Jan 25, 2024

Online handles

Jim Nielsen, who has a nice blog, wrote about the origin of his online handles. It got me thinking about my online handles, which is a lot more boring than Jim’s journey, or the examples he states.

I’m tdh where I can, tdhftw where I can’t, and tdh.me on Bluesky because they have this nifty domain name feature. All services here, if you’re curious.

When I started out, I was kingkong because I had to pick a username at my first internet provider. This was 1993 or 1994, and yes, I’m old. Later, kingkong became kong, which incidentally was repurposed as the name of a gaming site I used to run.

My first personal domain name, one that wasn’t an online publication of some sort (I had plenty of those, back in the day), was tdhedengren.com. Later, I managed to register tdh.se, which I still use for my Swedish stuff. I had to incorporate to get that one, the rules for Swedish domain names were pretty strict at first. They’re lax now, though.

Anyway, I used tdhedengren as my handle on early social media, and when I got started in the blogosphere, as the editor for The Blog Herald, Devlounge, and more. I was rethord for the shortest time, probably nowhere important. That soon became tdh, as I managed to get Twitter to liberate the (abandoned) username for me because I was an Important Person. Which is hilarious: I wrote books about WordPress and edited blogs. Such important, much wow.

Most services don’t do three letter usernames, and thus I started using tdhftw, which also happens to be the abbreviated name for my holding company. Yeah, that sounds important and all, but it isn’t really. It’s just something I need to do business outside of work.

I wish more services with public profiles let us use our domain names as handles. Bluesky does this, as mentioned, and I love it. It just makes sense: My handle is the name of my online home, which is mine and mine alone, and easy to find because of this.

What’s your story?