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Alias Smith and Jones

Steven Heller’s recent Design Observer rant over bloggers using aliases is less interesting for the post itself than the heated discussion it prompted. Heller’s basic gist is that a designer (or anyone) who uses an online nom de plume is either cowardly or behind the times.

I’ve always been up front about using my real name. Scrubbles only came into play because “The Matt Hinrichs Blog” sounds too unmemorable. Having a somewhat unusual, sometimes unpronounceable last name may be an annoyance in real life, but it’s an asset online (when it comes to commenting on forums or weblogs, however, only the first name is used). Although some may assume I use my full name for business purposes so potential clients might think (erroneously) that I’m related to the famous Kit Hinrichs, really it’s just me so that’s the logical choice. The name is unique and sticks out in a crowded field. And yet — if you Google my name the first result is the IMDb page for some actor whose sole credit is playing “School Kid” in Napoleon Dynamite. I’ve also discovered another Matt Hinrichs who blogs using his real name, weirdly enough — although any person with half a brain would notice that my blogging doppelgänger is an entirely different person. I really admire Steven Heller’s expertise and own a full shelf of his Chronicle Art Deco compilation books, his argument in this case is weak, weak, weak.

One Thought on “Alias Smith and Jones

  1. Interesting. Also, I too have been blogging with my full, real name since 2003 and have also ran into another Drew Mackie who works in online matters and sometimes blogs. We’ve been jockeying for Google supremacy ever since. I think it’s fun.

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