I am a new Stack Overflow user with below average reputation score, and a user for just six months. I concentrate on certain tags and I have started to see people who often or always participate in discussions that I participate in.

The community (with similar interests to mine) also have developed a trust in me. Now, without prior thought, I have just changed my display name and now I would be a completely new person to those people.

Will it change the attitude of the community towards me?

By attitude, I mean commenting, editing or discussing my posts. I think I am experiencing this difference.

P.S.: We know it would take some time for a person to gain trust in another person or a group. Like a new hire in a company. This is just a discussion and I would like to avoid comments such as "this is just a question and answer website" or "closed as not a real question".

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    It's hard to see how you're expecting an authoritative answer to that. It's not like anyone has the power to serialize/convert/port/transfer trust. Just keep posting, and if you managed to gain people's trust before, you'll regain it again in no time. And if you link you previous posts of yours occasionally, all the better. – Kerrek SB Jan 20 '13 at 12:38
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    If you'd have had a gravatar, it would have been another part of your identity to be recognised by, even if you changed your name. – Matt Jan 20 '13 at 12:43
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    In a perfect world it would make zero difference who makes the post, and posts and comments would be judged by their own merits alone. – JJJ Jan 20 '13 at 12:47

It's possible some people no longer recognize you at first glance. However, remember your reputation is still visible, so some measure of "trust" is always visible, no matter whether people recognize your user name or not.

What you can do to be recognized after changing your user name:

  • get a unique profile picture. It's a much faster indicator of who you are, and it works very well, at least for my brain - I recognize most people mainly through their pictures. Here on Meta, we have even made changing our user names frequently a sport - but there's rarely confusion as long as the profile picture stays the same.

  • Fill in some info in your profile. Where are you from, what do you do.... when unsure about who a certain user is, I will open their profile. Usually, the info there will help me recall who the person is.

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  • Couldn't say it better! Hey where's your farm?? ;) – Shadow Keeps Social Distance Jan 20 '13 at 13:02
  • And then there's people like me who keeps changing the profile picture, but never the display name. :) – Mysticial Jan 20 '13 at 15:45
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    I must say, I am more influenced by the avatar than from the display name; when somebody changes the picture, I keep asking if it is the same user, or another user using the same display name. – kiamlaluno Jan 20 '13 at 18:14

changing a display name is like changing who you are. If I had a group of coworkers who knew my personality, my ethics, morals, and dress style. Then I suddenly showed up to work in an outfit different from what I've worn previously and a mask covering my face, people at work would be unsure whether or not to trust me. Even though I'm the same person I was the day before. But changing the single thing that makes you unique, such as for online purposes, your Display Name, would change what everyone knows to be true about you. No one would know whether or not to trust you, until they either get to know you all over again, or they eventually realize you're the same person you were previously. But you will lose trust initially, as no one would be aware of the reality that is you. That same trust can be earned back, assuming you were to display the same characteristics of your personality, that you displayed prior to the change of your display name.

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