What’s in a name?

I’ve had the username travnewmatic for a very long time.

I think I first came up with it back when I was in high school, which was sometime in the mid-00’s (graduated in 2005). I like the name. It’s a portmanteau of my first and last name, with a little twist on the end. Its unique and it doesn’t have any numbers tacked on to the end, which was something I was trying to avoid when I was coming up with my gmail account (which I got when the only way you could get one was through invite!). I’ve used travnewmatic for lots of things. If you do a search for travnewmatic, you’ll likely find some profiles, and results for lots of tech forums (and non-tech forums) that I’ve been on. Apple stuff, linux stuff, geeky stuff. It’s kind of the trail I’ve left on the internet in a way. And I don’t think it paints me in an unfavorable light either. It illustrates my interest in technology over a long period of time, and if an employer were to google me, especially an employer who is in a tech field, I think they would be pleased to see my lifelong interest in technology.

Now, however, I’m not sure what place travnewmatic has in a professional setting. I kind of regret not spending the same amount of time coming up with my first domain name. It appears that www.travis newman.com is available, and I should probably invest the 11 bucks to claim it (assuming that it is, in fact, up for grabs), but travnewmatic.com is a continuation of the trail I’ve been leaving on the internet that my full name.com would not represent. It probably isn’t necessary, but I felt the need to definitively represent travnewmatic on the internet. So that, if an employer were to associate travnewmatic with Travis Newman, there would be a face (this website) to put with the handle sprinkled across the internet. I’m setting the record straight, so to speak. And I don’t think travis newman.com would have had the same effect. Like I said before, while I don’t think a google search of my handle speaks unfavorably of me, I do think that the name “travnewmatic” is a bit childish. When I provide an email in a professional context, I don’t give travnewmatic(at)gmail(dot)com (my primary email). Instead, I give travispnewman(at)gmail(dot)com as the best way to reach me. That second email address only serves that purpose, as any email sent to that address automatically gets forwarded to my primary travnewmatic(at)gmail(dot)com inbox.

Bear in mind my grand plan to be a teacher. I would like to follow the model of one of my former teachers, Mr. Dean Webb, and use the internet as a tool to foster additional learning opportunities outside the classroom. When I was in his economics class, he ran his own forum for his students to use (and his other classes/clubs as well). Although I wasn’t incredibly active on his forum, I liked the idea a lot. So in part, its to practice running a domain for the benefit of my future students, but it is also an opportunity for me to learn web development in preparation for my upcoming teacher test in November. In that regard, travnewmatic.com serves two purposes.

So then imagine me standing at the front of the classroom telling my students to point their browsers to w-w-w.travnewmatic.com. It doesn’t sound professional at all. However, neither does Mr. Webb’s domain: zzzptm.com. $11 is all it would take to make another domain that is more… acceptable for an educational environment, and that’s probably what’s going to happen eventually. While the trail I’ve left isn’t bad necessarily, is that information that my students should be exposed to? I’ll have to do some more research on that, but right now I’m leaning towards no, at least at this stage of my “career”.

For now, travnewmatic.com is serving it’s purpose quite nicely, and I’m really happy that I’ve managed to make it work with blogger. I get sexy, dynamically generated webpages on my own domain for free. I could run a wordpress or joomla or whatever on nearlyfreespeech.net but I’d have to pay for it, and, well, I’m just that cheap right now. Blogger is cake to use, it’s secure (the wordpress I ran on my iMac got hacked, which is why I decided to change things up), and I’m a google fanboy at heart.

I’d be curious to hear your stories regarding a childhood identity that may or may not be appropriate for adulthood.


3 responses to “What’s in a name?”

  1. Very informative post, Travis! But I don't think putting your middle name out there is that good so yeah.

  2. what middle name? ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. smarty pants! ๐Ÿ˜›

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