When the hotel I was working in got its first AOL account I was one of the four managers selected to get screen names as well. Even though AOL unlimited was only weeks old at the time, every reasonable variation of my name was taken. This wasn't a huge surprise to me. "Tony Russo," as I was forced to repeat with some regularity during the first few years I was on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, is "Joe Smith" in Italian.
Rather than try and come up with a super clever name, or add numbers to the end of mine, I just registered my name backwards. I was an old trope, one I used as a minor high school rebellion (they said you had to put your name on the paper, they didn't say it had to be forward). Also, my name backwards looks a little like, Oh sure. Why not, which also went pretty well with my personality I thought.
I registered Ossurynot at hotmail and gmail, on Twitter and each of the social media sites as they came online. Once I tried to register for tumblr only to discover that Ossurynot was taken. I tried one of my favorite passcodes and, sure enough, realized I already had signed up.
When it came time to register my website for my blogging and portfolio, it didn't even occur to my what a lousy idea Ossurynot.com would be. In my head, it was great because I could tell people, "It's my name forward at my name backward." In the last 15ish years, not one person has understood that. I had several professors who asked the significance of Ossurynot, as if it were esoterica. They often were as amused as they were disappointed at the mundane origin story.
Over the years, I've written for lots of different places and, as my freelancing and day job writing became more prevalent, TonyRusso@Ossurynot.com felt insufficient. People didn't get it and there was no amount of explaining that would let them. Earlier this year, I decided to redo my professional portfolio site and name.
RussoMedia.com was long gone and, since I've been doing podcasting and other digital service type things, RussoWrites (or some such variation) wasn't going to cut it. I chose RussoDigital.com because it's easy to say and to remember. Also, there's an amount of flexibility to it. There is little that I'll end up doing professionally that won't fall under this umbrella. Moreover, my email address won't look like spam anymore.
For what it's worth, I still post on the No Relation blog.