Meetup Protocol January 24, 2007 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Meetup protocol: do you reveal your username, real name, or both? Is there an expectation as far as this?
posted by clgregor to MetaFilter Gatherings at 10:22 AM (102 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Only over breakfast.
posted by R. Mutt at 10:25 AM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you're Alan, you reveal your made up name and pretend not to know what 'a metafilter' is.

Goddam Alan.
posted by cortex at 10:29 AM on January 24, 2007


What's an "Alan"?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:31 AM on January 24, 2007


Yes, it is expected that you come to a meetup and reveal both your username and "real" name i.e. "Hi, I'm Kate- ThePinkSuperhero".
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:31 AM on January 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


My experience, from various meetings of net communities, is it's courteous to introduce yourself by your username, volunteer your real name and expect to be referred to both ways. Particularly if there are others at the meetup you also know in RL, or who you would like to meet in other contexts for business or personal reasons.

After all, people who know you online know you primarily by your handle, and possibly only by your handle. Face to face, many (me included) prefer talking to a real person with a real, given name.
posted by ardgedee at 10:33 AM on January 24, 2007


and if you have the handle, your real name, a stage name, a pseudonym and a nickname, you can bring some literature that explains the anecdotes behind all of them, so that you don't monopolize the conversation on your names.
posted by micayetoca at 10:35 AM on January 24, 2007


What's an "Alan"?

Twenty dollars, same as in town.

Too slow, cortex.
posted by mullacc at 10:37 AM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's called restraint, man.

And it's bucks, not dollars.

posted by cortex at 10:43 AM on January 24, 2007


Goddamn alan.
posted by cmonkey at 10:48 AM on January 24, 2007


While we're on username-related meetup etiquette, can someone explain the history/rationale for writing a bunch of usernames on a piece of paper, taking pictures of them, and calling them "shout-outs?"
posted by Partial Law at 10:50 AM on January 24, 2007


What ardgedee said. I don't really see the point of going to a meetup if you're not going to tell people who you are.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:50 AM on January 24, 2007


My problem is deciding which username to say, so I usually start out with "dano" and then add "you may know me from such puppet accounts as ...".
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 10:55 AM on January 24, 2007


And it's bucks, not dollars.

Fuck. Well, that ruined today.

posted by mullacc at 11:00 AM on January 24, 2007


It's expected that you reveal a "real" name. I know a couple of people who use normal name pseudonymes.

There's a general culture in blogging communities of being completely open about information regarding ones real life identity. You see people with their full name, place of work, phone number etc. blithly listed in their contact pages, men especially tend to be rather unafraid of sharing everything with the world. (Compare the number of men who have their full name as their username here to the number of women who the same. I can't recall one.)

Anyway, it's expected that you provide some sort of first name (along with identifying your actual screenname of course, we've had drama on that issue before) but it's entirely fine to not want to reveal your full name.
posted by hugsnkisses at 11:01 AM on January 24, 2007




Much thanks, h&k, I foolishly assumed that the results of my Metatalk search for "shout-outs" were all just threads containing the same.
posted by Partial Law at 11:09 AM on January 24, 2007


It's creepy to be called by your user name in real life.
posted by ColdChef at 11:12 AM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Of course, you can't mention shout-outs without mentioning THE GREATEST SHOUT-OUT OF ALL TIMES!
posted by ColdChef at 11:15 AM on January 24, 2007


(no offense to jonmc's drippy shout-out to me from a dirty bathroom stall...or from between dana's knees)

I will not show these photos.
posted by ColdChef at 11:16 AM on January 24, 2007


It's creepy to be called by your user name in real life.

No kidding. I get it all the time. Creeps me out. How do these people know my username?
posted by scottreynen at 11:19 AM on January 24, 2007


My Metafilter username is my real name. That other name is just my "Mr. Anderson".
posted by ND¢ at 11:19 AM on January 24, 2007


Proper meet-up etiquette: Never, under any circumstance, shake hands with DrrtySanchez. And always wash after taking an Alan.
posted by hal9k at 11:19 AM on January 24, 2007


Oh, and yhbc once carried a sign with my username on it in a parade and then sent me a picture of the event. It was both lovely and disturbing.

Mostly disturbing.
posted by ColdChef at 11:19 AM on January 24, 2007


It's creepy to be called by your user name in real life.

Eh. I get called "cortex" and "cort" a fair bit, depending on the context, and I don't find it troublesome. But it is a handle I've used in my circle of friends since 2001—since we talk online every day, the association is natural and acceptable.

Also, I still call cmonkey "cmonkey" much of the time without thinking.
posted by cortex at 11:24 AM on January 24, 2007


It works both ways - the two times I met mr_crash_davis, I found it creepy to call him anything other than "crash".

