In yesterday's article, I mentioned a gentleman with whom I had lost contact. Indeed, the last time I would have been in touch with him would have been 1993. Today, without having made any deliberate effort to look for him, he found me online!
The backstory is that last week I was inspired by bateleur's tales of Nomic games on the Monochrome BBS and applied for an account on the system to follow the games. Today, my account (under the name dickoon) arrived and I logged onto the BBS. About half an hour later, I received a message "By any chance, is your name Chris?"... and this turned into a ten-minute guessing game so we could each work out who the other one was.
When I worked out that I had mentioned him in the last journal, I couldn't help but laugh. By happy coincidence, he has quite an extensive open diary on Mono, so I was able to catch up on the last couple of years of his life. (Happily, he remains a fine writer.) In return, I did pass him my LJ URL - it seemed only fair. No idea whether he's looked at it or not. Naturally, I stand by what I said about him (...you?)last time.
Strangely, I might have bumped into him in about 1996 - a few of the other Oxford LJ folk who happen to have Mono accounts will know the guy and he went to a number of local parties which I missed out on at the time. No names but it's a remarkable reminder of just how well-connected the world is.
This might be an interesting point to discuss the issue of online identities. If my LiveJournal is jiggery_pokery, why do I go by the name dickoon on some places? (The name "dickoon" comes from someone else's primary-school miswriting of my surname which, at the time, I thought sounded pretty good.) No better reason than a suspicion that other LJ writers might be likely to find "jiggery_pokery" more amusing than "dickoon", really.
There are a few places where I go by "lurkwarbler", principally Instant Messenger services. It's a name that I started using on a few online games because I wanted something to do with "lurker" or "lurking" which hadn't already been taken. I'm also known as cmd in some places, MSO_Admin from time to time in others. In the early '90s, I used to write for a disc magazine - ah, the ways we communicated before we went online! - under the handle "Lord Lazy"; one person managed to work this out and pin that handle back onto me when I repurposed an article that I had written for said disk mag onto a web page. Soon Google will pick this web page up and tie all my pseudonyms together. (Hello!)
On USENET it's almost boringly easy; I make no attempt to hide the fact that if something's come from *@dickson.demon.co.uk (or, in the old days, from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) then it's from me. Every couple of months I might post from yesthisisblatantsarcasm@ rather than chris@ if I'm feeling snarky and want to make some joke in character while making sure to leave the clueless or confused some sort of clue, but the rest of the time I always post under my real name.
Then again, I would say that, wouldn't I?