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Monday, July 4, 2005

Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout

In their classic book Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind, Al Ries and Jack Trout make a strong argument for changing your name in order to be more successful. I don't have a name that's really memorable. My name may be easily recognizable when you read it, but most people can't remember it. If they do, they still misspell it and I meet very few foreigners who are able to pronounce it. Since I intend to be personal in my marketing, I think a memorable name is important.

So, I'm considering using a pseudonym. I don't really want to legally change my name, so I think a pseudonym could be a nice solution. It still feels a bit weird though, using a name other than the one I was given. Anybody care to share their thoughts on this issue?

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Jan Middelkoop says:

Well, it's something I've been thinking about for a while also. I've had this crazy ambition to become a radio show host since I was very little. I even succeeded to set up a good running program at a local radio station. I worked there for 3 years as Jan Middelkoop (my real name). Now I'm looking for a job at a bigger radio station and the question arises... "Almost everybody uses psuedonyms. Maybe you should too?" The benefits of a good psuedonym are simple. Easy to pronounce, easy to remember, easy way to keep your private life apart from your professional life (you missed that one ;)). The disadvantage is the complications it can bring and the feeling it might give you. This is the only reason why I haven't decided on using a pseudonym yet. Whatever name I would pick, it wouldn't be my own name. It might feel like it wouldn't really be me. Of course, in a job as radio show host your name is far more important than when you are developing games, so the argument for 'Why not?' should weigh less. Still, I don't know whether you should use a pseudonym or not. Like you - I haven't decided yet. What about leaving out the "Agerbeek" part and just using "Joost Ronkes"? ;)

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 12:06 PM

mahlzeit says:

Jan says: "It might feel like it wouldn't really be me." Often a pseudonym is more than just another name, it also invokes another persona. For example, if you're naturally shy and introvert, wearing a wild and crazy pseudonym will almost automatically make you a wild and crazy person. (Or maybe I should say: it unleashes the wild and crazy person that is secretly hidden deep inside of you. :-))

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 1:15 PM

Wouter Lindenhof says:

"It's a name for crying out loud, it doesn't matter how it is called" "Change the name of the object and you change a part of the object." Two quotes I picked up some where. Can't remeber where but the first one is of movie with a baby and a inresponsible boyfriend. The main reason why I would change my name is that nobody is able to pronounce it correctly. Some say even Wooter Linenof. Even dutch write it wrong ("Wouter van de Lindenloof", how wrong can you be?). But your given name is a part of your identity. But to make sure I'm well know on the internet I use the alias Elon Narai. It is still said wrong (correct pronounce: "eLon NaRay"), but people refer to me like Elon. But like Mahlzeit said, it has more become my alter ego than a pseudonym. While Wouter is a bit of shy guy who lacks a bit in the communication department and always want to complete thing, Elon is more outgoing and a bit thickheaded. But the most important thing about a pseudonym or alias is that you feel comfortable with it and are able to carry it with pride. It makes you stronger, confidenter, more outgoing, unpassable, able to do anything, smarter than your true self. But it also makes you thickheaded, unable to compromise and too smart for your self. It's like switching from C to C++. It packs more power but some things were better when you were 'normal'.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 7:57 PM

Jan Middelkoop says:

"Often a pseudonym is more than just another name, it also invokes another persona." That is exactly what I meant with "It might feel like it wouldn't really be me." :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 8:01 PM

(name pending) says:

It's not my intention to 'hide' behind a pseudonym in any way. Also, I plan to carry the pseudonym far beyond the name that is stated in the credits. I want my customers to know that there is a person behind the game, there is a person behind the business. When they ask for support, the reply doesn't come from Yellow Wood Studios, it comes from me. Over time, I want my customers to feel like they know me. And for that they need to know my name.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 10:12 PM

Wouter Lindenhof says:

In that case I would recommend to use your real name. Ronkes is a easy name which most people don't forget. It's also the most international one for me. You use a pseydonym only so that people can't identify you directly. You use a alias to make your name easier to be used by others. You use your real name if they want the real you. If I'm using my real name, than it means i'm serious and not joking. If I use "Elon Narai" than it means I'm not 100% serious and don't want it the message (or anything else) to be directly traced back to "Wouter Lindenhof". In your case I would ask myself. For what reasons do I want to change my name and why wouldn't I use my real name?

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 11:28 PM

GBGames says:

My name is Gianfranco Berardi. When I meet people, they always hear "John Franco" and assume that I'm being pretentious by using my full name. My close friends call me Franco since I refuse to go by John (too common). Franco is unique enough. But I don't call myself Franco. My name is Gianfranco. I don't mind people using Franco or whatever, but I prefer to use my real, full name. I don't think I would like the idea that I had to change my name to make myself successful. It seems like the sort of thing that would take away far more resources than necessary for little payout. Couldn't I learn a new skill and get more bang for buck? Then again, my name isn't Joost. B-) But I think I would prefer Joost to John as well. Joost is different and makes me take notice. John is common. Anyone can be John. No offense to anyone named John, of course. B-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 8:21 PM

mahlzeit says:

So... is this what is keeping the game from being released? :-)

Friday, July 8, 2005 4:17 PM

Joost Ronkes Agerbeek says:

What a nasty remark that is! >-( :-D But no, this is not what's holding me back. I'm currently working on the game's web site, but to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why Trichromix is taking me so long. Somehow, the closer I get to releasing it, the more I feel that there are so many problems to solve first. That's a different topic, though. Maybe I'll expose my psyche in an upcoming blog entry. ;-)

Sunday, July 10, 2005 8:02 PM

Wanda says:

I have a normal name. It flows nicely on the tongue and all. My reason for wantiing to use a pseudonym is I believe than once I get my books published, all my coworkers and acquaintances will come out of the woodwork and expect me to help them get their projects published. And If I don't help them, then I'll turn into poop in their eyes. Plus, some people have been saving my letter for 15 years and they might decide to cash in on my personal info, if I become well known, which is possible. If I use a pseudonym, I'll be less likley to have to deal with those types of scenarios..

Saturday, September 3, 2005 2:07 AM

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