Do you brand your online life to identify the work you do in all aspects?

Do you have more than one email address? If so, are they all identical
in the username you attach to the address?

When a new social networking service starts up, do you run out and
reserve “your name” on that service even if you have no immediate plans
to use the service?
If you own a website — do you just own the .COM version of the name
you’re using — or do you have other domain addresses like .NET or
.INFO or .ORG reserved as well?

If you are online, and if you hope to have any personal or business
resonance at all, you need to “tentacle-ize” your name, your brand,
and your being, across as many platforms as you can invent — and then
intersect all those ideals so they touch, interrelate and move in union
with each other in separate spaces.

I call this viral method of cross-pollination of purposes — Branding Tentacles — and here are some logo examples from my online life. If you want to visit the sites, you can find the semiotics linked at Boles University:

I have all those sites — some are currently richer in content than
others — to provide as much dimension as possible because most people
prefer to place you in the four corners of a box in oder to define you.

Being polymathic is dangerous to the middling mind.

prefer danger and conflict over safety and satiety — but to make the
many identities and talents I have palatable to the widest range of
people — I am required to diversify who I appear to be online so I can
niche direct people to the proper brand landing site.

That way I appear
ordinary and safe in one realm while I am concurrently singing and
stretching in a hundred different aspects.

You can use the web to create powerful — Branding Tentacles — but that means you must create an identity others can discover and cherish — in the whole or in the pieces — and you can’t get there anonymously or by hiding your true self behind a cruel intent.


  1. Guilty as charged – for the very reasons you mention. My name is my brand and it has been a very successful strategy from my point of view.

  2. Whenever there is any new site that I may be even remotely interested in, I try to get right on it with ‘gordond’ as there are tons of people with the first name of Gordon and a last name that begin with D – at least there are in England and a couple of other countries. I was quite excited to get my GordonD for the mail programs I managed to get. I used to use gdavides only because that’s what I was given at The Peddie School – they gave everyone the first letter of their first name and up to 7 letters of their surname – it was Novell Netware 3.14 and ran on top of DOS, so it had the 8 character restriction. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have exactly two domains – and – and I don’t worry about the others because my sites are so rarely used anyhow that I don’t mind that there is an that is pretty much a non-site as well as
    I do my best to tentacle-ize – I often wonder why I so regularly seek out my classmates from school, many of whom have a limited web presence, whereas I am the only person in the world whose name is Gordon Davidescu on the web and yet so few seek me out.

  3. Gordon!
    Thanks for that in-depth analysis! Have you reserved your username on LIVE.COM yet? They started offering new email accounts a week or so ago on that domain name. ๐Ÿ˜€
    I, too, try to reserve all my entities online as much as I can — but there are so many new services popping up all the time the effort can be tiring trying to nab all your online personas each time a new site provides registration.
    There are still a lot of “old timers” on the web who have those silly 8-letter limit names! It makes it really hard to intuit their true username based on current naming conventions. ๐Ÿ˜€
    I love your “” site, Gordon! That’s a fine effort.
    I, too, find it so curious all of my “old friends” from Nebraska and even grad school don’t seek me out more online and here. In person they’re a delight and they love catching up, but offer them the online opportunity and they shrivel away. I wonder why they are so reluctant to take relationships to the next virtual step?

  4. I have the dot com for MsDemmie and the from memory ( will have to check that – thank you for the reminder ). I own several yahell groups as well.
    I have three other websites co-registered – all kink related. I also have 5 other WP blogs registered .
    I have the stumbleupon, the facebook, the myspace, the every other social network I have heard of space ……….. all in MsDemmie.
    I do not have as big and empire as you ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Life at the Edge on WordPress is the all around MsDemmie – warts and all.
    My Live Journal is a more kink orientated space and is also personal *kink* friends only. It is also where I bitch and gossip.
    My facebook is my juvenile space/ my family space / and my kink space to a certain extent.
    Most of them interlink both ways – LJ is the dead hole as that is mostly friends only and can only be read by people listed as friends.
    MsDemmie was originally my on-line kink persona – she has rounded out into the whole personal since I started blogging. The whole idea was to present a rounded personality to counteract a lot of the stereotypical female domination sites that make a lot of wives and girlfriends feel uncomfortable about dominating their partners.
    Many of them are intimidated by those stereotypes and that puts them off exploring with their partners.
    I know this year about 50% of my new custom has come via the blog – so it has worked.

  5. Beautiful analysis, Nicola! Thank you for sharing!
    So are you more “Nicola” or more “MsDemmie” now in your everyday online and offline lives?
    I think it is important to hit all the major sites to protect your name and brand as you have done — it can get even more complex now as Network Solutions are now offering wild domain name registrations for:
    So it quickly becomes REALLY expensive to try to begin to protect your brand across the entirety of the internet registration world.

