I hack around on a few business-oriented sites, & the question of marketing is always lively. The big thing now is the arcana of search-engine placement, & I often try to answer errant entrepreneurs who're scrabbling for every penny yet idly wonder whether they should hock their children to spend a few thousand bucks a month on "improved placement."

In almost every case, they're terrible with using the company's name correctly in the first place, & then move on to various sins committed with META tags.

Presently, one site's off on a big evangelism about creating blogs & forums. This makes sense for Microsoft, but one poor guy is thoroughly believing that his struggling little inner-city fried-chicken shop needs a blog, & tries to write after working 14-hour days, six-day weeks, ever hoping that he's going to get rich from this.

Now, I'll admit that I've been hacking around on computer-net conversations since 1979. Almost never could we use any "fancy" characters in our lognames -- just the "lower 26." Okay, so I did figure out how to slip some ASCII in, & had names with bell-rings, backspaces, & screen-clears, until my buddies threatened to stop reading my messages.

When I started running wild on the Internet, I was glad to see more & more sites that allowed capital letters, then underlines, & finally actual spaces.

Most of the lognames I've launched in the past three years are exactly as you see here. As a writer, I felt that putting any other name out to public was dishonest; in that sense, I don't blame anyone who wants to protect their privacy.

But how come more writers don't do it? There's so much talk of setting up websites & pages that are All-Singing All-Dancing with tons of Flash animations & music tracks, & probably more discussion of SEO, yet the huge majority of people on sites like AWrite don't have an account that even resembles their writing name.

It seems such a simple thing to do that would provide at least the basis for a platform. Am I missing something as to peoples' reasoning?