W elcome to Login_Lore, the second edition!


@@@-harpy-thingWhen I first went online, it seemed logins were what set geeks apart from the rest of the world. It was a combination secret identity and mnemonic device. For example, I knew plenty of Rebeccas, but there's only one Weevil. Logins offered new opportunities: a way for folks to construct outlandish personas, obscure their gender, or meet new people.

Sometimes these personas were totally different from the real life individual, sometimes not. The login, as an identity, made a geek part of an automatic secret society, whose members swelled and ebbed, but the locality of UCSC made it possible for real interpersonal socializing to take place.

Nowadays practically everyone has an email, and instead of being a socializing hobby, most Internet activity is used for daily work. Rather than being a unique way to interact with fantasy personalities, online addresses have become the equivalent to a phone number; just another way to contact somebody. Meanwhile, those who had created logins in the good ol' days have also matured, and many don't want to hide behind aliases. Others have become so synonymous with their accounts that they respond to them in Real Life.

The origins of these names and identities among Santa Cruz's geek community, whether obvious or mysterious, were mostly taken for granted. A smattering of websites and finger files chronicled reasons and history. Or sometimes the stories would surface on yam or ICB -- stories spat into the ether, only to vanish forever.

The existence of this phantom lore prompted me to create this tome. It is my goal to catch some of these phantoms, attach them to a physical medium, and hope they stay.

This is not a collection of geek history, nor some kind of anthropological analysis. Rather it sets out to answer one thing, as completely as possible: How did you choose your login?

Clearly this isn't an actual book -- yet -- but for now, it's a nice transition from raw text. Think of this as the Pinocchio edition, hoping someday to become a Real Book --somewhat like the make-believe people made of pure ascii text, who eventually became my very good friends.

So until then, enjoy, and if you're not listed --read the Submissions Page and send a story to tapeworm(at)horg(dot)com !


- jD.