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On some forums they prefer users using their real names, since its easier to relate to a person than to a "thing". And since we have avatars would a self photo be better than a meaningless pic?

Any preference or benefit of this on SO or the others? Does it help people understand your posts?

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Link? – Andy Mikula Aug 31 '09 at 17:26
@Rich: Was this the one you were looking for?:… – gnostradamus Aug 31 '09 at 17:31
As I've stated before, my avatar is a picture of me. It's just very abstract. – JSONBog Aug 31 '09 at 18:00
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The top rated users on SO are a mix of real [looking] names and "fake" names. This would seem to suggest that it doesn't matter.

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I use my real picture (well, sorta...) and a fake name. I've done this for over a decade, after realizing that, on The Internet, my first+lastname is shared by too many other real people to be terribly useful as an identifier without the addition of troublesome auxiliary namespacing information (middle initial / location / etc.)

I've never encountered any problems, unless you count the occasional snarky comments from people who apparently never sat and thought about how easy it would be for me to make up a real-looking fake name if i was actually trying to hide something.

See also:

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Try searching for Brad Gilbert. ... At least Stack Overflow doesn't have that many Brad Gilberts. ... Yet. – Brad Gilbert Aug 31 '09 at 17:08
@Brad: A claim like that is an invitation for one of the MSO pranksters to change their screen name. ;) – gnostradamus Aug 31 '09 at 17:12
@gnovice: don't be silly - we're more mature than that on MSO. – The Real Jeff Atwood Aug 31 '09 at 17:25
And so it begins... – gnostradamus Aug 31 '09 at 17:30

I can't imagine using my real name and oh-so-emo photo changes what people think of my posts. (Okay-- maybe the emo photo influences some people... >smile<)

I play on Server Fault because I enjoy helping people, and I don't have any IT training gigs going on right now to give me the warm and fuzzy "I helped somebody "feeling. Since I've put a fair amount of work into (most of) my posts I want to be sure that they're able to be associated easily with my personal "brand". Being an independent IT consultant and contractor, anything that adds to my body of references and experience is helpful.

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I prefer that when people think of me, they think of a beautiful pony and a strange set of initials (screw you people!) instead of my hideous visage.

Sort of like Phantom of the Opera, except I can't sing.

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I only think of a terrible shell of a man that crushes cats with the incredible girth of his buttocks. – GEOCHET Aug 31 '09 at 16:49
Acronym? So it's pronounced "Thet-zee"? – random Aug 31 '09 at 16:50
A reclining couch is my preferred weapon of choice. Then I don't have to worry about claws. – TheTXI Aug 31 '09 at 16:50
@random: No, I just forgot how to spell "TAXI" – TheTXI Aug 31 '09 at 16:51
You call that horse "beautiful"?! – Jarvis Aug 31 '09 at 16:58
@random: He is not kidding, he is from WV. – GEOCHET Aug 31 '09 at 17:08
It might be beautiful in comparison to his visage . – Brad Gilbert Aug 31 '09 at 17:10
I say 'The Tixie' in my head. Like Trixie, without the 'r'. – Andy Mikula Aug 31 '09 at 17:27

Yes, my parents named me strategicly. Years and years ago they knew that someday, there would be a technology called the Internet that would magicly appear and somehow there would be a certain part or "site" that contained cartoons. Much like the comic books of the era, but this comic had moving pictures and sound. A character by the name of Trogdor, a man, a dragonman, burninating the countryside, burninating the peasants, would be born. What an awesome name for a son!

Flex it Troggy!

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