Of course, that may have just been because I've never met anyone really named "Poindexter", and had to keep stifling the giggles.
posted by yhbc at 11:28 AM on January 24, 2007


Vacapinta is my real name.

(Actually one of my middle names but some people do call me that in real life. That, or my first name - Ricardo - is fine.)
posted by vacapinta at 11:28 AM on January 24, 2007


You can just call me taz... all you people who come to northern Greece for our many energetic and insanely fun meetups that go on for days and days, usually culminating in drug-fueled sex orgies.

I'd tell you my real name, but then I'd have to kill you. And eat you.

Okay, not really. None of that was true, except that lots of real life people call me taz instead of Teresa, so you can, too.
posted by taz at 11:34 AM on January 24, 2007


On a related note: Are we "friends" or what?
posted by ColdChef at 11:34 AM on January 24, 2007


Vacapinta is my real name.

You can consider yourself luckier than Cabeza de Vaca.
posted by micayetoca at 11:40 AM on January 24, 2007


I've been to one meetup, where exactly 2 mefites showed up, significant others in tow. We all used our real names, and indicated what our usernames were. Wouldn't it be awkward to use usernames? How in the heck do you pronounce "yhbc" anyway? By letter or as one word?
posted by muddgirl at 12:01 PM on January 24, 2007


My friends call me Shooter. I guess I have a handle in real life and a real name on-line.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:01 PM on January 24, 2007


muddgirl, those of us with unpronouncable usernames get super-deluxe extra nicknames just for use at meetups, meaning MeFi people are welcome to call me "commish" in person, just like the people who really know me by that nickname do.

And, ColdChef - fine, no more parade shout-outs for you! (ungrateful bastard!)
posted by yhbc at 12:07 PM on January 24, 2007


I've always thought of "yhbc" as "why-bic". And I think it stands for "your half brother in christ" since there was a perlmonk with the handle "ybic".
posted by boo_radley at 12:07 PM on January 24, 2007


Surely it's "YIIHB-kuh".
posted by cortex at 12:12 PM on January 24, 2007


Me: Hi, I'm Logan.
Fellow meetupizen: *blank, unrecognizing look*
Me: Er, Plutor.
Fellow meetupizen: *blank look* *shrug*
posted by Plutor at 12:14 PM on January 24, 2007


My real name is in my profile. If someone addressed me as "terrapin" at a meetup I probably wouldn't even realise they were speaking to me. Heck, my wife has to use our last name to get my attention in public places because even my first name doesn't always register :)
posted by terrapin at 12:17 PM on January 24, 2007


Let them call you by your real name. Never kiss on the lips.
posted by kosem at 12:29 PM on January 24, 2007


People call me both and I introduce myself by both, though it does feel a little silly. You can also call me "sweetcheeks."
posted by dame at 12:46 PM on January 24, 2007


muddgirl writes "How in the heck do you pronounce 'yhbc' anyway? By letter or as one word?"

yuhbuck.

kosem writes "Let them call you by your real name. Never kiss on the lips."

I never get kissed at meetups :(
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:49 PM on January 24, 2007


Introduce yourself as the guy who wrote Metafilthy, and all will be fine.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:57 PM on January 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


You can also call me "sweetcheeks."

You ain't kidding.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 1:13 PM on January 24, 2007


ThePinkSuperhero: Yes, it is expected that you come to a meetup and reveal both your username and "real" name i.e. "Hi, I'm Kate- ThePinkSuperhero".

Or, if you prefer, you can pick the username of a user you don't like, claim to be him/her, then act like a total douche.
posted by Gamblor at 1:22 PM on January 24, 2007


I knew there was something weird about "Gamblor".
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:31 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well shit, if I knew one day I was going to wind up walking around a restaraunt with a sign around my neck that has my screen name on it I would have probably gone with something more like, Macky Bukkake, Poot Poot McGoot or Jo Jo Lickeeballs.
posted by The Straightener at 1:34 PM on January 24, 2007


I go by a fake name most of the time in real life, so when I went to a meetup I got to give two fake names.

By the by, anyone ever had their fake name yelled out during sex? It's only happened once but it was so weird/hilarious/awesome.
posted by elr at 1:36 PM on January 24, 2007


You didn't yell out your own fake name, did you? Because that would be weird/hilarious/awesome.
posted by Gamblor at 1:50 PM on January 24, 2007


My MetaFilter name is also my primary stage name. People call me Floydd all the time, but only my groupies yell it out during sex.
Or so I've been told.
posted by Floydd at 1:56 PM on January 24, 2007


Probably. It sounded so much fun when she said it, I'm sure I took it for a spin. Those were confusing times.
posted by elr at 2:00 PM on January 24, 2007


hugsnkisses writes "(Compare the number of men who have their full name as their username here to the number of women who the same. I can't recall one.)"

