It’s been 11 years since I “became” redmonk, when I registered http://redmonk.net.
At the time “redmonk” had meaning to both Jodi and I, and it was the name of my first freelance business. For 11 years I’ve used redmonk as a chat name, domain, email address, irc handle, and username on seemingly countless websites.
Several years ago (7 now, OMG) I was contacted by James Governor, one of the partners in a relatively new IT consulting venture: RedMonk. James and I had a pleasant talk about the work he was doing, and he approached me about parting with the redmonk.net domain. I wasn’t at all interested in parting with it; ‘redmonk’ was a core part of my net identity.
So, every couple years, James pings me and we have a nice conversation, and I politely decline to give up the domain.
Over the last few years, I found myself using the redmonk moniker less and less. My blog has long been titled ‘monkinetic’, and I began using that as my username of choice. I recently moved the blog itself to http://monkinetic.com, and have been redirecting all redmonk.net traffic there.
So, a week or so ago, when James’ annual “hi there, how are you, would you be willing to part with redmonk.net” email came around, I was finally in a place where the idea didn’t seriously offend me. I talked it over some with Jodi, whose blog is still hosted on redmonk.net, and who has also had a real emotional investment in our domain, and for the first time we were kinda like “maybe?”
So James and I had a few emails, and we came to an agreement that works for all of us. RedMonk will get ownership of the redmonk.net domain, and James will (well, already has!) assume the @redmonk Twitter username.
It feels weird, bittersweet, and even a bit freeing to be letting go of this long-time part of my digital identity. Even apropos, as I work out what it means to be both a netizen and a family member; as Jodi and I have rented our house, are living with the girls in a studio apartment, and are trying to figure out what that means for our family.
There are lots of changes afoot for me and mine, and this one feels right.
Updated 2016-12-12: cleaning up