Do or Do Not.

My New Twitter Handle Is No Less Terrific

with 5 comments

Those of you who follow me on Twitter probably I noticed I changed my name there yesterday from @HMXMrTerrific to the simpler and easier-to-type @AllenHolt. I don’t want to alarm anyone with the change — sorry if I made you nervous, @MrPope — so I figured you deserved an explanation. (Yes, I’m going to manage to be wordy about something as relatively inconsequential as a Twitter handle.)

@AllenHoltFirst off, no, I am most definitely not leaving Harmonix. I love it here way way too much. I’m giving up the “HMX” tag in front of my name mainly because I don’t really do anything to represent Harmonix on my feed, so it doesn’t feel quite right to use it. I’m not exactly the face of the company, y’know? While I do indeed quite happily promote Harmonix whenever I can via Twitter (or anywhere else), it’s not explicitly part of my job. The people on our fantastic Community team, the ones who actually deal with the public as part of their day-to-day jobs and represent Harmonix at massive public events… they’re completely justified in prefixing their handles with “HMX.” And we have several other people who have become something like “faces of HMX” who also benefit the company by using the tag.

Honestly, though? I only had the “HMX” tag in there because I was showing off the fact that I work at Harmonix and wanted people to think I’m cool. I still want people to think I’m cool, of course, even if I’m really not — but now I want them to have that mistaken notion based on my own merits and not those of the awesome awesome company for which I work.

So why did I change it? Well, as mentioned above, “AllenHolt” is a helluva lot easier to type and spell (and even read) than “HMXMrTerrific.” More importantly, though: I want to build the “brand” of my name. And oh em gee, bee tee dubs, do I hate thinking of what I’ve done as “brand building” because that thought has the stink of synergistic revenue-enhacing marketing douchebaggery all over it… but, really, that’s exactly what I’m doing, so if the stinky shoe fits, I’ve gotta wear it.

Someday, probably in the not-that-far-off future, I’m going to want to do something where having my name established is going to be important. I’m not completely sure what just yet, but I wanted to put another stake in the virtual ground to say “Hey, this is me.” My full, real name was available on Twitter, so I wanted to take it now before some other Allen Holt decides to try to build his online brand with it.

I’ve always been loathe to self-promote because it’s always felt like Not Me. In fact, people who constantly pimp themselves have historically tended to rub me the wrong way (not in a personal way, just in an “ew” way). But I get it now. See, this is the thing: if I don’t promote myself, no one else is gonna. I can’t wait to be “discovered” like aspiring Hollywood starlets in the ’40s. It’s not anyone else’s job to tell people to read my stuff or to look at what I’m doing. If I want to build a name for myself, I have do A) do Cool Things and Good Work and B) tell people about it. A) must come before B) in this scenario, but there’s no reason I can’t get B) set up while I’m still developing A).

So that’s what I’m now working on. I’m still not doing enough Cool Things just yet, but I’m thinking and trying and planning, and Ideas are hovering about the hazy horizon in my brain. Basically, changing my Twitter handle was just an early step in a long and still vague plan for eventual World Domination. Or at least World, um, Networking and/or Self-Promotion. Nothing to be worried about!

(And hey! You should be following me on Twitter if you’re not already!)

Written by Allen

June 2nd, 2010 at 10:00 am

Posted in Web

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5 Responses to 'My New Twitter Handle Is No Less Terrific'

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  1. As a professional marketer, I'm doing the same thing. Personal branding is IT these days, especially for us creative types. What I still haven't figured out is whether and what kind of private presence (i.e., completely separate from my business and brand) I want to have on the 'net.

    Leah Bloom

    2 Jun 10 at 2:18 pm

  2. I totally get this. I struggled with this in 2005 when I was trying to figure out whether I wanted to set up a site for Me, for my Comic Publishing Label, for my art in general, etc. Building a brand around your name is just the way it works in the art world, so I don't see why it'd be a big deal. I like it better when you're You and not Mr. Harmonix.

    By the by, I ended up creating a catchall phrase that was not my name, but that encompasses all the stuff I do (website still being built). I personally decided that I didn't want to brand my name, because I'd like some anonymity. But I understand the pull 100%. It's easy to use the tag My Name to come to mean All The Things I Do– and easy for people to identify you as such.


    2 Jun 10 at 2:49 pm

  3. I'm not as worried about my private presence past, y'know, keeping it private. :) What I'm more concerned about is making sure I don't end up with is a constant stream of self-promotion without any of me in it, where I'm only using social networks for networking and not actually the social aspect. So far, it's not much of a worry, but, y'know, eternal vigilance and all that. :)

    Allen Holt

    2 Jun 10 at 6:44 pm

  4. It's easy to use the tag My Name to come to mean All The Things I Do– and easy for people to identify you as such.

    That's exactly it. And get a little concerned because I tend to try to do so much different stuff — what does the “Allen Holt brand” mean, really? I hope it means a certain amount of competence and eloquence, but the things I'm into are so varied I don't know how or if I even should focus it.

    Allen Holt

    2 Jun 10 at 6:46 pm

  5. I like it. I remember how confused I was when you first switched to HMX… Now I won't get your and Brian mixed up when I see updates sometimes. ;)


    4 Jun 10 at 12:56 am

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