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Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton

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Picking a User Name

Be prepared: Before you follow the steps in the next section to create your account, have a user name (or at least a couple of ideas) all picked out and ready to go. You may get your best ideas away from the computer screen. Read this section, then take a walk, carry a notepad, or go wherever you do your best thinking. When you come back, the registration process will go much faster.

Why spend so much time thinking about your user name? There are approximately seven million registered accounts at Wikipedia. So your chances of getting an easily remembered user name of (say) six characters or less are fairly low. You could use your real name. If you don’t want to do that, you should understand what types of pseudonyms are not acceptable (see What Isn’t Allowed), and then you might want to look at some pages on Wikipedia for ideas.

Using Your Real Name

You can use your own name as the name of your Wikipedia account, assuming no one else with the same name has done so already. You won’t be the only editor using a real name, but you’ll certainly be part of a small minority of editors.

A real name makes it easier for you to remember your account name, and may encourage you to keep your edits polite and balanced. On the other hand, a pseudonym may make it easier for you to edit controversial topics. You should use a pseudonym if you don’t necessarily want your friends and colleagues to see your name on Wikipedia.

Pseudonyms have no disadvantages. You’ll probably want to ...

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