  6. I have just blown through half an hour trying to get an @live account and could not get anything other than another account. ๐Ÿ™ It doesn’t seem to want to give me an @live account!

  7. It is very tricky to get a email address. The neat thing is, once you do, you can then forward and link all your other Windows ID accounts into your new account.
    Try this URL:
    I used that link to get “boles (at)” and if that doesn’t work, let me know, and I’ll try to send you an even more in-depth URL.

  8. Gordon!
    Yes, it should default to a drop-down choice of but sometimes it doesn’t. It’s very touchy and if you have ANY sort of Windows ID on your computer it reads that cookie and won’t allow you to get a email address over an already-in-use Hotmail or MSN address. It’s a mess, really! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Glad you go it to work, though! Send me some email on my Live account and we’ll test it.

  9. Cool, Gordon! is in its early stages — and I love it that it is a short domain name — so you can get basically any name you want right now if you’re quick about it. I was able to get “boles” but not “janna” so some people are even faster…

  10. Message received and reply sent, Gordon, great job!
    Now link all your other Hotmail and MSN accounts to your live account and you’ll really be rockin’! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. So are you more โ€œNicolaโ€ or more โ€œMsDemmieโ€ now in your everyday online and offline lives?
    Pretty much merged into one …….. my kids know me as mum, my mum knows me as Nicola , the birdie calls me Mistress – my good friends call me Dems or Demmie .
    I just have to rembember not to call the local Post Office and say “Hi its Dem… Mrs Brown here ”
    Now going to clear my cookies and try and get a email !

  12. I love it! Youโ€™ll always be Nicola to me, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Let me know if you have any trouble. Sometimes using an entirely different browser helps, too.

  13. You are one of the few people who does know me as Nicola ๐Ÿ™‚
    Now should I be filing a suit against “” for being discriminated against because I live in the UK so I cannot have a addressand have to have a one?

  14. Welp, I think I only know you as Nicola because that’s your username here, right? ๐Ÿ˜€
    I agree there has to be a way to get you a MsDemmie USA email address! Hmph!

  15. according to the numerous sites I visited while trying to figure out how to get my own account, people outside the US get an address localized to their country.

  16. Ha! I think that’s true, Gordon!
    I recently set up my Celebrity Semiotic blog on Live Spaces to give their “blogging” software a test.
    Trackbacks don’t get sent out on new articles.
    MSFT tells me they have no idea what I’m talking about and when I explain it to them they want me to double-triple prove what I’m claiming is true when they could very easily test it for themselves but they don’t want to.
    It’s also sort of sad and hilarious to look at my Spaces site under Firefox and then Safari to see how purposefully ugly MSFT makes my blog look under Safari! Entire sections are missing! ๐Ÿ˜†

  17. That’s so typical of MS. Everything is a struggle, even something that should be perfectly simple. About 9 years ago when I used to use Internet Explorer it would crash every time I went to Hotmail. Urg.

  18. Yeah it works and I have linked my old hotmail and my in ๐Ÿ™‚
    A lot of the Microsoft Vista Compatibility information is not available to view in Firefox – I found that out yesterday before trying to install an old version of Adobe Elements onto the new computer. Bit of a shame really as explore won’t open and gives me an error message, which presumably won’t come up as Explorer doesn’t work !

  19. Gordon —
    I know! They just have a terrible attitude and their tech support has always been awful.
    MSFT actually wanted me to SEND THEM A SCREENSHOT of their Trackbacks not working! Talk about an impossible task! They refused to move forward unless and until I did that.
    I told them I was tired of doing their job for them and that this “missing Trackback” problem has been well-known and documented in the blog community for at least the last 18 months.
    I think after I told them I was done with them I even said something like, “Goodbye, Evil Empire!” ๐Ÿ˜†
    That said, I did regret paying $20 a year upgrade for my account to get rid of the Ads in my email and on my Spaces site. The bigger email box is nice, though.

  20. Nicola!
    Try being on a Mac and dealing with all that MSFT stuff. You can’t! They won’t let you see it! Good thing Apple made the new Intel Macs so they could run Windows. Now we can at least pretend to be on an even playing ground when it comes to dealing with MSFT.
    I’m so glad the account worked! Linking is fun! You can bounce back-and-forth between all your accounts in a single session. Sweet! ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. I sometime year for a Mac and one of the top end graphics programs that goes with it. I used to work with a photographer that had one and have dreamed of them ever since.
    The linking is very neat ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Oh, you’d love a Mac, Nicola. They are very fine machines now. There’s supposed to a superslim SSD-only version coming in January. All my software runs faster on my Mac than on Windows. Windows Vista runs faster on my Mac than on a Windows machine! It’s amazing how “Mac-like” Windows Vista looks and feels.

  23. I am quite liking Vista apart from the compatibility issues – however we do have the birds new machine running in tandem with his old one on a switching system – his old machine runs on XP so anything I cannot use on Vista I run on there.

