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Changing My Domain

Changing My Domain was a keynote by mJordan at IndieWeb Summit 2019.



I'm Jordan or Michelle. Depends on which year you met me. I've been Michelle since, you know, I was born. That's the name my parents gave me. It's worked pretty well. But a couple of years ago, searching for a job, forever and ever and ever and getting nothing. No interviews, barely getting email responses. Basically, I was completely ignored.

In a minor fit of rage overnight, I copied my website, changed every reference to Michelle to use my middle name, Jordan, and put it up at a different domain. Took my resume, stripped out everything that made it pretty because if it's pretty, it's probably a girl. And, removed all of my leadership and volunteer experience with organizations like Women Who Code. Started sending out that resume, and within two weeks, I had four interviews.

I ended up speaking at a local meetup and somebody heard me and thought I was kind of cool and offered me an interview, which led to a job and I kind of forgot about the whole Jordan thing. That was just some angry weekend experience.

And, you know, whatever. I was working at this other job. Things were going good.

I'd been there about a year and my contract was about to expire. And that meant it was time to start looking for a job. I was working at Nike and there was a hiring freeze on my department, so my manager wanted to convert me, but the higher ups said no, nobody can be converted right now. So, I started my job hunt again and was not getting any traction again.

So, I decided that, you know, maybe it was time to bring Jordan back.

But, I was kind of running into trouble because I now was trying to maintain two different online personas and neither one felt like me. I had Michelle, which is where I posted all my cool stuff, all the fun things I was doing, things that were interesting to me, where my passions were. And then, Jordan, who was this kind of mysterious person because I didn't really want to say anything about Jordan because then you might find out that Jordan's a girl and that would be terrible.

And, they were both split and they were both -- just neither one was actually me. So, I ended up having to kind of go all-in and change all the things. Even having the two different things, it was getting confusing because, I didn't really want to maintain two LinkedIns. One is bad enough.


But people were getting confused because they'd go to my Jordan website where I said hi my name is Jordan and here's my resume where I said I'm Jordan and then they go to my LinkedIn and it's Michelle? They're like, you don't know what you're doing, you can't even link to the right social pages. I'm not hiring you for building websites.

So, I ended up really having to do all-in and change my identity absolutely everywhere. I created a new domain name. I had to change my Twitter. Get a new Twitter. New GitHub, new Instagram.

All the things. Just to get a job.

And, that is such bullshit.


[Applause and cheers].

It just sucks. Like, and -- changing my name to Jordan kind of felt like giving into the system for a while, it was like, okay, I can't be me so I have to be this fake person.

But, maybe it's not so bad. Like, it's hard to change things. It's hard to make the community better if you can't become a part of the community.

If the community won't let you in, there's nothing you can do.

So if what I have to do is be Jordan for a little bit to get on the inside and make some changes I guess that's what I'm going to do.

See Also