The poster formerly known as . . .

It seems that I often come across posters on these boards with, say, five or even ten thousand posts but whose name I don’t recognize. I just assume they’ve changed their board name from one that I might have recalled. More generally, I sometimes wonder if poster X might actually be the erstwhile poster Y but who’s opted to change names. Although hardly a major annoyance, I do find this type of thing frustrating, i.e. not being sure if the poster really is so and so.

With the above in mind, and as an aid for those with fallible memories, is it possible to see a listing of all a poster’s board names when you click on their name; perhaps under the “View Public Profile” heading? The advantages of doing so seem self evident to me and I don’t see any liabilities unless someone’s changed their name as part of a “fresh start”. But, I’m sure it would be possible to let people opt out of having all their names, past and present, displayed publicly (as in: ‘check here if you want your previous screen names kept private’).

Is this something that could/should be done?


Probably not. Most posters who change their usernames announce it, or at least acknowledge it. Most posters who don’t do either of the preceding? Well, it’s usually noticed.

I suspect that if a poster you’re suddenly noticing has 10,000 posts, it’s just someone you haven’t had reason to notice before and now you do.

I couldn’t care less. I never check somebody’s history. To me each post in each thread has the possibility of being a new thing; somebody who may ordinarily be ridiculed may have a unique take on a particular question. We’re all multi-faceted however much we may appear to be the “same ole.” Everybody knows something they can pass on and it would be my loss to brush them off “because.”

I’m betting it’s this. I’ve been lurking here for about ten years and I still see names unfamiliar to me with high post counts. I’m always amazed when I see a posters name I’ve never seen before only to find “Charter Member” under their name.


FTR, I used to be known as SHAKES

Search using someone’s current username for threads that user has posted to at around the time they joined up. See if the name they are using now (which updates automatically in old threads) matches the name that appears where someone has quoted them (which doesn’t update).

Tedious, cumbersome and time consuming but it does work. Unless you can’t find a thread where that user is quoted.

The biography in my profile lists my old username, which I swapped out in early 2004(??). I guess the OP thinks I should keep it: I had originally anticipated replacing it within a few years.

You seem to be imputing to me motivations I did not, and do not, have. By wanting to know ‘if X is really Y’, I am not seeking to form or justify biases . Not at all. Mostly, I’m just being curious.

Generally, I don’t share your take on this; you seem to be saying that posting history is irrelevant. I disagree. Remembering that someone has a history of posting well reasoned and referenced answers, or is especially qualified to answer (e.g. lawyer, physicist) makes me especially interested to hear what they have to say when they respond in a GQ thread. Conversely, if they have a long history of a specific agenda (as an example, ZPGZ comes to mind), I should probably take what they say with a grain of salt (a huge grain if the topic of discussion intersects with their ‘interest’ or ‘obsession’). Maybe that’s part of it - depending on the forum you’re posting in, knowing someone’s reputation can be very helpful or totally irrelevant (with the latter rarely so. IMO). But I sure think it’s important for GQ threads.

And besides, can’t someone simply be curious? Is it ill conceived to just want to know more about the person who’s posted that outstanding, or assinine, comment?

You say curious, I say nosey. Some people do it for various reasons, one of them (unsuccessfully since all previous posts will change but they try anyway) privacy. I say “who cares”. YMMV, but I’m going to guess most people feel the same way I do.

For a couple (few?) weeks now I keep seeing this same poster over and over and over again in threads out of nowhere. He’s been here a year or two and has a relatively high post count for the time he’s been here.

The *not actually annoying *thing, the thing that’s just a little less disturbing than when you just know you put your keys down on the table and now they’re on your desk thing, is that I can’t tell if I’m just crazy and the poster’s been there all along (what, was he ducking behind a perception filter?), if by some bizarre coincidence the 1 percent of threads I never looked in on were the only threads he posted in, if I’m just crazy and there are other large but inconsequential gaps in my memory hole, or if the poster recently went though a name change.

I thought of emailing a mod, but couldn’t quite figure out how to phrase "hey, I know this is nosey, and if the poster wanted to quietly change you don’t need to tell me who he was, but has X always been X? But every time I wrote it out it came out all stalker-ish and I never sent.

So, yeah, I get where the OP is coming from. It’s not That Big a Deal, but it is a tiny tear in the Dope-Time continuum that will eventually go away but is oddly noticeable while it fades.

You got decapitated?

Perhaps an easier solution would be a thread (maybe stickied in ATMB) where people who change their username have the option to post the change. Then you could just look in the thread for recent changes.


I used to be known as Doghouse Reilly. Don’t worry, you didn’t notice me then either.

I remember the name Doghouse Reilly, but I can’t recall anything about you. But I can’t recall anything about Koxinga, either. Hell, I have enough trouble remembering about Irishman.

There was a user called snakescatlady. I always read it as “snake scat lady”.

Hello? Is anyone there? Did you hear something?

Nosey? On a public board? With their name(s) archived on old posts? By your logic, it’s nosey simply to notice who writes/wrote any post.

I used to be Dooku.

I changed mine b/c someone from my office forwarded an internal email with a link to a thread here in which I was identified as working there, (not a big deal), but I was worried at the time about my boss finding something inflammatory I wrote in some other thread, as I have been critical here about the company.

on a plane?