Origin of rdschouw

Most platforms use email nowadays as your username. There are some notable exceptions like Twitter and Instagram. I like usernames better than email and real names for public personas. The idea you can craft your own identity and not necessarily use your own name, create a lot of opportunity. Finstas are a good example of that. Of course, it wouldn’t make much sense for transaction-based services like Amazon and that’s ok.

I always use rdschouw as my username. It’s always available anywhere even when the service grows beyond millions of users. I got this username through college back in 1993. At the time, I was majoring in computer science and it came with the obligatory system login to the computer science department computer network. They didn’t let you choose, the rule was the first letters of your given names and then filled up to 8 characters (max allowed for old unix systems) with your last name. I guess it would always lead to unique usernames and were easy to explain to people.

I typed that username so often that I don’t even think about it. I’m rdschouw online – whether it’s the Digital Ocean server running my website and other side projects or it’s online like Twitter or Instagram. For the last 25 years, I’ve been rdschouw and I’ll keep it for the rest of my life. It’s funny that such a random and not that important act has a tendency to live on.