O Brave New Web, That Has Such Real Name Policies In It!

I’ve just started a new Flickr group called Brave New Web, inspired by the awesome my.nameis.me website.


You’re most welcome to contribute your own creative musings on the topic. Submissions to the group are moderated, and at the moment the group is invitation only until/unless I recruit some fellow moderators. If you want an invitation, please leave a comment here or on one of the above images on my Flickr account.

What if some famous people wanted to use the Brave New Web?
(A text box showing a generic blob person identified as Average Netizen, with multiple question marks over hir head)
Who on earth is [birth name of famous person]?
Why has this person added me? I don’t go around adding people I’ve never heard of before!
(an oval portrait frame surrounding an image of a very famous person who uses a pseudonym/stage name)
google says…
NO google+ for you as [FAMOUS NAME]
(in much smaller text below)
because even though that IS how most people best know you, it’s NOT the name on your bank account
Not that there’s any particular reason Google only wants the name on your credit cards.
Nope. Nothing to see here.

(Another text box on a plain black background with a pale border)
get more information at http://www.my.nameis.me

Famous names done so far:
Julie Andrews born as Julia Elizabeth Wells
Lauren Bacall born as Betty Joan Perske
Lucille Ball born as Dianne Belmont
Mark Twain born as Samuel Longhorne Clemens

Categories: ethics & philosophy, language, media, Sociology

Tags: , ,

23 replies

  1. George Orwell’s real name was Eric Arthur Blair.

  2. Sorry, I meant to say “If you’re looking for more names, George Orwell…”

  3. awesome!

    miles franklin, anyone? george eliot. james tiptree jr. elvis costello. david bowie. lady gaga.

  4. I definitely second David Bowie (birth name David Jones). Nah, couldn’t possibly be two people out there with the same name… not a chance in the world.
    Or we could just put up John Howard (the Australian former prime minister) and John Howard (the Australian actor) and see how many confused looks we could get.

  5. Other suggestions: George Gordon, Lord Byron (and any number of such English peerage entities, such as Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay – by the bye, he uses the surname Mountbatten-Windsor in memory of a deceased uncle, but his actual surname according to letters patent is Windsor. Although the family is a member of the a cadet branch of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (also known simply as the House of Glücksburg), a branch of the House of Oldenburg, ultimately descended from Elimar I, Count of Oldenburg, the male-line descendants of the Queen Elizabeth II are distinct from other members of the House of Windsor, who are descended in male line from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.).
    But then, that’s getting silly, isn’t it?
    Other fun suggestions would be “Boy” George O’Dowd; George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou); Nik Kershaw (Nicholas David Kershaw); Marilyn (born Peter Robinson); Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson); Stevie Wonder (Stevland Hardaway Morris (previously Judkins)); Paul McCartney (James Paul McCartney); Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey); Brian Jones (Lewis Brian Hopkins Jones); Mick Jagger (Michael Philip Jagger); Bill Wyman (William George Perks); Charlie Watts (Charles Robert Watts); Ronnie Wood (Ronald David Wood).
    Heck, rock music has heaps of them, doesn’t it? And often, if you were just given their first name and surname, you’d have no idea who the heck they were (I certainly wouldn’t recognise Stevland Morris or James McCartney as being anyone special).

  6. Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson)

    Whoa, Prince’s real name is actually Prince? That’s blown my mind.

  7. It’s not his REAL name, it’s just something his parents made up when he was very little and it became a habit, and got put on forms and things.
    Does anyone have the link to John Howard saying sorry from The Games? If Reverend Nile does ban ethics classes, I’d love to have Frontline, The Games, Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister shown to all those students not in religion class.
    Yeah, happy thoughts.

  8. @Yetanothermatt
    I worked in a large bank and we all thought that “The Games” was a documentary

    • Funny that – I know quite a few people who worked for large institutional organisations who felt exactly the same about The Games.

  9. What do you mean it wasn’t a documentary? *
    *yes I know it wasn’t, but really it was.

  10. Some public servants I know have said the same about “Hollow Men.”

  11. Yeah, my mum’s a recently-retired public servant, and she stopped watching “Hollow Men” after a couple of episodes because she said she dealt with that all week, she didn’t need to watch it on TV when she was trying to forget about work for a bit.

    • Merinnan, did she ever express an opinion on Yes, Minister/Yes, Prime Minister? Because I find it interesting that the show was purportedly a favourite amongst all sides of Whitehall politics at the time of its original broadcasts.
      Anyway, back on topic, I can make the PSD file available to anybody who’s interested in reworking it for their own famous pseudonymous folks.

  12. Lewis Carroll. David Tennant. Malcolm X (because social justice has never been done under a pseudonym).

  13. @Tigtog

    Re: Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister: The old joke in our family was that it was a documentary and anyone planning to join the public service or go into politics should watch it to see how everything works. Pretty much the same as the Hollow Men. Some of that was painful and familiar.

  14. @Tigtog
    She adores Yes, Minister/Yes, Prime Minister, and calls it her favourite documentary 🙂
    I’ve never actually asked her why she likes it but doesn’t like watching Hollow Men anymore. I suspect it has to do with where she was in her career when the respective shows aired.

  15. I’ve never actually asked her why she likes it but doesn’t like watching Hollow Men anymore.

    I find that while I love what I’ve seen of Yes, Minister, Hollow Men has some of the The Office’s brilliant-yet-almost-unwatchable vibe. I’m not sure quite how to describe it better than that…
    I’m not a public servant though.

  16. That is a brilliant idea.

  17. Grogs Gamut is no longer a public servant either. I don’t know what his reason was, he hasn’t gone into detail on his blog and it may just be a coincidence. I did enjoy his live tweeting of the no carbon tax protest (before Convoy of no Consequence Confidence)

    • @Helen and @Mindy, a loss to the public service in both countries, I’m sure. I’ve discovered since publishing this set of pics that apparently Google+ will allow very famous celebrities to register under their stage names (e.g. Lady Gaga) which seems to point to a fundamental hypocrisy about their ‘real names policy’, and the fact that both those useful and dedicated people appear to have been forced out of their careers because people know who they were “in real life” points clearly to the need for more understanding generally and from Google in particular of the value of consistent, stable pseudonyms that build up their own credibility over time, in small social circles even, not just worldwide fame game players.

  18. Grog was outed by someone at The Australian so I don’t think it was a google thing necessarily. Nor am I sure that he didn’t decide to go of his own accord. I don’t know him personally so I don’t want to make any suggestion otherwise.

  19. Did anyone see an article about Randi Zuckerberg saying there should be no internet anonymity? Presumably she shares her brother’s disdain for other people’s privacy or safety. Nothing’s getting me near their ghastly site again.

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