What, hugsnkisses isn't your real name?

ColdChef writes "It's creepy to be called by your user name in real life."

I don't find it weird but that may be because I've been using this handle for ever. And when I say forever I mean it was one of my CB handles. Ya, that long. On the other hand it is kind of weird to be called by your pen and paper roleplaying Character's name.
posted by Mitheral at 2:13 PM on January 24, 2007


...but only my groupies yell it out during sex.
Or so I've been told.


good one.
posted by micayetoca at 2:18 PM on January 24, 2007


Why look to obviate your own internal guidance system?
posted by Burhanistan at 2:20 PM on January 24, 2007


My username is my real name. I generally find that most people give their real names at meetups although I wouldn't be offended if they didn't. I can understand why it's different for women, though.

As far as posting contact details on the web goes, it's worth noting that Philip Greenspun (hardly a celebrity, but well-known in some circles) has had his cellphone number clearly displayed on his highly-trafficked website for apparently 20 years. In that time, I don't believe he's had more than one or two crank calls, but he has had many very useful calls.
posted by adrianhon at 2:37 PM on January 24, 2007


With a net.monicker like "davy" I wonder how long it would take people to guess what my mother named me?

And Kate and "Floydd", do people ever get you confused? And if during sex somebody yells "Pink! Pink!" how should we interpret it?

Any by the way, about "people who come to northern Greece for our many energetic and insanely fun meetups that go on for days and days, usually culminating in drug-fueled sex orgies," I'm now accepting donations toward a plane ticket. Unless people want to have a meetup like that here in Louisville, KY (or anywhere within say 100 miles or so).
posted by davy at 2:41 PM on January 24, 2007


Maybe I'm just rude, but I find that I usually don't end up actually needing to use anyone's names, real or otherwise, at meet-ups, once we're past the initial introductions.
posted by chrismear at 2:41 PM on January 24, 2007


I haven't made it to any Mefi meetups (yet), but with other on line group gatherings, I offer my screen name first, because the only people on the planet that don't call me that are my mother and my husband. Then I tell them my birth name and warn them I might be slow to respond to it since I hardly ever hear it. Though my screen name has been my nickname for ages, so it's probably different for other people.

Though many people do feel the need to mangle "orb" into "orbie" which I find somewhat annoying.
posted by Orb at 2:49 PM on January 24, 2007


names are optional, revealing your genitalia is a requirement.
posted by quonsar at 2:51 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Just ask the folks at the New York meetup I attended how they got all them pretty Mardi Gras beads...
posted by ColdChef at 3:02 PM on January 24, 2007


I wouldn't mind if people started calling me Sounds all the time. A cool sounding nick name and it'd probaby be a great ice breaker at parties!

- Hey, I'd like you to meet my friend Sounds!
- Oh, hi! "Sounds"? Are you like that guy from Police Academy or something?
- Nah, it's my internet name. Or sort of. See...
- Oh, look at the time!

(later)

- Hey, this is my main man Sounds!
- A pleasure. "Sounds"? As in a record producer or a studio engineer?
- No, I go by that name over at MetaFilter!
- Right.

MAN, that would be AWESOME!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:04 PM on January 24, 2007


"the two times I met mr_crash_davis, I found it creepy to call him anything other than "crash"."

Which is cool with me, as I've used that name long enough I ought to put it on my checks.

"Of course, that may have just been because I've never met anyone really named 'Poindexter', and had to keep stifling the giggles."

I would expect just such slander from an ambulance chaser.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:09 PM on January 24, 2007


I have a terrible memory for usernames - I'm better with faces, although with the added booze, things can get a little hazey. I'm with chrismear (ewww, not like that) - once the initial intros are out of the way, it's not really an issue.
posted by TheDonF at 3:09 PM on January 24, 2007


People call me Floydd all the time

Is it pronounced "Floyth"? Because I read it as welsh.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:13 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Half my user name is half my real name.
posted by Robert Angelo at 3:14 PM on January 24, 2007


And it's funny, I would never think to respond to any variant of "Mayor Curley" when it's spoken, but I sometimes see online news articles referring to "the mayor" and I have to remind myself that it's not about me.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:15 PM on January 24, 2007


Hi. I'm Brittanie. But you might know me by my MetaFliter screename, Brittanie.
posted by Brittanie at 3:25 PM on January 24, 2007


In all seriousness, though, I keep a hotel desk bell strapped to my head in lieu of an actual name. If you aren't close enough to ring it and have to ask me what my name is I'll ring it for you but it's up to you to say it back to me after that.
posted by The Straightener at 3:44 PM on January 24, 2007


"names are optional, revealing your genitalia is a requirement."

