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I recently pondered moving away from the alias that I’ve used for the past decade or so, “Mr. Slayer,” in an effort to improve the professionalism and perception of my online presence. I began with brainstorming, as I always do, and that looks like this:
agahnim, anubus, program, programmer, beamos, jens jeffkin, mr. slayer, slayer, binary, bit, digit, yopta, cloud, ganon, ganondorf drag mire, golden, nomad, thrash, crash, throttle, digit, fidget, jiff, jefffff, JaaJ (SaaS), lord, giga, link, triforce, legacy, inter, internal, true or false, true nor false, jefflet (applet), jeffy, jeffie, internet, net, fictional, fake, pseudo, pseudojeff, sudo, sudojeff, presence, energy, techno, yerffej, right click, left, lefy, slashdot, ampersand, definitude, Reign In Code, Raining Code, dollar underscore, $_, another jeff, the other jeff, socio, compressed, archive, aggregate, runtime, alien, 01101010 “J in binary”, 10566 “J = 10, E = 5, F = 6”, perma, permajeff, being, aura, profile, jeff://, proto, quantum, query, tor, jeff i/o, click, double, reboot, jedoublef, refresh, clone, alias, duple, alter ego, alternate alterjeff, c dos run, function jeff(), anti alias, doppelgänger, ghost, bio, bionic, cached out, clone, jeph, jaeff, betajeff, created by jeff, by jeff, mega, meta, meta-jeff, mega-jeff, jeffware, myware, jeff source, multi-jeff, nonbreaking non-breaking, net head, net jeff, net, jeffnet, internaut, open (open source), parallel, solitude, solidarity, solidus, cyber, dark, dark jeff, shadow, glitch, linkrot, null constant, dongle, dot-jeff, dotjeff, jffjnkns, kludge, kluge, connected, iJeff, ejeff, error, macro, everjeff, genius, ghost, bits and bytes, vectim, dog byte, bot, jeffbot, overload, define( ‘jeff’ ); “definejeff, permabot, while 1 = 1, do while, chum, online, antijeff, you are well (URL), jefftrix, 0x4a (hex j), general jeff, core j-core, chipset, chipster, mainframe, brainframe, shifted J, dodongle (dodongo dongle), jpeg, hexecute, hexecutioner, anti-jeff, alter ego, mirror self, jeffuri (jeff URI, jeff-er-y), binary, ascii, virtual, soul, evil twin, carbon copy, copy, genuine, titan, mechabyte, jefficate, constructor, destructor, cerberus, cronos, bowser, browser, yerffej, ffej, sniknej, kronos, level, low level, world 1-1, jeff anchor, automagically, autojeff, illuminull, illuminate, illumin8, oblivion, leonardo, michaelangelo, donatello, rapheal, tokka, rahzar, slash, scrag, general traag, neutrino, skaarg, Hephaestus, vulcan, real, anonymous, stream, anon, incognito, glitch, quasi, replica, fellow, glitch, glitch, hello jeff, vulgar fraction, prime, obelisk, jjeeff, jjeff, jefferential, effervescence, obverse, tall caps (tall, all caps, baseball caps), simulated, poltergeist, specter, x, wired, worldwide jeff, J2 Cache, forged, identity, eidetic, unohu, mirror, program, Standards only, Specs spex, Dbl strand, Helix, Null, Jeffro null (jethro tull), Get, Post, Undernet, Essence, Packet, Internetwork, JeffML, amperslash, Infra, wajeff, idiomorph, scripticus, Neuron, Neuro nero, J, Ever Jeff, meta-jeff, Jay, Jjenkins, Jeffnet, JJ, J squared, J^2, Jerkins, Jeffkins, Jef, Outer net, Innernet, Dougou “dogo”, One of many, One of one, 1 of 1, Cloud, neutronymous, inexecutable, First name Jeff, Jefrey, Jeffry, Just Jeff, Jeffro, Djeff (djent), xonxea, xeaux, <Jeff/>, Tag element, Jeff tag, ultimate, multimate, incomplete, initialize initial eyes, darketype (dark archetype), Open close Jeff, Plugin, plugged in, Gautr, All Jeff, Suboptimal, Truncat, Wotan, Jj styles, Eterna Jeff, Alt Jeff, Surfcon (cerf kahn), Gateway, Jargon, User Jeff, Star star star (***), Gijin, Jikki, Jcode, Jo je ji ja ju jy, Jefjen, Jeffjenk, Jenks, Bondus Jenkins, Press start, Press space, parallel jeff, Jeffdotcom.com, Interjeff, Start, Jeff script, Born again, Coin, 1 up, 2.0, Version, Reset, Left Jeff, Mcjeff, Jeff mcneff, Unijeff, One Jeff, Cancel, Rebirth, half closed, Absolute Null, ordinull, Recreate, Creation, Birth, Double J, 2J, 1.21 gigabytes, browler, growser, JTML, comment komment, /* (slash star), dithered / undithered, doctype html, doctype jeff, jenkins font family, nested jeff, JJML, uniformal, valid invalid, how jeff works, sans-jeff, conspirate (conspiracy pirate), whissywig wysiwyg, organized bits, ethernet, jeffabyte, multiname, node, noder, rgb, red green blue, uniformat, glitchcore, codename, terminull, quantastical, infinite, infinity, null, nothing, fixed width, monospace, thraarg, thrargg, thro, thru, thru, qwertius (curteous), jeffography, jeffigraphy, sqwerted, nethernet, unqueue, clusterfist, userguise, digiguise, interguise, bitguise, disguise, uniguise,permaguise, nomenclave, code or decode, self identified, jeffaji,
