What’s in a Name?

openinggntdoorsOn twitter I am @openinggtndoors – (It stands for Opening Giant Doors FYI). I have mixed feelings on my handle choice. Many would advise when signing up for Twitter, to pick your name or something close to it (if yours is taken). When I created my account I didn’t think twice about it. Basically, I have been ‘openinggntdoors’ for as long as I’ve been online. It was my first email account when we got the internet at my house. It was also my first instant messenger (AIM) username and I still use it today. It’s part of my online personality.

I’ve been told a few times that I should reconsider using my name instead. I do understand the power of my name in building my personal brand but I also wonder if it’s the best choice for me.

Some reasons I like being @openinggntdoors:

  • My name is not that easy to spell and it’s long. If you have a short easy to spell first and last name then yes, it would be smart to turn that into your handle. I don’t know if it would be an advantage to switch it. I would only be saving two characters by switching.
  • If someone really wants to find me my Twitter handle shouldn’t matter. I have my name on my profile with a bio and website link. You can find my profile by Google or via Twitter search. Plus, there are no other Hannah DeMiltas around to compete with.
  • Can’t I make any name famous one day? If followers are invested in who I am and the content I produce my choice of Twitter handle should be unimportant. There are definitely people who I would consider successful who don’t use their real name.
  • It’s unique to me. I want to stand out and have a different style. I recently met Andrea (@aslesinski) for the first time in person. When I introduced myself she said “Oh my God, opening doors! I feel like I know you!” I like being opening doors and getting that type of reaction.

I don’t like being @openinggntdoors because it is too long and makes it harder for people to re-tweet me. I also think it appears unprofessional to some people. I mean, I did come up with it in middle school. A lot of people just don’t understand it or wonder what it means.

What is your opinion on this topic, do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment. If you make a good enough argument and maybe I’ll be @hannahdemilta by the end of the week.

UPDATE: Well that was short lived. I lasted about 1.5 hrs. Give me a follow @HannahDeMilta


4 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. I didn’t get it at first. I remember going, “opening nt doors??”

    But, you make some great points and I think it will serve you well when you introduce yourself to people who know you through Twitter. I know I didn’t put two and two together at first.

    The other option is to legally change your name 🙂

  2. Mind you, this is a comment about the aesthetic quality of the names themselves, and should under no circumstances be mistaken for actual thinking:

    I think that you’ve got a situation where your chosen handle is cool, but your real name is, happily, even cooler.

    Doesn’t Hannah DeMilta sound like the name of a prominent person, though? And it’s no more likely to be misspelled than “openinggntdoors.”

    Case in point: in your own post you inadvertently transposed “openinggntdoors” into “openingGTNdoors” (emphasis mine). If you’re doing it then I guarantee you newbies to your little chunk of internet real estate are doing it.

    I don’t think you have to can Opening Giant Doors, it still sounds like a cool name, especially for a blog, etc. But I’d start attaching the name to everything you do and promoting that first.

  3. @Rachel – Yes, changing my legal name to match my Twitter handle would be much more effective – jk 😛

    @Will – Thank you for sharing and the nice feedback. I didn’t even notice that typo, too funny. I’d definitely like to use Opening Giant Doors for future projects. Until then I’m happy being Hannah DeMilta. I guess it is pretty cool…lol

  4. I have to admit, I did like the originality of @openinggntdoors …but like I recently tweeted, I had to look up your profile every time I wanted to mention you on twitter (for about the first two weeks or so) because I would inevitably leave out a letter and screw up. #fail

    Once you created http://www.hannahdemilta.com, changing your handle made sense so that all of your profiles would match.

    And Will, good call on the typo …I had to read that sentence a few times for it to make sense because I couldn’t figure out how GTN stood for giant.

    Geez, Hannah.

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