“Handles”

The primary place for interaction and communication within the CTS Community is the Internet. But for obvious reasons those of us who participate do not want to use our real names on these websites. It’s just a simple act of security. So we create “Handles” for ourselves. These Handles can become our identities. Some people, like myself, use the same Handle across multiple online platforms. Some people have been using the same Handles for many years. Other people create new Handles with each new site they are on.

For providers, a Handles can often become a “professional name” for them. The same can be true for clients. In fact, an entire reputation and persona can end up built around a Handle. To many people I have simply become “Valley”.

But some Handles are problematic. So I want to talk about choosing a Handle. It really shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is an important decision for both providers and clients.
Professional Names
For providers, the best handle is likely to be your professional name, especially if you’ve picked a professional name that fairly unique. Some professional names are shared by many, many ladies so using them as internet Handles is difficult. Chances are, somebody got there first.
Include a Name (or something like a name)
The best Handles—in my opinion—include a name or something that could be a name. Take a look at my Handle: ValleyScott. By including the name “Scott”, I give people who contact me something to call me. Same for when I meet people. Now in my case, most people have chosen to call me “Valley”. This is amusing to me, since Scott is my actual first name. But Valley works.

A Handle that combines a name with a descriptor is a great choice. If a provider calls herself “MandyBlonde” online, she is really helping herself and her potential clients. It’s descriptive, fairly memorable, and easy to use.

A number of ladies use Handles that include their names. For me as a client this makes it so much easier when contacting them. The hypothetical “MandyBlonde” is easy for me to reach out to. If I were to text her, I can simply drop the “Blonde” and call her “Mandy”. Easy.

But if “Mandy” had chosen to call herself “BlondeInAction”, it creates a situation where I don’t know what to call her. It might sound like a cool Handle, but it is actually inconvenient for communication. And if I’m going to meet her, I now have to ask her what her name is. That just feels very awkward.
Coded Handles
Handles that include clever coded phrases are very popular among a lot of clients. These can be extremely clever. And sometimes they are just frustratingly difficult to figure out. A lot of guys use these as something of an ice-breaker. When a provider has to ask what it means it gives the client something to talk about with her. It can create interest. It isn’t a bad strategy for people on the client side of things. Probably not a great choice for providers. But I know a number of fellow clients who have successfully used cleverly coded handles. If you want to go down this route, don’t make it too obscure or difficult to figure out. Clever is good, overly complicated is bad. People might just ignore you.

Name/Numbers
I think one of the worst choices is the name+number combination. People just don’t remember Scott815. ValleyScott is much more memorable. Now, there have been plenty of iterations of the “Name69” handle. But frankly, there have been so many names with that particular number that they can all become a bit jumbled in people’s minds. You want a Handle that people are going to remember. Using just a first name and whatever number the sign-up system gives you as a username is just a bad idea. Or just lazy. Sometimes combining a name with your area code can work, but it should be something unique. Bob415 is not as memorable as BigBob415. See what I mean.
Don’t Copy
Please do not intentionally copy other peoples Handles. Or try to play off of them. That is just plain rude. And might be viewed as malicious. I once heard of a guy using a variation off of my Handle to contact ladies. He was trying to bypass the need for references by pretending to be me. Thankfully he got caught because he didn’t write to the ladies the way I do. A couple of providers figured it out. That was a malicious misuse of a Handle.

But you might also end up misusing a Handle without malicious intent. But still causing confusion by having a Handle that is overly similar to someone else’s. A provider might end up confusing you with someone else. This is not a good thing. So don’t copy. Pick your own Handle. There could still end up being some similar ones out there, but at least make an effort to be unique.
Stick with one Handle
Pick a good Handle and stick with it.
I have seen too many people—both clients and providers—hop around between different Handles. This just creates confusion. Now I understand it can sometimes be difficult to have exactly the same Handle on every site. Sometimes when signing up, you find out someone has already taken the Handle you use elsewhere. This sucks, and it necessitates creating a different Handle. But it’s best to make it a variation on what you already use. This is why having a really unique Handle is the best policy—it makes it easier to get the same exact Handle on all platforms.

But don’t go changing your Handle on a whim. People won’t be able to find you. There was one provider a few months ago who was changing her Handle every few days. It made a lot of potential clients wary about her. They wondered if she was trying to hide something. Turns out she was just trying to have fun with it, but it probably cost her a few clients. Pick a good Handle and stick with it.

And at the same time, pick a good avatar and stick with that too. I use the same one across all platforms. People recognize it and know it’s me. That is just a simple trick to improve communication.
______

These are just a few simple tips when it comes to Handles. This may not seem important, but it really is. Our Handles are part of our online identity. A good Handle really makes communication and participation much easier.

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