My guest today is local musician Ellen Stanley, who performs as "Mother Banjo".
She's doing a show at the Cedar Cultural Center tonight.
Ellen says the pseudonym was suggested by a co-worker. She "Googled" it and found out no one else was using the moniker, so she took it as her own.
Establishing legal ownership of a name is much more complicated than simply using a search engine to see if anyone else has already grabbed it, but Google searching is a fun and logical first step for anyone curious about prior use.
And just this week, Google added some features to help you influence how the results display when people Google you. Even if you're not the most famous you out there, you can still show up in the first page of results. This would be especially handy if you happen to be named "Barack Obama", but you're not THAT "Barack Obama".
Since "Trial Balloon" is an online community, things you write here sometimes come up during a Google search.
For example, "Googling" Lavender Wench revealed that Lindi's use of this nom de plume in the February 18th posting of "Trial Balloon" is in the #5 spot worldwide for consecutive use of the words "lavender" and "wench", behind some descriptions of lavender colored yarn at "The Yarn Wench" and two other wench - themed sites selling web designs and homemade perfumes.
If you put "Lavender Wench" in quotes, she's number one!
Barb's use of the name "Tammy Waynette" for her goatling came in as the #8th ranked use of those two words together, behind seven people who meant to spell "Wynette", but didn't.
What does this mean for the rest of us?
Nothing lasting or meaningful, but it is fun to think you can begin to homestead some undisturbed nomenclatural territory simply by hitting "post".
Anyone considering adopting a psuedonym?
It looks like "Father Oboe" and "Aunt Castanet" are still available.
"Uncle Glockenspiel", oddly enough, appears to be taken.