On Identity and the Internet

1. Birth of my online identity

I have carved out a space for myself in the internet world since I was maybe 13 or 14 years old. It was borne out of a fandom. I wrote fan fiction, and submitted it to a website under a pseudonym, an alter-ego. I checked it out recently. The fandom has died down a bit, but the work remains published. Proof of my juvenile writing still exists, and no, I will not tell you how to find it.

2. Free web hosts

Then, about the same time that my sister learned how to create webpages, I learned it too. I was maybe 14 to 15 years old. I learned how to create graphics, code HTML on Notepad, and found out about free web hosts. The next natural progression was, of course, making my own home page. Still under my pseudonym (which was also continuously evolving; I could never find the perfect one), it was a home for my fan fiction, some original fiction, and some artwork as well.

I have been through numerous free web hosts, most of which I don’t remember with the exception of the now-defunct Geocities.

3. Blogging

And then blogging came around. My first blog was on Blogger.

While I was in university, my friend and I purchased a domain name and shared it between us. It was at this time that I migrated my blog from Blogger, to a self-hosted WordPress site. It functioned as my all-in-one website: it had my blog, my fiction, and my artwork.

One of my old themes on my self-hosted WordPress blog.
I even made my own WordPress themes for my self-hosted blog

That was the status quo for a while, though I’m not quite sure for how long. Was it a year? Two years? And then we just let it die, just like that.

It wasn’t until after a year of being employed that I started to blog again. This time I started blogging again, this time on WordPress.com. That blog died after a while, too, but that’s OK, it was terrible anyway. I couldn’t resist though, and I went back to blogging again (this one survived, you’re reading it right now).

4. Anonymity

Up until this point, everything was pretty much anonymous. My public persona was clearly separate from my personal accounts. My Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were never linked to my blogs/websites.

I have never doubted my choice to remain anonymous. It’s the way I have always been on the internet — an alter-ego.

5. Actual name as Domain Name?

When a friend bought her own domain name, which was her actual name, I couldn’t fathom why. Then she told me, “I took it before somebody else could.”

I thought my own surname was unique; It’s not a very common name in my country. How possible is it that someone else would grab that domain name? So I did a web search for my name, and found that the top 2 results were not me. The #2 result, in particular, kind of bothered me — and in the end, it was what made me give in.

Yes, I bought it. I bought my name’s domain name.

6. What now?

So I bought it. But I don’t know what to do with it.

I don’t want to point it to this blog; I like Discovering Muse as it currently is.

I don’t want to put up my old prose nor my old art anymore; I’d feel like a fraud. I haven’t produced anything new in the last 5-8 years.

I don’t want to link it to my Facebook. I’d feel like I’m revealing too much of myself.

Right now, it’s just a single page, with links to here and to my struggling travel blog.

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One thought on “On Identity and the Internet

  1. I bought my own (married) name as a domain name too (and actually paid for the whole 10 years lol). I plan to use it more as a professional/career-oriented site though.

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