blogging / names & naming / neurotic thinking / titles

You want my name where?

I can’t keep up with all the blogs I want to read, but lo, I have found another one to interest me. Author Anne R. Allen suggests in this blog post that a blog should have the author’s name in its title.

This is a small detail.

And not every bit of blogging advice is right for everyone.

I do not call my blog Marta’s blog. That just sounds wrong.

But maybe my thinking is wrong.

I love my name. I’ve never been able to come up with a pen name or, when I took language classes and some teachers would ask me to, a name in another language. But do I want it up there at the top of this blog?

Should I?

Go read all her rules. I’ve violated several of them other than picking a bad name. What about you?

*

P.S. After reading the first comment on this post, I got to thinking about a website I visited recently and a brand personality test I found there. Have you heard of Sally Hogshead? I hadn’t until I happened across a video interview with her online, which snag my curiosity and I went to her site. Her insights about marketing and branding are interesting, and I took her Fscore personality test.

A summary of my results:
Your primary fascination is MYSTIQUE. (Nicely done, you.) Even without realizing it, you’re already instinctively applying this trigger when trying to persuade others. Your secondary trigger is ALARM, and your dormant trigger (the one you’re least likely to apply in your personality and behavior) is LUST.

There’s not much mystique in my name!

Anyway, if you take the test, let me know.

17 thoughts on “You want my name where?

  1. There’s my name – that’s me. Afraid of nothing or nobody. Like me or leave me I am who I am and there I am up in lights at the top of my blog. Be proud of what you write or don’t write at all.

    . . ./John

    • I suppose I’ll have let the title Marta Pelrine-Bacon’s Blog sit in my thoughts for a while until it sounds right. Thank you though. And I like your attitude. It is one a need to work on.

  2. I’ve heard this said before, and I’m rather dubious about it.

    If I visit a new blog and the title only tells me it belongs to Bob Jones, I have no immediate notion of what it’s actually about. Who is Bob Jones? Why should I care about his blog? What does he even write about?

    I think if one follows this approach it would be necessary to make sure the rest of the blog makes it really clear what the common topics are. If I have to go digging for that information I’ll probably just go look at someone else’s blog.

    • Since I’m not a published author, it weirds me out a bit that anyone would be looking specifically for me. But I do sell art, and so someone who has bought my work might search for me…still, I purposely didn’t mention my name because I wasn’t sure I wanted to be found by certain people. As if they’d look.

  3. Personally, when I visit a new blog, it is usually because the title of the article interests me. I have either searched for a topic our found it with a tag search. You’re right that a persons name doesn’t tell what is in the blog, but I find most of the other blog titles don’t either. Most of them are quite cute or funny, but when you start to read, it doesn’t necessarily keep to the blog title. There are many exceptions of course. I don’t really think the name of the blog is the important thing. Content it King. If you right really good content people will eventually find you no matter the Name of your blog.

    • Yes, the person’s name doesn’t mean much to me unless I already know them–either as a friend or a fan. As for me, I went through a period where I was happy with the content…but I don’t have any more of that and the blog seems to have lost something.

  4. I agree with a lot of what that lady said, except for the “not as personal as a memoir” rule. If that’s what you’re into, then that’s what you should write. I, for one, appreciate an open-book blogger. I like when people reveal themselves. And from my traffic patterns, other people like it when I reveal myself. Those thoughtful, searching posts get way more traffic and comments than the in-depth analysis of writing ones do. And as I’ve withdrawn from those revealing posts, my traffic has steadily tanked. So…yeah. Be yourself, no matter what. You’ll find people who want to read. And you have.

    • You probably remember when I did those posts about my childhood–the mini-memoir so to speak. I had more readers then and felt better about the blog. But I have only so many worthwhile stories to share. The rest of what I have to write seems like so much blather.

  5. I just took the test, and this is my result. I don’t know what it means yet, but here it is:
    “Your primary fascination is POWER. (Nicely done, you.) Even without
    realizing it, you’re already instinctively applying this trigger when trying to persuade others. Your secondary trigger is ALARM, and your dormant trigger (the one you’re least likely to apply in your personality and behavior) is PRESTIGE.”

    • I read her descriptions of these triggers, and I tried to apply what she said to my ability/need/inability/effort to market my art and my writing. Her site seems geared towards people with business-oriented thinking, but artists are supposed to be thinking of how to brand themselves and sell their work, so her site felt worth the read.

      And I felt that the labels applied to me. I got that mystique–and in real life I’ve been called cryptic many times. And I like my work to be more evocative and ambiguous than direct. So mystique seems to work. Alarm was my secondary one (like you!) and considering how many panic attacks I have when I share my work, this seemed to fit. As for that dormant trigger–lust–well, perhaps that is dormant because I simply can’t believe that anyone would ever lust after my work. I’m sure one of my issues with publishing (of any kind) is that I still can’t imagine anyone being willing to pay for my writing or–egads!–showing up at a book signing to see me. That’s just WAY out of my ability to process.

      So, have you thought more about your results and what they might mean?

      • Well, the secondary “alarm” definitely fits. I work better under a deadline, I follow the rules so I don’t get in trouble, have anxiety about things others don’t. But the “power” thing? I don’t know. I am good at leading a group, but mostly so I don’t let anybody down. It just occurred to me that power has a negative connotation to me. I do seek power in my life, maybe because I rarely have it, but I don’t feel like I want to lord over anyone.

        The dormant prestige is no surprise. The only reason I even think about keeping up with the Joneses is to fit in, and to make sure the kids do.

        Pretty interesting site. I do love learning more about inner motivations.

  6. Well, branding doesn’t necessarily have to be a name – Writing in the Water could be a brand – you could design a logo for that, and then use it on your art and stuff you sell.

  7. Like Sherri says, revealing yourself is the key. That, in fact is what communication is all about. If you don’t do this, you might as well be teaching mathematics and very few people like mathematics.

  8. I’ve always liked the name of your blog. If it were just a name — even yours, ha — or “life and writing and art” or whatever, I might have visited, and like to think that I wouldn’t have been so superficial as to blow through once and never again. But I know that “writing in the water” has a real hook in it, at least for one reader.

    For a few days at the very beginning, RAMH wasn’t RAMH. It was called Meat and Poison, as in “one man’s/another man’s.” (And it also alluded to E.B. White, who used to write a column called “One Man’s Meat.”) I’ve been happy with the change ever since I made it, and it doesn’t bother me much at all that it doesn’t tell potential readers much of anything about the site in advance. I think (as with “writing in the water”) it expresses perfectly what the blog is about… once you stop in and read for a while.

    And I was never, ever happy with the title Grail for the WIP. It’s what the book’s “about,” sorta. But I feared that it also sets up expectations that I’m not 100% interested in fulfilling.

    Oh, and on that Hogshead 28-questions test, my primary was also mystique. But the secondary was prestige, which doesn’t feel quite right. And my dormant was trust. Which alarms me.

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