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What’s In A Name?

Posted by on Jan 31, 2009

Check out my Big RSS Subscriber Contest after reading this article.

From the title of this post, my friend Scott probably thinks I’m going to talk about his site called All In A Name, which you should visit because he’s got a lot of cool stuff which lets you create things based on your name and have them customized in many different formats for you. There’s my plug for the day.

No, what I’m going to talk about today is the names people use when they’re commenting on blogs such as this one. Our friend Sire wrote a post called Commenting 101 – important Rules For 2009. Point number six was this:

Name And Not Keyword! I know that everyone is trying to get maximum exposure for their keywords but I really think that blog hosts would like a name rather than a keyword such as ‘Ultimate Blogging Tips’ when people leave a comment.

I’ve been thinking about that lately as I see some of the names coming through from people where I know, and of course everyone else knows, it’s not their name. Not to call anyone out, but the last ten names that I’ve seen which aren’t really names are: Sire (that one’s a nickname, so it really doesn’t count); Trade Show Guru (although Steve always puts his name after his comment); School Proxys Blog; Boyz II Men; Offshore Software Development; iip; Busby SEO TEST; work at home blog (Peter also always puts his name after his comments); Market Secrets Blogger; and Make Money Online Tips. And, except for the two guys who wrote their names after their comments, and of course Sire, I chose one of the words for each person and used that as a name when I responded to them, to make sure that, when they got notification of a response, they knew it was for them.

There’s always some folks who question this thing as to whether they should be using their real name or using the name of their blogs or websites. Here’s the reality; you should use your name, or nickname, where it says name. Let me ask you this question; what’s more important to you, having people come to your blog via a link or having them see the name of your blog and hoping that they’ll come by?

Now, I actually understand where some of this comes from, and, yeah, I’m going to rant once again about hating Blogger blogs. If you comment on a Blogger blog, you pretty much only have two choices. One is that, if you have a Blogger account of some kind, you can leave your name, and a link to your blog will appear because you’ve created the account, but that’s it. Two, you can decide to leave your name and your URL, but, because it assumes you don’t have an account, you don’t get to leave an email address, and therefore you’ll never get email notification of any responses to your post, or after your comment has been posted. If you’ve chosen the second one, you might be inclined to put the name of your blog instead of your name to try to highlight your link, kind of an SEO trick that I talked about in my post on Five SEO Tips.

WordPress blogs work differently, because they’ll allow you to put in your name, your email address, and your link, which is great because you now know that you’ll have an opportunity to interact more often with a person whose blog you like. And that’s whether you have a blog on the WordPress.com site or your own hosting service. If you happen to visit a blog that uses CommentLuv, like this one, it’s even better because it’ll actually highlight posts for your blog, and if that’s the case, then there’s really no reason to put in your blog or site name because, hopefully, you’re topic will drive people to your site if it interests them, as names rarely do. And, when people respond to you, they don’t look silly or goofy referring to you with something that’s not close to a name.

So, think about it folks; how do you want people responding to your posts, by name or by the name of their blog or website? I guess it only matters if you’re interested in engaging your visitors in conversation, which I am.

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26 Comments »

I reckon you know my answer to that Mitch. I much prefer names, and when people leave obvious keywords in lieu of their name I have been know to abbreviate it, so School Proxys Blog would become SPB. If they do not like it then that is too bad as they were the ones who did the naughty by going against my Comments Policy.

Like you said, we give our commentators plenty of rewards for commenting, it’s not necessary for them to abuse the privilege by pushing their keywords down everyone’s throat. Gee, did that come out a little harsh?

BTW, thanks for the LinkLuv mate!

Sire´s last blog post..Women & The All About Me Syndrome

January 31st, 2009 | 3:20 AM
Mitch:

Not harsh at all, Sire; I believe everyone knows what you mean. And you shortened to SPB, whereas I just said “Schools”. Either way, you feel a little silly saying it.

January 31st, 2009 | 3:35 AM

Oh, sorry, what I meant is I actually edited the name they left when they filled out the comment form so that the keyword itself was abbreviated.

