What is the appropriate word or phrase which means the internet name of a person. I mean the nickname that a person uses in almost all places on the internet like blog, IRC, forums, mailing lists etc.
There are various terms for this. Once upon a time, “screen name” would likely have been the most common.
However, it seems to me that this convention has been driven by the most pervasive websites. So, with Facebook et al's move toward encouraging the use of real names, “screen name” seems much less common (phrases such as “nickname” appear to be used now by these sites).
However, I have always thought of aliases used online as being just that (which may be why Google+ includes an option to add “aliases” to one's profile now). As a result, I have tended towards the more general term “handle” which was apparently derived from CB Radio operators and then later popularized in use by Bulletin-board systems.
My name is “Sam,” but I often use the handle “halosghost.”
As @DoubleDouble (and others) suggested, the terms “username” and “profile name” might also have some relevance. I chose not to include these in my suggestion on the grounds that they often mean something different than what I believe the OP is asking for.
Often times, the “username” refers specifically to the account itself rather than what will appear to other people online. A perfect example would be how Steam handles its accounts. When you create an account you specify a username (which you use to log in) and a “display name” (another perfectly valid answer to the OP's question). No one ever actually sees your username. Of course, not all services work this way, but many do.
“Profile name” seems more relevant to me than “username,” however it feels focused on a particular profile rather than the person's general persona.
My profile name here (“HalosGhost”) is a variation on my typical handle “halosghost.”
I guess screen-name is appropriate:
Noun, Digital Technology:
- a unique sequence of characters that a person chooses to use for identification purposes when interacting with others online, as in computer games, instant messaging, or forums.
Pseudonym has meanings beyond the web, but is just as applicable to usage online as off. It's also generally more appropriate to both formal writing, and writing for non-technical audiences. It's a bit more widely understood than the alternatives, being several hundred years older and more established in the language.
(Screen Name and Handle are, as already mentioned, also both perfectly accurate and appropriate, and a bit more specific to digital interaction.)
According to the the canonical reference for all things hackish, it's handle, nick, or screen name.
Another discussion is here http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2216027
'username' seems to be acknowledged as indicative without accompanying baggage.
Handle, alias, username, nickname and screen-name are all ones that have been mentioned that I would consider.
One I haven't seen mentioned yet is: Persona
per·so·na pərˈsōnə noun noun: persona; plural noun: personae; plural noun: personas the aspect of someone's character that is presented to or perceived by others. "her public persona" a role or character adopted by an author or an actor. synonyms: image, face, public face, character, personality, identity, self; More
I use "moniker" and I've found that usage to be quite common in the tech world, although it is referred to as slang:
noun Slang. a person's name, especially a nickname or alias.
Origin: 1850–55; probably < Shelta mŭnnik name (alleged to be a permutation and extension of Irish ainm name); final -er may represent -er1 or, as a spelling of ə, simply release of the k.
(I know this choice was already mentioned, but without sourcing it. I use it regularly and it immediately came to mind when I saw the question, so I sourced it.)
Why not, "alter ego"? It may be rather high-toned but in my opinion it matches the use of a nickname, especially used on the internet where the anonymity is valued.
I'm interested in opinions that oppose mine though :)