I’ve been kicking around the possibility of renaming my blog. Stupid Evil Bastard isn’t its first name, originally it was called Wandering Randomly Amongst The Blogs which, in retrospect, is kinda stupid. It became SEB on April 14, 2002 and has served us well ever since. There are two reasons I’ve been debating a name change:
First, and this could just be me, but I think I’ve mellowed out a bit since I first started blogging and my rants aren’t quite as ranty as they once were. The words “Stupid Evil Bastard” tend to put a certain angry-blogger expectation into people’s heads when they arrive for the first time and I’m not sure I’m living up to that image anymore. I’m really not all that stupid or evil for that matter, though I suppose some would say the bastard label fits fairly well.
Second, it could actually impact the reputation of an old friend of mine. I’ve only mentioned his name a couple of times over the years, and I won’t repeat it here because it’d bring SEB up in hits on Google for his name, but you can see them in the links I provided. One is in the main entry itself and the second one is in the comments where I posted pics in an attempt to prove how geeky I looked as a young man. That old friend of mine has gone on to work for a number of big charitable organizations over the years and is now one of the VPs for the Knight Foundation. Needless to say, reputation is everything when you hold the sort of job he holds so when you do a Google search for his name and one of the links that comes up contains the words “Stupid Evil Bastard” in it, well, you can imagine how there are some folks out there that could misconstrue things. At the moment SEB is link number 52 in a Google search which makes it high enough that a lot of folks will still see it. I’ve known this guy since Kindergarten and while we had a bit of a falling out shortly after he got out of college, we’ve recently been getting caught up with each other. I still consider him a very dear friend and it’s certainly the oldest of the friendships I still have. I’d love to talk about him more, but I don’t because I know it would show up in Google eventually.
When it was just my own reputation that might take a hit from the name it wasn’t a big deal, though I’m sure it’s probably played a part in how long it took me to land jobs after being laid off. Still the only person I thought I was harming with it was myself and that was the price I pay for being me. Now I find myself wondering if there’s any other friends I’ve written about over the years who have been inconvenienced by having SEB show up in search results for their name on Google. I know there’s plenty of people I’ve ranted about that weren’t happy to have SEB show up in Google searches for them.
The whole situation is somewhat reminiscent of my realization that I probably should have used a pseudonym from the beginning had it occurred to me that it would become so popular so as to protect my own rep on Google searches when I was laid off. So I’m left feeling a little torn about a name that I have a bit of a fondness for, but which may not be the best choice out of the ones I was considering. Though I have to admit that the other name I was considering—Young Militant Santas For A Better Tomorrow—arguably wasn’t much better. If I stick with SEB I’ll probably go through the couple of old entries and edit out my friend’s name (and pic in one case) in hopes that Google will eventually drop SEB from his Google searches and I’ll be a lot more self-conscious about names of friends and family members I use in blog entries. If I change the name it’ll still take awhile for some of the old entries to drop from Google searches, but the problem should work itself out over time, but there’s the problem of what the hell do I switch the name to? Nothing I’ve come up with so far has tickled my fancy all that much so that’s a problem in its own right. Of course the third option would be to scrap the whole thing as it currently stands and start over from a new beginning with an empty archive and a new name. A fourth option would be to pack it in and drop blogging altogether, but I’m not sure I’m at that point yet. While I think I’m not blogging up to past standards I still think I have enough to say to keep going at this for awhile.
I figured I’d air these thoughts and see what you guys think. I’ve known several people who have changed their blog’s name and even started over from scratch and are as popular today as they ever were. Have any of you other bloggers entertained similar thoughts? What did you decide to do and why? And if I were to change the name, what do you think would be a fitting one?