginally anonymous. But if it's someone who wants to create a public presence, like a writer, reviewer, artist, or seller of crafts, I think it's in your best interest to keep your name (or pen name) obvious--even if it's not in the title.

Subsidiary information, like blog titles, unique keywords, or book titles send little tendrils out into the ether. By attaching my name to each and every one of them, it expands my searchability.

On the other hand, people can argue that a colorful blog title might be more memorable. That might be true for normal readers who only visit a few dozen blogs. I read so many that they blur together. Names are personal. Eventually, I develop relationships with many of these people. I want to know them by name.

I thought about this long and hard when I started this blog. I use the subheading, 'Tales of OtherWorlds', but it's just a catchphrase. Even when I use a 'user name' on places like forums, my messages always come attached with my full name.
I feel it is more advantageous to make my name the product and the brand.

It's been deliberate from the start and in retrospect, I think it was the right decision for me. I am very easy to find, and this blog and my books come up even on 'intuitive' searches.

How did you choose the name for your blog?

Was it the right choice for you?


SueG said...

Thank you for this. I have been needlessly hiding as SueG since I started -- and when I didn't realize the importance of people knowing who I am. And I've been meaning to change my profile name to the entire Sue Guiney. You're right. It's important. Thanks for reminding me.

Maria Zannini said...

Sue: It's a personal choice to be sure.

Some blogs like Paperback Writer (Lynn Viehl) or Whatever (John Scalzi) have been around for so long, most people know the author's name. (Though they do keep their names listed prominently on their blogs.)

Most of us have not been blogging as long or are as prolific.

LM Preston said...

That's one of the reasons I love blogger. It keeps a list of the names for me. Those bloggers that blog more often I get to know rather well and haunt their sites leaving comments here and there. Some though that don't blog too frequently, I get reaquainted with when they pop up on my dashboard.

Maria Zannini said...


Agreed. I prefer Google Reader but that's only because I follow so many blogs. And if I don't have time to comment on their post it can stay up there until I can come back to it.

Falen (Sarah) said...

ooooh - renaming the blogs in the reader with the writer's name is GENIUS!!!!
I wish i had thought of that months ago!

i'm slooooowly transitioning my blog title to represent my real name (as you can see by my parenthetical username).

Liz Fichera said...

I use my real name for my blog name, not because I'm particularly smart, but because I already have too much other stuff to remember. It seemed like the easiest thing to do at the time.

But renaming blogs to reflect actual names in my Reader is a great idea, Maria! Thanks. :-)

Maria Zannini said...


Is it genius, or just the desperate attempt to remember a fraction of the stuff I forget everyday?

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

Maria Zannini said...


Here's another thing I do with my reader. Sometimes, especially with really new people, I jot down a very tiny note about them--like how I met them.

Maybe they left a comment on my blog, or they're a follower, or they have a cute dog :o). I jot down things that help me remember them better.

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's a good point.
My blog isn't called by my real name but when I started it I wasn't published.

Carol A. Strickland said...

Thanks for making me notice that, while my name is part of my url, it wasn't front & center on my blog.

Now it is.

As for how I named my blog "Strickly Speaking," it's because of my last name, the fact that so many people know me as "Strick," and that my art business is called "Strickly Art." Just keepin' the "brand" consistent.

Maria Zannini said...


You fall into the 'been there forever' category though. Everyone knows you...or should.

Maria Zannini said...


Yours is a perfect example of using your name to reinforce the blog name.

It's catchy and easy to remember.

Dru said...

I've always done that in google reader -changed to their real name or the name I know them as.

So, what note do you have for me?

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: So, what note do you have for me?

Friend. :)

Joanne said...

I chose a name to reflect the content, pursuing a dream or passion, whatever that may be. A little play on words brought in the comfort of coffee, too, to give it a fun spin. So far, it's worked for me.

Wendy Ramer said...

Good question. I wanted my blog to a column, a place where readers could become familiar with my voice and hopefully develop an interest in reading my novels. (Now, I just love blogging, so I don't sweat the slow book sales.) Anyway, I had this idea to title all my posts beginnning with "On...". And since my husband always says I tell a long-winded story (the stinker), I figured On 'n On 'n On suited me. But you're right that an author's name should be the branding; hence, Wendy Ramer - On 'n On 'n On.

Ted Cross said...

I honestly don't know if my blog title is the right choice. I kept coming up with clever titles, but each time I Googled them someone was already using it, so I kind of gave up and went with my name.

Maria Zannini said...

Joanne: Yours works really well. I love the play on words.

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: And since my husband always says I tell a long-winded story (the stinker),...

LOL. My husband says the same thing about me--but only when I open my mouth. :)

And there's a lot to be said about voice. I think that's really important in a blog. Sometimes, even when a blog is about nothing at all, it's the voice that brings me back.

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: ...each time I Googled them someone was already using it...

I know what you mean. But you have an easy to remember name, so that helps.

Linda Leszczuk said...

I'd like to do something clever with my name (like Carol), - but what do you do with a name like Leszczuk? Maybe I should go with a title.

Maria Zannini said...


It's something you have to decide for yourself. The important thing is to keep it consistent.

Whatever you choose, never stray from what you want to promote as your brand.

DEZMOND said...

well, when I left the old address of my blog and came to Blogger I wanted to put the oldn name of my blog FILMANIA here as well, but it turned out it was already taken (weird yes?), so I named my blog HOLLYWOOD SPY, because it was also the name of the first blog I've ever had back in the past. It is also a name which is easy to remember, it's very catchy, it's glamorous as well, looks great on my banner, and now it is literally a brand together with my avatar, and you can see it all over Google and the Internet :)

You have to be a good PR when you are making up a name.

Maria Zannini said...

Dezmond: I think HOLLYWOOD SPY is very catchy. You can get a lot of mileage out of it. I even like it better than Filmania.

Anonymous said...

I think Zannini is pretty unique on its own. And I chose my blog name because it's my name and I have a huge ego. ^_^

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: LOL

Ego is nothing to sneeze at. I take mine everywhere. :)

Kim said...

When I began my blog, I was just starting out as a writer, but I didn't have enough experience to make it strictly about writing, so it about a little bit o'everything. It says it all in my tagline - Thoughts on writing, life, and the pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee (which I STILL haven't made yet. :D)

Maria Zannini said...


My husband made the mistake of asking me to make coffee once. Since I don't drink it, I really had no idea how to make it.

He's never asked me since. :)

Coffee like cats seem to be mainstays of a writer's life. I have neither.

hmm...that could explain a lot.

Anonymous said...

Very thought provoking. I choose a fun name for my blog because I’m not published and I didn’t want it to be an author blog. More a place I could meet people with the same interests. I did put up a bio, but now I’m wondering if I should make my identity more clear. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

Maria Zannini said...


But like Hollywood Spy above, you created a site not about you, but your interests, so your name doesn't have to be paramount.

Though I believe if you want to increase your visibility as an author it would help to associate your (pen) name more frequently with your special interest blog.

catie james said...

I can't remember how the name title "call me catie" came about. I just remember thinking: "'catie james' is too boring, but some part of my name should be part of the blog's title. Hmmmmmm. Think Catie, think. Thinkthinkthinkthinkthink..."

*snortle* True genius at work. *copious eye rolling*

Maria Zannini said...


Every time I think of your blog, I think of Kiss Me Kate, an old musical derived from Taming of the Shrew.

Call Me Catie has a real ring to it!