It’s been over a month since I quit my “day job” over at Digital Entertainment News. The change was made for a myriad of reasons, none of which I’m going to get into now. I do have some related stuff to bring up out of the transition.
When I started Digital Entertainment News about 10 years ago, I had been working for a couple of different websites, but mostly one in the couple of years previously. I didn’t have much in the way of an online identity, an email address, and that was it. I joined Facebook in 2007 and Twitter just a couple of years ago.
Over the course of the next several years I started a Steam account for games, my username being Dignews. Every account that I used had some connection to the website. Essentially, my entire online presence was used to help promote the website. My identity online and the website were not only intertwined, but essentially one and the same.
And then I quit.
Now I am in the process of redirecting almost my entire online identity, not just from being the guy behind one website to another, but taking the professional me out of the equation and making things more personal.
Even just a few months ago, when I purchased tickets to take two of my kids to see the upcoming live production of The Music Man, I used my “work” email because everything I did was an extension of the website. Part of what I have done over the last month is go through my various email subscriptions and gotten them changed to my new personal email address, or cancelled them. Everything, work related or personal, as there was no separation between the two.
Because I’ve been so closely identified with Digital Entertainment News as a person and online entity, it has been difficult to get some of the professional email contacts to switch. There are a number of press related contacts that I have notified about the switch, and they still email to my old account.
In addition to actually emailing people about the situation and to use my new email, my old “work” email has an auto-replay directing them to use the new email. Still some people continue to send their emails to the old address.
I run the risk of the same thing happening again in 10 years, I’m sure. Thing is, this is a personal blog, and the email associated with it is personal. If this venture ever turns into an actual business, I’ll establish a new business email for it.
What I want to convey is this, changing your online identity is difficult. Don’t get yourself so closely identified with your work persona that you get lost in the process. When the time comes, and it will, for you to move on, not only will you have a difficult time, but others will too.