Log in

No account? Create an account
the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

January 5th, 2008 (10:40 pm)
Tags: , ,

I want to rename my journal.

I bought a rename token.

I picked out a new username.

I clicked on the link in the rename token email.

I filled in the new username in the appropriate slot.

I moved my mouse to the "Change Username" button.

...I couldn't quite bring myself to press it.

I haven't liked this username, in and of itself, for a really long time. I picked it on a whim way back in 2002, when I had no idea that LJ would come to be a meaningful part of my life and was mostly just concerned with getting the registration process over with. I don't mind the "slammerkin" part so much, but over the years it's seemed a less-than-adequate reflection of where I am now - yes, Emma Donoghue still kicks more ass than anyone has ever kicked, but I am not she and I am also not much of a slammerkin - and the "babe" just seems silly and juvenile. The name itself is overlong and unwieldy. It's just not a very good username.

But it's just hard to change. Somewhere along the way I became a slammerkinbabe in a way that I frankly do not understand. Me and slammerkinbabe, we've had some good times together. I was a slammerkinbabe when I trolled thebookyoucrew, even though I wouldn't troll them today; there are better things to do with my time than engage in backdoor intellectual trump-carding. I was a slammerkinbabe when I got linked across what felt like half the Internet with that Wedding Crashers post, even though when I look back on it now that post seems a little... unhinged in its tone; I still believe those things, but I'm not sure I believe any longer that the way I said them was the best way to reach out to people and try to work for change. I was a slammerkinbabe when I went to the speed-dating event where I met λ, which became a dialogue-format LJ post; I definitely would no longer write in such detail about the real, local women I met at speed-dating in an LJ post were that to happen to me today. But that post was quintessentially Kylie in that it exemplified the ways in which I reshape my real life, my Kelly-life, into something cleaner and funnier and shinier and Kylie-er on this LJ. I have been a slammerkinbabe over the years that I have learned to do that, to create a sparklier person and a shinier life for myself in words on the Internet.

If I get my book published, it is inevitable that Kylie and Kelly will have to merge to a much larger extent than they have yet had to. It's inevitable that people will want to know where my blog is, given the topic of my book, and that it will experience an upsurge of readers who will know both my real name and my Internet name. If the book does at all well it would probably be smart for me to change the username to my own firstname-lastname combination or some variation thereof, like a libba_bray or a halseanderson. That's obviously premature, and I'm not doing anything like that now. But I am thinking that as I have very little idea how the timeline on this book deal will go - though I recognize that it takes most YA authors years to get published, I also know that several clients of the agents that I may be working with have made a publication deal inside of a week of signing on with the agency - I should at least make some preliminary changes. Such as privatizing most of my journal and unlocking selected entries one by one. And, I guess, ditching the crappy username that I've been thinking on and off about changing for years. Better that I do that stuff long before it needs to be done than that I get caught flat-footed at any point.

And yet I have not changed my username yet. Not quite.

It's a sad sort of a thing to erase a slammerkinbabe.


Posted by: Kate (sevanetta)
Posted at: January 6th, 2008 05:32 am (UTC)

I'll miss the slammerkinbabe name... I found you because of the thebookyoucrew incident. I've always thought the name was cool.

Do we, your readers :), get automatically redirected when you change your username?

Also - I know this isn't in this post, but - CONGRATULATIONS on the agent goings-on. It's just super-awesome.

Posted by: active_apathy (active_apathy)
Posted at: January 6th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
Firefly - Something out of sci-fi

Do we, your readers :), get automatically redirected when you change your username?

The short answer is: yes. The rename token goes through and changes every post, flist, comment and <lj user="username"> link to reflect the new username, all with a Nineteen Eighty-Four kind of efficiency. Also, any requests for old-username URLs redirect automatically to the new-username equivalents.

Posted by: Baby, I'm gonna do you till you can juggle. (shaysdays)
Posted at: January 6th, 2008 05:50 am (UTC)

I do hope you'll make an announcement, dear.

If it makes you feel any better, I've often thought about ditching Shaysdays for something more apropos, like Shaysonceaweekorso, or shayswhensherememberscommentingonMQdoesn'tcount.