  24. Do all your computers talk to each other on the same network and/or wirelessly? The neat thing about Macs is you can get Windows machines on your local network using an Apple Airport Extreme and everyone can see and work with each other.

  25. Done!

    Thank you for your feedback! Your responses were successfully stored in our database and you may exit this site at any time.

    The monkey hath been spankethed.

  26. Yes they do all talk to each other now we have Vista – they set it up for us …….. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I got IE to work – went and had a look around some forums. I had to uninstall Omni Page scanning software .
    That on top of mending the printer the day before – do I qualify for geekdom yet – or do I have to have a mobile phone for that to qualify?
    I hope you enjoyed spanking the monkey ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. Ah, but will your current network work with a Mac? Probably not. Only Apple cares about making Windows and Macs talk to each other on a network. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    You get your Geek badge you have to get a Mac, an iPhone and agree in writing to allow yourself to be “on video” in the future 24/7 if it is technologically possible. ๐Ÿ˜†
    Yes, it felt good to give MSFT feedback. I did a similar survey yesterday for Network Solutions about their rotten service people, too. I don’t think these surveys do any good but at least they give you a pretend outlet to use for your rage expression. ๐Ÿ˜€
    Sometimes I think I’m the only person in the world who knows how to fix things and get stuff done — but the knownothings are those who guard the door I need to walk through to fix it all!

  28. I doubt it ..
    Gives up dream of geekdom – you sure set tough qualifying standards ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I feel the same about the feedback too – I am never sure it will do anything other than make me feel better – back to Gordon’s point about them giving us what they think we want.
    “Sometimes I think Iโ€™m the only person in the world who knows how to fix things and get stuff done โ€” but the knownothings are those who guard the door I need to walk through to fix it all!”
    That is because you are *outside the box* not inside it – thankfully ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Oh, I think geekdom is still in your future! You just have no idea what youโ€™re really missing! :mrgreen:
    I think feedback today is an effort to push you away and blame you for your own problems. Only if you push back hard enough will you get escalated to someone who can actually solve your problem.

  30. I am pretty sure I am right on the bliss part.
    As to the why bother ……. in the UK there are certain rules and regulations about providing after sales service – and there is also consumer expectation. By doing what they do they *appear* to meet both of those criteria without actually doing so. I bet the people who do not answer are counted as positive feedback as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. You’re right, Nicola! It’s all a scam. That’s why it’s important to have backups for backups. Google then Live then Yahoo then Fastmail for mail and so on and so on… until you reach the point of being unbreakable no matter how you’re treated by these service agencies.

  32. The problem comes though when they all take each other over and amalgamate each other – they do not always work – as we found out with yahoo and my blog log.
    Some day soon someone is going to make wordpress an offer they cannot refuse – just pray it is not Yahoo ๐Ÿ˜‰

  33. That’s an excellent point, Nicola. Good things get ruined when they are absorbed and taken over.
    I think a lot about what will happen next here with this blog when is bought and the whole world changes and no one will fix or address problems as fast as they do now. Yahoo! is probably a likely and powerful suitor.
    Companies are always better when they’re lean and hungry and looking to grow and they’re never the same again once the genius monsters have been fed and paid off.

  34. They loose their spirit – they loose that edge that defined them and propelled them. They get lost in the morass that is a big conglomerate.
    I guessed yahoo too – as google already has blogger and look what happened there!
    Lets enjoy WP while we can !

  35. Hi Nicola —
    Yes, there’s already a deep, historic, relationship between Yahoo! and WordPress so that will be a natural fit. Yahoo 360 is a miserable failure.
    Some say Google might buy — to kill it off and blend it with Blogger — I think that would be an interesting strategic move.
    Make sure you have a current backup of your blog: Manage | Export.
    I agree once the money comes the inspiration and drive to succeed dies, too.

  36. Interesting idea that google might buy it – it is a far better platform then blogger was.
    Yahoo 360 is dire.
    Good tip on the back up as well – thank you.

  37. There are those who believe the new Blogger is more customizable and powerful than now — people like the total HTML control and the ability to re-burn your feed with feedburner.
    Blogger also now offers readers to be notified of new comments via email for an article they’re following. I don’t think and Blogger would ever survive side-by-side — so one would have to go…
    Yahoo does still seem the more natural placement. Yahoo Business offers WP and MT hosted blogging right now.
    I backup every week! If your file is too big once you download it, just ZIP the file and store it in the compressed state.

  38. That’s wonderful news! It’s important to do. Spaces doesn’t let you download a backup and neither does Blogger. TypePad does allow you a raw download of your blog.

  39. Very surprised blogger doesn’t.
    I hope Janna returns/returned safe and sound today .
    Bed time for us over here. Enjoy what is left of your holiday weekend.

  40. Feeding the Genius Monsters

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  41. Pen and Pencil: Creating Indelible Brands

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