I've claimed my name - online that is. Over the past several weeks, I've read quite a few blog posts, but two in particular, struck a chord with me. Is Your Identity Worth $10 a Year, by Dean Shareski and Buy Your Domain by Ewan McIntosh got me thinking about claiming my own identity online. Years ago, I heard about a relative who purchased the domain names for her children. At the time, I thought it didn't make a lot of sense. But now, I have a different attitude towards this. I'd consider doing the same for my children, but I know my wife would think it was a stupid idea and a waste of money. Perhaps I need to get her to read the posts above and Will's. Who knows - maybe she'll change her mind. As I continue to learn and use technology with my students and in my daily life, it seemed appropriate to think about having my own domain and to leave my own digital footprint, as Will suggests. Like Dean mentions, it's not expensive and the payoffs can be huge. When I decided to move forward with the purchase of a domain name, I had a decision to make.

imcguy or chadlehman ???

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

When I first jumped into Blogger, I had to choose a user name. At first, I didn't want to use my real name because I wasn't sure what direction I was going to go with my blog. Was I going to write about colleagues or my administration? Surely, I didn't want any negative posts to come back and bite me, but as time progressed, I realized that I wasn't going to go in that direction. I chose imcguy mainly because I'm the "guy in the IMC" at my school. In my school district, the library is referred to as the IMC - Instructional Media Center. Early in the school year, I walked into one of our kindergarten classrooms and a student, who didn't have my name memorized yet, blurted out, "Hey, there's the IMC Guy!" The kindergarten teacher laughed at this one, and so did I. For a while, it was a running joke between the two of us, but the nickname kind of stuck. I must have been thinking about this story when I also chose my Twitter name. What I didn't realize, however, is that not many people had a clue what IMC stood for. After explaining the whole Instructional Media Center thing, they understood it, but there are probably others who still don't know what it means, but maybe they'll read this and understand.

On Twitter, I had some conversations with a few people, Jennifer Jones, for example, about this topic. She was one who didn't know what IMC Guy meant. After we went back and forth for a bit, she mentioned "branding." She asked me if I was going to brand myself as IMC Guy or not. I never thought about this for a second, but after she asked, I really had to think about that. Since using IMC Guy for my blog and Twitter, I've used that user name for just about every new Web 2.0 tool I've signed up for. I thought that if I did this, interested people would be able to find me just about anywhere. While I don't think this is a bad idea, I want to also make sure people who the real person behind IMC Guy.

This leads me back to the domain name decision I had to make. I will not be the "Guy in the IMC" for the rest of my career. I may head back to the classroom some point and build on my 8 years as a classroom teacher. I may move districts where the library isn't called the IMC. I may do something else. After taking all of this into consideration, I settled on www.chadlehman.com because I'll always be Chad Lehman.

3 comments

  1. Ann Oro // July 13, 2008 at 10:43 PM  

    I have to admit, in my head I always read it iMac Guy. It makes more sense now that I've read this post.

    Quite a while back, I paid for the domain www.mrsoro.com and went through some of the same questions. I started using njtechteacher for everything because of the state I live in and the fact that I'm a computer teacher. I didn't want to use njtechteacher.com, though. I originally went for mrsoro.com in case I wanted to point students to the site, but in reality I won't. Maybe when it comes time to renew, I'll just start over with annoro.com instead.

    It's very interesting going through this process. Did you consider registering a .org as well? I thought about that for a bit and decided one domain was enough.
    Ann

  2. Kate Olson // July 21, 2008 at 2:37 PM  

    Just saw this post and have to share my post from yesterday - it's too funny that I missed your comments about buying domain names for kids and then I wrote about it :-)

    http://www.katesays.org/2008/07/20/tech-mommy-move/

    Thanks for the links to the other posts, will check those out as well!

  3. shaggyhill // July 21, 2008 at 9:23 PM  

    Every family members name is purchased as firstlast.com --- paulbogush.com

    Figure at some point when my girls get old enough they are bound to type in theirname.com to see what is there. I tell a story about how I had to buy the domain for $150,000 in order to give it to them. I own some variations of my name, my ex-podcast and middleschoolsocialstudies....now what to do with them.

    Any chance you can add the option for commentors to type in their name and address?

    Takes me 10 minutes to figure out my google id!

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