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Wednesday, May 11, 2005
What does your e-mail address say about you?
During my job hunting process, one of the words of wisdom I heard was "Take a hard look at your e-mail address." Make sure that whatever e-mail address you give you is one that you really want to be reflective of you in a good way. For example, john_smith@emailaddy.com is more "professional" sounding that fluffybunnies@bunniessurearecute.com. In fact, we were encouraged to take out a free Yahoo, Hotmail or G-Mail address with a professional sounding user name to exclusively use for the job hunting.

Which is all well and good, until I saw an article in this morning's Tennessean. (I found it on another web site finally. Here it is.) It's interesting the perception of certain domain names and how they are perceived by people out there.

The inferences and stereotypes once implied by a person's e-mail name — pimpman404 or spoiledbrat770 speak for themselves — are now being passed on to the domains they use for correspondence. Addresses originating from such popular services as Hotmail, Yahoo and America Online are often painting a picture of the user.
"When I see a Yahoo or Hotmail domain I think not only cheap, but also disposable and possibly porno, because of the anonymity of those domains," says Elizabeth McDaniel. "And I think 'dumbo' when I see someone nowadays with an AOL account."

Some employers are now balking at resumes that are sent from certain e-mail domains because of the stigma attached.

"I'll never hire someone with an aol.com address," says Peter Shankman, founder of The Geek Factory, a New York City marketing firm that consults for such clients as Yoo-hoo soft drinks and Walt Disney World. "It screams that you're at a very basic stage."
The article then went on to take about the perception of certain domains. One guy quoted in the article said (basically) he'd never hire anyone who had an AOL domain name because it basically showed they were behind the curve when it came to the cyber world.

Does that seem right or fair to judge someone based on their domain name? I may not care much for AOL, but is it right to make an assumption about someone based on their domain name? And the next question is--how long will it take for some crafty lawyer to draw up a law suit based on discrimination against a domain name?

I also found this interesting:
But before the domain elitists cop an attitude, they may want to realize that there's also a backlash against their bluster.

Personalized domains, which perhaps offer the greatest air of authenticity to an e-mail recipient, also can elicit the greatest contempt.

Yourname@yourname.com can intimate to some that you're a jerk.

"When I see someone like that it's like, 'Whoa, that person's a little full of themselves,'" says David Carnoy, executive editor at technology news Web site CNET.com in New York City.
Looks to me like you're damned if you do, damned if you don't in the eyes of some on-line people. And the thing is--does it really matter all that much?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/11/2005 10:15:00 AM | |
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