Weeks after Archer was born I decided to outline and pitch a column to some online magazines. I brainstormed clever titles and came up with "Childbearing Hipster" which I then proceeded to pitch around. It was rejected aproximately 289183 times so I closed my old blog (pointytoeshoefactory dot com: Prove your pointy) and started a new blog, naming it aptly Childbearing Hipster.
I didn't even think to google Childbearing Hipster at the time. I just went to Blogger, saw that Childbearing Hipster was available and started a blog. Voila!
Of course, it took me all of one week to find out there was another Childbearing Hipster in the blogiverse. I was mortified and felt like a fraud. A thief. Not to mention the fact that I was new to the world of mom-bloggers, which at the time was a much smaller neighborhood.
I promptly changed my name. I came up with several possibilities before choosing and googling the shit out of Girl's Gone Child to make sure I wouldn't make the same mistake. Nothing came up, thankfully and so: (This) Girl's Gone Child was born. My tagline: "welcome to the new-improved titty-flashing all-nighter."
I had an identity all my own. People would come to know me online not as Rebecca Woolf, but "GGC," and I liked it better that way. I had created for myself, a sort of second-skin.
It's pretty obvious to anyone who has been blogging long-term how drastically the blogosphere has changed in the last several years. Next month marks my sixth year blogging and, just, wow! Wow! A small town in cyberspace has become a megalopolis. Of course, as it so happens with a growing population, ideas stale. No one is original anymore. Myself included.
Enter, my paradox.
I have to assume that in the case of the new GGC girls, "great minds think alike," because honestly, if Girl(s) Gone Child was an obvious blogname for me, why wouldn't it be obvious for someone else? I would be a hypocrite if I said anything disparaging. After all, accident or not, the original Childbearing Hipster was nothing but kind to me after my invasion of her territory.
On the other hand, I would be lying if I said I wasn't annoyed to see someone else wearing my clothes and then shopping my name to communities where I am also a member, creating buzz on an already existing identity I have worked two and a half years to create.
My question, then, to you, bloggers, lurkers and lovers, is this: Does online identity matter? To what extent should one go to protect her online "brand," and where does she draw the line where ownership is concerned? If one popularizes a "name" and someone else uses said-name to popularize themselves, is that considered stealing? Squatting? Or simply, sharing?
My mind inquires...
(the orginal) GGC
UPDATED: Thank you for everyone's comments. The girls over at the other GGC site have agreed to change their blogname and URL. Their hospitality is very much appreciated. I think the lesson, here, as several of you suggested in the comments, is to buy up all of your URLs, and those that are similar (if possible). Thanks, again for your support, advice and insight. Kisses on your cheeks.