Posted by: Pirate Jenny (deliriums_fish)
Posted at: January 6th, 2008 09:57 am (UTC)
jodie upside down

I would be sad to see you let go of the slammerkinbabe handle mostly because I can bring to mind every one of the entries you mentioned.
I also think you maybe selling slammerkinbabe, and yourself, short. You've pointed out things that slammerkinbabe used to be, things she used to say and do that she, and you, wouldn't today, but what I see more than that is what she's picked up along the way, from, oh, '04, when I met her (and later you) and '08.
a slammerkinbabe is a process of constant maturation, and maybe I'm superstitious but I feel if you lose that you'll lose part of the process too. If just on virtual paper.

I, too, have come close to changing my username, but veered away at the last moment.

Also, why exactly do you need a firstname-lastname combination? You wrote a book about people who exist, in part, online. I haven't read the MS. Do your main characters have firstname-lastname screennames? Wouldn't the fact that you don't have one add verity to your experience as a blogger and connect you with your characters and readers?

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: January 6th, 2008 10:36 am (UTC)

You actually may have just changed my mind about the username change. I should have posted this entry before I bought the rename token. heh.

To answer your second point, I was more thinking about it as a publicity thing - to make my journal more instantly recognizable as that of the author of the Jane book/to cement that connection. I mean, when I see libba-bray or halseanderson on someone's friends list, I know immediately who they are, you know? Also, my second book, which I hope to be able to publish in the wake of the Jane book, isn't about the world of the Internet, so if I'm thinking long-term the publicity argument may be the more compelling one as far as that goes. But your first paragraph hit home a lot for me, and I think articulated a lot of why I was very reluctant to make the change. Maybe I can somehow get firstname-lastname to forward here but retain this as a primary sn.

(Another idea I had had was to have a public blog and a private one, and to transfer a few of the more notable 'babe posts over to the new firstname-lastname public blog. I'd lose all the comments that way, but from the time of its inception on I could begin cross-posting that minority of entries that I'd want public to both 'babe (f'onlied here) and fn-ln (public). I don't think the way I phrased that made sense. I'm still taking Vicodin for my goddamn tooth. Anywaay then I couold use that as a base for posting tour dates and stuff. And note to everyone: don't tell me this is premature. I know it is. I just donm't happen to care.)

Posted by: Kare Bear (luvs_chicago)
Posted at: January 6th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
Dear LiveJournal

I've had two other friends change their usernames, and both of their new usernames have become them, if it makes sense. It's become kind of a signification of who they are now, versus who they were when they started their journals back a few years ago. I've thought of changing mine to something more personal, but haven't because I still "luv chicago". My sn, though, is also a result of speeding through the registration process...I just haven't made the effort to think of a different name.

Regarding the first name last name thing...do you really want all of your future fans knowing all the details of your life? From what I know of you, you seem to be a relatively private person (as private as one can be with a massive readership) by keeping your name and Lambda's name confidential, etc. I know that I, personally, would want a separate journal for updates about future books, fan questions, etc, and one for my real friends. But, that's just me, not you. :)

Anyways, my .02. It might be worth slightly less than that, though.

Posted by: Michael (ftmichael)
Posted at: January 6th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)

Changing something in the present doesn't erase or negate anything from the past! Evolution, my friend. :) Nothing at all wrong with that.

I do agree, though, that if you get a firstname_lastname sort of username, you keep it separate, rather than just turning this one into that. I really don't advise making all your personal stuff accessible to Joe Public who read/skimmed/glanced at your book. I'd create a second one - maybe on WordPress or something that looks vaguely more professional than LJ - for a blog that your readers would have access to, and whether you change the username or not, keep this one personal and somewhat more private.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: January 6th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)

That's more or less what I was going to say, too. Speaking as if it were me facing the choice, I know I've gotten weirded out enough when I get anonymous comments from people who presumably stumbled across my LJ from the link I used to have on my Facebook page - I wouldn't want to have to obsessively worry about how many of my fans were digging through all the random junk I posted way back when and forgot about. If it were me, I'd either friends-lock most things here and leave a few select posts available to the public, or create a new journal for interacting with the public and not give out this one.

Of course, given that you're writing a book *about* blogging, I can see how there might be a few more complexities to it than that, and you're already far more used to dealing with a huge readership than I am. All I can really say is, go with your gut - if you want a name change, do it; if not, don't.

Posted by: ems (ems)
Posted at: January 6th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)

You know, it sounds ridiculous, but I have been journalling online for - what, almost ten years now - and I have never been as comfortable with it as I have since I changed my name to "ems". I stopped journalling as the person I felt I ought to be and started journalling as just me. It's honestly made such a huge difference, even though I missed my internet persona a lot when I stopped being her.

9 Read Comments