Posted on October 28, 2014 by

What’s in a Name Revisited

A few years ago I wrote about Why I go by Kenn, particularly Kenn R, instead of Ken and my rarely used last name. The gist of it, 1. Kenn is less formal, and more casual than my given name of Kenneth. 2. I’m no longer the person Kenneth was, a star soccer player that had his dreams die in a soccer injury. 3. “R” is a very non descriptor for ancestry.

While I tend to work hard and find myself in a very culturally diverse city, people in power still tend to be affluent white males. I have not had a problem with getting work or trying to break into this sector because, well, I have headed it off before it became an issue.

But that is a completely different topic and I don’t believe I am someone with the experience to talk about it. There are many stories in the tech scene of racial, discriminating, I have been fortunate not to be in. So I won’t talk about it and just amplify the voices that have.

A few months back, I hit was a milestone, for the first time I have been online for more that half of life.

It got me thinking about everything from my first AIM screen name to where I am now. In all that time I have only really gone by three identities. “heyitskenn” being the one that I have used from the start of college to a just a few months ago.

I was an earlier adopter of Twitter, Tumblr, and various other small social networking sites and often I would get the username I wanted,”heyitskenn.” But for a while I was looking for change, I notice that a lot of people that I have been chatting for a while either had their name or 3 to 5 letter handles. It’s also notice that it seemed weird that “heyitskenn” was my online identity. I started to outgrow it.

After chatting with an old project manager at Twitter and getting in contact with the a person that was squatting on the “kennr” I started to see if I could move my entire social identity to kennr.

One problem. I had waited too long. People had already claimed it around the web. Contacting and even offering to pay for the username fell on deaf ears.

Many would just say to have a different username on different platforms. And they would be wrong, unless you actively want people not to find you. I like consistency, uniformity.

I settled for k3nnr. Which isn’t horrible, but not as clean as kennr.

I could not take “k” as single letter handles on Twitter are 1. Very, very limited and there is only 26 of them, 2. Usually very, very early Twitter adopters / employees got them 3. While I’m a bit pretentious, it’s too much.

When did the change happen?

Social networks that were used, but not that frequent where the first ones. This was a few days before going on my South America trip, culminating with Tumblr, SoundCloud, Instagram, and Twitter a few days after I returned from it, middle of July. The rest less important accounts happened in the last month. (Side note: Websites that don’t have the functionality of the changing usernames, really? How is that a thing in 2014?)

It wasn’t hard. No one really noticed, those that did easily, switched to the new and for them easier handle.

For the foreseeable future, I do see myself using k3nnr. That is until I can ever get kennr on all other platforms… I kid… kind of.