Sire´s last blog post..Sire’s Big Moment A Total Flop

January 31st, 2009 | 3:44 AM
Mitch:

Oh, I see what you mean. I’ve never thought of that; interesting.

January 31st, 2009 | 10:26 AM
Brandon:

Mitch,
The best think I ever did was dump blogger. I must say though that it was a GREAT free platform for me to us to start blogging a year or so ago. I knew NOTHING, so it was hard to justify using a hosted wordpress site and all that…that being said, I will NEVER go back to blogger.
Peace,
TAM

January 31st, 2009 | 11:06 AM
Mitch:

Thanks for your comment, Brandon. A part of me hates that I rant against Blogger, but another part of me believes that when one is ready to progress to the next level, Blogger, especially in its current state, isn’t the way to go. But it is a nice starting point for people trying to learn the art of blogging.

January 31st, 2009 | 2:03 PM
Taris Janitens:

I would have to agree to the benefits of leaving an actual name – whether it be my actual name, or OnePoke.com, I am still leaving the name of the website which is better than a bunch of keywords by far

As a side note, you came in 4th in my blog referral contest!

Alas no prize money, but I will be doing a full review of your blog on mine in the coming week or two! Congrats Mitch! 🙂

Taris Janitens´s last blog post..Blog Referral Contest Winners!

January 31st, 2009 | 1:56 PM
Mitch:

Wow Taris, I’m thinking I don’t even remember there being a contest I was in, but thanks just the same. I could certainly use the publicity! 🙂

And thanks for the comments about names; great stuff.

January 31st, 2009 | 2:01 PM
Taris Janitens:

Yea it’s one of those things that you inadvertently were entered in through my posting on your blog.

My advice, don’t hold a referral contest lol – at least jazz it up a bit more than I did hahaha

Taris Janitens´s last blog post..Blog Referral Contest Winners!

February 1st, 2009 | 1:28 AM
Boyz II Men:

Hah, well I guess I should leave my thoughts on this since I was even brought up in the post!

I’ve been going back and forth on what to use and have at least decided that, since my subject matter IS music, it lends itself well to using artist names which are more easily referred to. A La Kevon Edmonds or Tevin Campbell. That way, everyone’s happy. I was planning on fixing it here when I saw your post, but the top commenter didn’t reset so I’m not sure what happens if I change my name.

Anyways, while I agree that it can be tedious to refer to someone by a non-real name, I’ve grown up on the world of aim and forums, where everyone is under a moniker. Also, while it is annoying, the fact of the matter is that it DOES help with rankings. I’ve found that the terms I use on the blogs that I’m active on have performed a lot better on google. I see using keywords as a nice way to be able to enjoy blogs. By using my terms, I’m able to justify the blog reading as promotion for my site, and still get to take the time out to enjoy the experience.

Still, I understand your displeasure with the terms thing and as I mentioned, I’m trying to move more towards names wherever possible.

I guess in the meantime, I can end my posts with Matt, so you at least know how to refer to me :).

Sorry for the longwindedness! I think reading your long posts is making me write a lot too hahaha.

February 1st, 2009 | 3:02 PM
Mitch:

Maybe we should find a way to work with each other when it comes to the writing aspect of things, eh Matt? But see, I like that; there’s now a name to the “face” of your words here.

But you’ve brought up an interesting point. It could actually be more of a generational thing between us. I assume you weren’t alive when man first landed on the moon, in which case we’re at least two generations apart. There are things people call themselves in today’s world that, back in the day when I was that age, we’d have called people those same names and there would have been a fight. I’m not saying that was a better time, it was just a different time. Men wouldn’t have dared walk out of the house with their hair in pigtails, or colors, and until Stevie Wonder did it on an album, you wouldn’t have seen almost any men wearing braids in their hair. So, the thing about the name, this article in particular, makes a heck of a lot of sense to someone of my age; interesting thought.

Then again, I did read this interesting article yesterday about how sociologists are able to discern the long term behavior of many people by their first names. 🙂

February 1st, 2009 | 3:11 PM
Boyz II Men:

Hah yea, by the time I was born, man was bored with space so very much a generation gap. Okay, maybe not that extreme but close enough haha. But it is a good point and I suppose the difference could arise in terms of professionalism. Forums/Aim can be seen as more low key and casual where as the blog could be seen as more of an intellectual exchange. Almost like being the guy who shows up at the formal dinner wearing jeans and a polo.

