“David Paul Kirkpatrick ” is my new professional name.
It turns out that two other writers have the name “David Kirkpatrick”. The real David Kirkpatrick was there first with his book, The Facebook Effect. That’s the way I see it, anyways. Then David D. Kirkpatrick the New York Times bureau chief in Cairo, was there second with his “D”. These days, your name is like a URL. It’s the way people find you in the wide road of the internet; and how they find your book.
To avoid confusion, I had to add the middle name “Paul” to my moniker. I have to say it was a little weird — I mean, only my mother called me “David Paul” when I had done something terrible on the backyard jungle gym. Once you’ve made that decision to “alter” your name, every account across the web needs to conform: Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, your personal webpage, etc.
A recent stat of American life reported that over 92% of America babies have an internet presence before they are born. It’s not only the swapping of ultrasound scans from proud parents and grandparents, but parents are also buying up URLS for their kids when they come of age for the internet.
It’s a strange new world for a Luddite like myself. Within reason, I have adapted. It’s kind of strange changing you name at my age, but we do what we must. I ran into a Hollywood agent from my past and he congratulated me on my Facebook book — but I had to explain to him that was the real “David Kirkpatrick” and I was now “David Paul Kirkpatrick”. The agent looked at me with tension as if I had just put a rubik’s cube in his hands.
Growing up, my parents always taught us to be fair. So it was appropriate to sacrifice my name for Facebook Kirkpatrick’s common good. He seems like a nice enough guy. He even suggested we have lunch next time I’m in NYC. So I am grateful for that, and that my parents did not name me a middle name of “Prudence”.