I’d love to take my husband’s surname, simply because it’s so much prettier than mine. But it’s easier said than done.
I’ve had a website of one sort or another for thirteen years and this is my seventh year as a freelance writer. All of which means my online footprint is as sprawly as a sprawly thing from a very sprawly place.
It’s a significant challenge. On reflection, I’m not convinced I’m equal to it. As well as the everyday offline stuff like utilities and tax, I’ll need to change my surname right across this little lot and more:
- hosting packages and url renewal
- ‘who is’ information
- PayPal and online banking security
- online directories, press release distribution and article sites
- my three current websites and blog
- guest posts on numerous sites
- social media accounts: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon…
- Google authorship
- email accounts
- customer and prospect databases
- marketing collateral
- published ebooks
- software contracts
Because I’m a one man band, in a sense I am my brand. Seven years of writing for online marketing and comms projects means my surname is well known by my customers and prospects as well as familiar to search engines.
In a perfect world we’d have a tool to identify every aspect of an online footprint and return a spreadsheet of urls to tackle. It’d be long winded but there’s no way to amend personal details automatically without typing in a username and password each time.
It would also be great to have some kind of 301 redirect-type service, so people who type your maiden name into a search engine can track you down. Until that happy day, there’s a gap in the market. More than 50% of humans are female. A good proportion of them get married. And presumably, a reasonable percentage of married women would like to change their surname.
Fingers crossed someone clever will come up with a solution before long. In the meantime, I’m still Kate Naylor…
Update Sept 2014: I am now Kate Goldstone. And I’m happy to say it was actually as easy as pie online. The only difficulties I had were with traditional organisations who insisted on seeing my wedding certificate, which was a pain.