Though hrmm, I don’t know if I’m too big of a fan of this knowing everything about a person by their first names hahaha.

~Matt

February 1st, 2009 | 9:44 PM
Mitch:

Well Matt, I have to say that I love the exchange, and you gave a great point of view that gave me something new to think about; I love that sort of thing.

By the way, I also loved the interview you did with Keith Mitchell (no relation). Matter of fact, I loved the other interview you did, though I can’t remember who it was with right now. You have a very nice site, and it’s amazing the people you get to talk to. Keep that up; great stuff!

February 1st, 2009 | 11:05 PM
Mitch:

I probably won’t go as far as deleting people for that, as long as their comments are good. Sire put something on his blog called KeywordLuv that I think is somewhat confusing, but you put your real name first, then the “at” sign and, I think, your blog name or keywords of what your blog is about or something; not quite sure. Maybe some folks think that’s the way to go, or that’s the reason they go with a fake name; I’m really not sure.

February 1st, 2009 | 11:11 PM

Wow, I did something that confuses you? Now that has really made my day! 😀

Sire´s last blog post..Doing Paid Posts And Not Getting Google Slapped.

February 2nd, 2009 | 12:05 AM
Mitch:

Yeah, but you already knew it confused me, Sire, and it seems to confuse most everyone else who visits also, so I’m not alone. lol

February 2nd, 2009 | 12:10 AM

That’s even better, I am able to confuse lots of people. Then again, that may not be a good thing 😉

Sire´s last blog post..Doing Paid Posts And Not Getting Google Slapped.

February 2nd, 2009 | 12:31 AM
Mitch:

I’m thinking it’s not quite a good thing; people are always messing that up on your site, which is why I never even bothered to try. lol

February 2nd, 2009 | 12:38 AM

Don’t you hate that? I mean you know they can read so by completely disregarding your instructions its as if they are commenting while giving you the finger. That’s why I edit their names for them.

Sire´s last blog post..Doing Paid Posts And Not Getting Google Slapped.

February 2nd, 2009 | 12:02 AM
Mitch:

I’m going to think about editing names somewhat, unless they put a name in the comment area at least. It is somewhat goofy calling people by their blog name.

February 2nd, 2009 | 12:10 AM

It all has to do with manners Mitch.

Sire´s last blog post..Doing Paid Posts And Not Getting Google Slapped.

February 2nd, 2009 | 12:30 AM
Mitch:

True, Sire, so true.

February 2nd, 2009 | 12:38 AM
Blogging Tips:

I’m going to think about editing names somewhat, unless they put a name in the comment area at least.

Mitch,

I’m trying my luck not putting my name here and see if this comment goes undetected…… LOL

Sign off as Yan

Blogging Tips´s last blog post..You’ve Only Got 10 Seconds

February 2nd, 2009 | 12:40 AM
Mitch:

Nope, we found you, Yan. Of course, you’re also lucky I know who you are already. ;-P

February 2nd, 2009 | 1:54 AM
almir:

great post it was very helpful and interesting because i too noticed a couple of times that when i read others blog in the top commentator list the same guy made the list twice and when i enjoyed reading their comments to check their blog i was able to find this out its wrong because it’s considered spamming. I always use my name when it comes to commenting even though it be great to use the keywords in the keyword plugin many blog owners assume right away its a spammer or a spamming site and thats why i don’t ever take advantage of the keyword plugin

almir´s last blog post..Vital Tips That Can Aid Any Blogger

April 24th, 2009 | 3:07 PM
Mitch:

I’ve never taken advantage of any person’s blog using the keyword plugin either, as Sire has it on his site. Like Sire, I’m trying to build at least a little bit of name recognition from all the places where I leave comments. I don’t need my website or any of my other websites getting it, as, if they like what I write and decide to follow me back to any of my blogs, they’ll learn then a lot more about who I am and what I have to say.

April 24th, 2009 | 3:22 PM