Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Email Address Bias

Paul Angileri who write the blog There Is No Chalk just left a comment on my recent post Profile Photos (see also Profile Photo):
I once had someone comment to me on a non-professional email address of mine. They said it seemed to imply something negative. This was the only person ever to have mentioned it to me, and for the life of me I still can't see the person's POV on it. There's certainly no profanity of vulgarity in the email address, yet someone had a mildly negative reaction to it and at the very least seemed to imply that the very structure of the email address would likely preclude that person from communicating with me.
Many of the recent comments really have helped to focus the discussion on the right issues - your brand, your audience and what they perceive. Subquark has convinced me that there are cases where a creative image and likely name make a lot of sense to help promote a creative business. It aligns with the brand. And if someone is not interested in interfacing with someone creative, that's not really the audience anyhow.

As long as we are talking about possible bias when someone encounters you online, let's discuss email addresses. Again, in professional networking, your email address should align with your brand, the perception that you want to convey with your audience and the cultural norms of where you are networking.


It's safest to use your name. It's probably a bit of a risk to use any kind of non-name.

Again, the situation is a quick decision (less than a second) where you look at the person and decide if you will spend more time on this.

What do you get from each of the following?
  • snuggybear83
  • john.mcelhone
  • surferchamp
Again, there are likely cases where more creative names make sense. But make it a conscious decision.

Domain Bias?

The other thing I would suggest is a likely bias out there on domains.

Please help me out on this ... what do you think when you see the following domains?
  • aol.com
  • yahoo.com
  • gmail.com
  • johnmcelhone.com

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