Remember when everyone was anonymous online? Most people used funky aliases that combined nicknames, interests & numbers. This was the same for your AOL chat name all the way to your e-mail address. Nowadays there is a much different dynamic going on. A lot of people are using their real names everywhere online whether it be Twitter or Gmail.

Why do people want to be identified now?

Here is one theory: they want to build personal brand equity as content creators because people are brands. By using your real name this brand equity becomes a portable asset into the real world and across other social network platforms. Especially people who work in fields such as sales, marketing and journalism. It enhances the presence of their personal brand.

In plain words: People want credit for who they are and what they do online. They also want the notoriety of who they are to transfer to the “next big thing”: the next Facebook, Twitter, or whatever the internet will serve up.

That’s exactly why most people should want to be identified everywhere.

Would you give out a promotional product that didn’t have your logo on it? You wouldn’t if your marketing strategy was to promote your brand. I think this is the same reason net-wide anonymity doesn’t exist anymore. More and more people are in the business of themselves and promoting who they are and what they do. Which is why we have seen nicknames like MangoRun79 slowly disappear in the mainstream internet.