So I have this google alert set up for my name.
Yeah okay, in another day and age it would likely be some kind of narcissistic self-stalker thing, but running a business, as I do now, knowing what shows up when potential partners or clients google me, knowing what, if anything, is being said about me or my company, these are all valuable bits of feedback to have. And the world is a big-ass place. The odds that my name is unique, or even that it will *remain* unique are small. Very very small.
Once upon a Time you used duplicates to show lineage. Thurston Howell the Third, King Henry the Eighth, using the same name over and over, generationally, kept a family name alive, added the new generations accomplishments to the former, built an empire.
Not so much nowadays. I’m wondering how this new, almost required presence in the virtual space, Individual names are power, getting your presence on the very top of the search lists is a valuable commodity. I am wondering if we are looking at a future where names will begin to get longer, maybe more specialized. Already the addition of a middle initial can make a difference in where your name appears, what about multiple names, more creative spellings? In China a few years ago there was a baby girl whose parents tried to have the @ symbol included in her name, simply because there were so many traditional names already overused (well that was the official explanation at any rate).
If you’ve tried to get a hotmail or flail or yahoo address recently, you already know how hard it is to find something that doesn’t require a half dozen numbers tagged onto the end, the same goes for online avatars like you have in City of Heroes or World of Warcraft.
In my love for dystopian scifi, I can see a future where names are territory, to be defended against encroachers against all costs, to be bought and sold like any other commodity.