I would just jot down throughout the day any terminology that reflects my personality and interests. Sometimes I would look a term up in a dictionary, thesaurus, or Wikipedia and that would lead to more interesting words and prefixes. Seemingly, every domain name based on a dictionary term is already taken, but I was thinking I could take something and spell it alternatively, like Jeph instead of Jeff, or combine terms like anti and alter ego to create a new one, anti-ego.
The goal is to come up with something that isn’t likely to be used across the various online services that require usernames and has an available domain name. First, I would search GoDaddy to see if the domain name was available. I’m always surprised at what is isn’t available. For instance, 01101010.com — the letter J in binary — is already taken. Since no active website is running when I visit that URL in a web browser, I can only assume that whomever purchased it is likely a squatter, buying interesting domain names in hopes to resell them at a premium.
Some domain names were available, like jffjnkns.com, which is my name Jeff Jenkins, but without any vowels. I’d process that and try to envision what that name would look like as a brand, or type it in my address bar to see how it “feels.” Ultimately, that one and a few others just didn’t cut it for me. It didn’t feel right, so I’d cycle through this process of brainstorming, checking, and envisioning until I narrowed them down to the bolded text you see above.
I figured the service would not be 100% accurate, but it at least provides a simple tool for quickly seeing the availability, even though it did have some reporting issues where a service was claimed to be unavailable, but it actually was (and vice versa).
I narrowed it down to just a few names using the NameChk tool and, again, sat on them for a few days to ponder the implications of choosing such a name for the foreseeable future. I imagine this is what it feels like to change your name in real life, but with even more significance. My ultimate decision was Quantastical, obviously.
When I was brainstorming names, I went so far as to ask linguistics experts on the elegance and flow of syllables that create words. I considered inventing my own word, one that feels and flows as if it is a technological term since that would relate most to my personality. The word Quantastical, though, was not invented by me. One of my favorite musical artists, Meshuggah, did a cover of a ambient techno song called “Quantastical Quantasm” by Quant of Swedish recording label DOT and released it on their The True Human Design E.P.
The root of Quantastical, quant, is defined as:
an expert at analyzing and managing quantitative data
It originates as a shortened form of quantitative analyst, or in other words, a person who excels in statistics and numbers. The suffix, -tastic, stems from the word fantastic which, in urban slang is sometimes added to other root words as a form of praise or celebration, such as funtastic. It’s sometimes used sarcastically, like in craptastic.
Unfortunately, quantastic was not as widely available as quantastical, but I liked being able to say a single, somewhat short (4-syllable) word, so I felt it was the most suitable choice to represent myself. It has enough hidden meaning, a good harmony, and starts with an uncommon character, which represents my somewhat rebellious personality. As an added bonus, all of the search results for quantastical were related to the Meshuggah cover song, so it shouldn’t be difficult to quickly move up the rankings with properly curated content.