That sounds like a bad way to find out nobody wants to know about my genitalia either.
posted by davy at 3:59 PM on January 24, 2007


I think it's actually kind of cool when people call me bingo in person.

Some girl came to a NY meetup about a year ago and gave her real name, but refused to give her mefi name. I thought that was rude and also pretty ridiculous. In response to my annoyed look, she said "So I'm paranoid!" which didn't make any sense either.
posted by bingo at 3:59 PM on January 24, 2007


I have some variation of my handle on my high school class ring, my Tiffany charm bracelet, my license plate. My friends and coworkers call me Gucky, including some clients.

There's a world full of Amandas. Why would I want anyone to call me that?

Also, the fake names at meetups? I've been going to sub parties since I was in junior high and I've never thought of it. And there's been plenty where I was the only girl on that board.
posted by Gucky at 4:20 PM on January 24, 2007


There's a world full of Amandas. Why would I want anyone to call me that?

*cries*
posted by biscotti at 4:56 PM on January 24, 2007


*also cries*

There is a world full of Amandas, though.
posted by amro at 4:58 PM on January 24, 2007


Philip Greenspun (hardly a celebrity, but well-known in some circles) has had his cellphone number clearly displayed on his highly-trafficked website for apparently 20 years. In that time, I don't believe he's had more than one or two crank calls, but he has had many very useful calls.

I've also had my home/mailing address and phone number on my website for a decade. I got the time machine guy calling me once but other than that, it's been mostly good stuff. I also have gotten a lot of fun mail. I have had people asking me what my real name was and were a little surprised that this was it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:00 PM on January 24, 2007


Though many people do feel the need to mangle "orb" into "orbie" which I find somewhat annoying.

At least they don't try to seal you up in saran wrap.
posted by cortex at 5:08 PM on January 24, 2007


... "So I'm paranoid!" which didn't make any sense either.

That's when you say: "Nice to meet you, paranoid. I'm bingo."
posted by oneirodynia at 5:09 PM on January 24, 2007


Philip Greenspun

I don't list this stuff on my blog, but it's there in whois reg information. I occasionally see a little spam fallout—mostly small-biz advertising for "Hear Lorraine", a wacky misspelling of a defunct band—but not nearly what I'd imagine might come of a dedicated whois churner.
posted by cortex at 5:10 PM on January 24, 2007


Woah, how did I get pulled into this?

Also, this is why you pick handles that look legit enough, so as to confuse hugsnkisses.
posted by allen.spaulding at 5:22 PM on January 24, 2007


At one meetup, I kept calling fishfucker by his username-- only because it's fun to be at a blackjack table calling the dude next to you "fishfucker."
posted by eyeballkid at 5:41 PM on January 24, 2007


i too had my phone number, address and a map to my apartment for a number of years on my website. nobody ever called, stopped by or lobbed a bomb.
posted by quonsar at 5:52 PM on January 24, 2007


At least they don't try to seal you up in saran wrap.

But ... that could be fun. Maybe. So long as they leave me a breathing hole (or two).
posted by Orb at 6:07 PM on January 24, 2007


i too had my phone number, address and a map to my apartment for a number of years on my website. nobody ever called, stopped by or lobbed a bomb.

That's because the phone and address you listed was my grandmother's place, you unforgiveable churl!

After we rebuilt the house for the seventh time we just moved away and left the smoking crater. There just wasn't any point.
posted by loquacious at 6:11 PM on January 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


By the by, anyone ever had their fake name yelled out during sex?

Not during, but afterwards, all the time!
posted by Wet Spot at 6:51 PM on January 24, 2007


I've also had my home/mailing address and phone number on my website for a decade.

... maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon.
And for the rest of your life.

If too creepy, please delete. If endearingly wacky, [Mouths 'call me', does the hang ten/mimed phone gesture].
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:36 PM on January 24, 2007


I really like it when people on MeFi call me "trip". It's a trip!

I think I'll start introducing myself to people as "trip".

trip trip trip trip trip trip trip... word's lost all meaning...
posted by trip and a half at 7:49 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


There are some people I think of and refer to as their alias, and despite becoming good friends in real life, I can't seem to change this. Some people just embody their usernames so fluidly.

