Up until about a year ago, I used to comment entirely using the name “Duane”. There wasn’t really any big motivation for doing so, it was simply something I was used to doing from my old IRC chats. At one point though, I realized that it seemed a bit weird leaving big, technical comments on web-sites but not having my name associated with them. At the bare minimum, it felt like it lessened the impact of what I wrote if I use only my first name, or if used an alias.
After a year of going by “Duane Storey” pretty much everywhere I write or comment, I can say that without a doubt it’s led to an increase in my online credibility, with people seeking me out specifically because they had something to say to me. Plus, it’s led to people remembering things I’ve said in the past, which generally leads into a discussion when I meet people for the first time.
And while the reason I changed primarily had to do with wanting to stand behind the things I write, I think it’s also led to a pseudo-brand on my website, with people routinely landing on my home page due to a Google search for “duane storey”.
Just some food for thought.