It’s been more than seven years since I started using the alias of Smange as a vaguely professional branding tool. At first it was a silly nickname given to me as a teenager (Small Ange), but as it was my favourite handle just about everywhere I officially adopted it as a professional branding thing. It worked to keep me separate from all the other Ange’s, which was its original purpose as a nickname. But now, things are changing.
For starters, after a long bout of weighing pros and cons, I decided to give my singing persona a stage name: Chiquitita. There are many reasons, but mainly I thought it would help to distinguish the part of me that is a professional singer from the part of me that is a professional writer. Online, that means a whole new ecosystem of social media profiles, etc. Except that it is still me, so sometimes Chiquitita will point to a Smange profile if I don’t think it warrants something new.
Smange is everywhere. Smange represents both my professional writing and casual chatting. Smange is where everything that is me happens. Smange is a traveller, Smange is a mum, Smange is a singer, Smange is a geek, Smange is an event manager, Smange loves festivals, Smange occasionally gets a little political or funny, Smange is professionally interested in social media (and therefore uses a number of services in the way they are meant to be used), Smange has a lot of photos, and Smange shares reading habits, TV and movie viewing to the world. This picture, although primarily professional, has drifted into the personal. In the end, it wasn’t professional enough for what I had planned.
Thankfully, I’ve been sitting on AngelaAlcorn.com and a bunch of more professional handles, like @AngelaAlcorn. These have been gathering dust, the site being previously a professional-works only portfolio and, in the case of Twitter, automatically sharing the more professional articles I’ve written. But even that’s not enough. I’ve had to re-think everything.
You see, in the past month (days for one) I’ve created both Write Revolution, a blog to help people make a living writing, and Vocal Content, my social media management business (neither of these have quite launched yet). In both of these ventures, I’m not just a writer. I’m the driving force behind it. I’m the founder. The CEO. I’m the boss.
So, AngelaAlcorn.com, @AngelaAlcorn, and anything else that uses the handle AngelaAlcorn will from now on be business-focused. They’re “Ange the CEO”. Ange the CEO doesn’t draw attention to the fact that she’s also Smange the everything else. Ange the CEO doesn’t even admit to most of the writing she does elsewhere other than as an explanation of how she got to where she is. And Ange the CEO is going to start blogging her own business-like content, instead of pointing to Smange.
Smange.com and anything else with the handle @Smange is just me. It’s Smange the freelancer, Smange the writer, Smange the editor, Smange the mummy blogger (I never meant to be this — it just happens when I sit down to write without a plan), Smange the recipe-collector, Smange who likes pretty clothes and Pinterest-y stuff, Smange who writes about France, Smange who chats in forums, Smange the singer with the alter-ego of @Chiquitita. Smange who is also Angela Alcorn, the CEO (for instance, the mailing list mentioned by Smange is actually by Angela Alcorn — the intention is to add a little bit of personality, but stick to top-level stuff). Smange is where everything vaguely professional comes together. Smange, however, doesn’t draw too much attention to the family blog and the like (though there are links). Most people who follow Smange don’t care for that stuff.
This means that recently I’ve re-worked my websites to reflect this new dichotomy (well, trichotomy — or more). Yeah, there’s an ecosystem of social media profiles for each of my niche blogs too. Plus, I’ll be adding more social profiles with the new business names and CEO profile if I think it will work. If you thought I was fragmented before, then you had no idea just how fragmented I could become!
It also means there’s a bunch of new places you can follow me online. If that’s your thing.
Does that all make sense? Do you think I’m mad? How do you separate your online personas?