I don't know why but in my social universe I'm typically known by my real first name + my most prominent alias (vs. my last name.) In fact most people think my alias is my last name, for some reason. It's even been published in the newspaper as such and some people I've known for several years have been very surprised when I debunk the myth.
posted by loiseau at 7:57 PM on January 24, 2007


My name ain't Baby, it's Sour...Mr. Wookie if you're nasty.
posted by sourwookie at 8:05 PM on January 24, 2007


"LET THE WOOKIE WIN!!! LET THE WOOKIE WIIIIIIINNNNNNNNN!!!"

*Roars, rolls over, falls asleep*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:28 PM on January 24, 2007


I use the time I'd normally spend on identity confusion to watch reality TV.
posted by eamondaly at 8:51 PM on January 24, 2007


As for my real name, never liked it. Actually preferred Wendell after a family joke got out that my father was one gin-and-tonic on the night I was born to name me that. My father continues to regret that; I don't. The only people who call me XXXXX either are related or they got it from ID cards or official documents. Fine with me. Call me Wendell, but if you want to be formal, call me Ishmael. The last name is for real; if I'd ever changed it, it would've been to put an "h" after the "W" because everybody misspells it that way anyway. (Besides "Whittler" is British in origin while "Wittler" is German, and I've been to Britain abd don't want to go to Germany) Now, what were you people talking about? (...which is something I've said at least twice at every meetup I've attended)
posted by wendell at 8:55 PM on January 24, 2007


After years of using a username online I realized that it didn't matter so much to me, so when I can I snag the "Derek" user name, or modify it to WritingDerek.

The one chance I got to go to the NYC meetup there seemed to be more people with real name usernames then anything else, Dorian and JonMC are the two that I remember clearly, and I think I just kept calling amberglow by his username.
posted by Derek at 9:38 PM on January 24, 2007


I just whipped my cock out and everyone knew it was me.
posted by klangklangston at 10:49 PM on January 24, 2007


MetaFilter: Everyone knew it was me.
posted by Duncan at 10:58 PM on January 24, 2007


"And it's bucks, not dollars."

Saying "dollars" in the punchline makes me think a Canadian is delivering it in a particularly thick mid-plains accent.
posted by klangklangston at 11:00 PM on January 24, 2007


I collect nicknames. Anyone on meeting me has a new nickname for me, or picks up a variation on one of the nicknames that have been following me since birth and thinks they're the first one to use it. Call me my name or any variation on it, I'll probably respond... eventually. I'm not always paying attention. (Though sometimes the nicknames don't even make any sense. My boss calls me "Smiley.")

I may not respond favorably. That's not guaranteed. There's one rather simple variation on my name that only my mother is allowed to call me.

You could probably call me by my username, though it would definitely take me a minute or two to realize you were talking to me. Of course, since that's true anyway, it doesn't make any difference at all.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:12 PM on January 24, 2007


The funny thing is, the name I go by in real life is also not my "real" name.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:11 AM on January 25, 2007


It's creepy to be called by your user name in real life.

Entirely true, which is why I answer only to "sugartits" at meetups.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:58 AM on January 25, 2007


I just whipped my cock out and everyone knew it was me.
posted by klangklangston


Dude, get a name tag.

And some penicillin.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:07 AM on January 25, 2007


People often think my real last name is Yeti. I chuckle. Some generous people even like to call me Dr. Yeti. I don't object.
posted by yeti at 8:31 AM on January 25, 2007


Is it pronounced "Floyth"? Because I read it as welsh.
Actually it's Friulian, and sounds just like it's spelled.
posted by Floydd at 9:27 AM on January 25, 2007


I introduce myself with both names, and people use both. I also get "Swannie".

I've always used just the one user name on the net, but now that I have my own blog and want to promote it I'm beginning to wish I had two internet aliases - the Orange Swan for public stuff, and another for more private, sensitive stuff.
posted by orange swan at 9:47 AM on January 25, 2007


I can't ever go to a meetup, because if I did, some poor bastard would inevitably forget to pronounce the apostrophe, and bloodstains are a bitch to get out of satin pajamas.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:14 AM on January 25, 2007


My user name is unpronounceable. Hint: it's monosyllabic.
posted by mds35 at 12:36 PM on January 25, 2007


MAH-no-suh-LA-bick. Unpronouncable my ass.
posted by cortex at 12:47 PM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've got a friend who was the third or fourth 'Jason' in our group, and I started calling him Jason-(his aim username) and now when I think of him, that's pretty much his name for me.

This has also happened with my friend Joey, who's JoeyBigtimes forever now.

Me, not so much. I used to have nicknames in highschool, but now everyone calls me by my real name, except the animals in animal crossing, who call me M-monkey now.
posted by nile_red at 8:03 PM on January 25, 2007


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