What’s in a Name

I do ego searches of my name when I’m bored, and usually the results show websites I’ve worked on or guestbooks I’ve signed. When I used Google’s Blog Search, however, I found something I hadn’t been aware of at all.

Some of you may be aware of a post I wrote concerning my past exploits in the Philippine cosplay world, particularly with regard to creating and naming the Pinoy Cosplay Mailing List and the use of the name “Pinoy Cosplay” by an unrelated forum website owned by a certain Mike Abundo. I resolved the issue by stating that Pinoy Cosplay ML would remain a separate and unrelated entity from PinoyCosplay.com. I thought the matter was settled; little did I know that my own name would become further embroiled in this issue.

Google’s Blog Search alerted me to posts on other blogs (particularly LiveJournals) that reproduced the text written by LJ user keiohwai warning Philippine-based fandom groups about the name-stealing activities of Mike Abundo, the guy who coopted the name “Pinoy Cosplay” for his forum website. I’m not really involved in the fandoms concerned here, but I was disturbed by the use of my name without my knowledge in what has become a forwarded email propagated to God-knows-where. I’ll quote part of the text below:

When NOELLE DE GUZMAN, founder of the pinoycosplay ML, spoke with Mike Abundo, he admitted that he did not, in fact, make a google search for the keyword term “pinoycosplay” before buying the .com domain and creating the forum.

Mike Abundo, in the latter part of the conversation with Noelle de Guzman, proposed that the pinoycosplay ML merge with his pinoycosplay.com forum, saying the mailing list would benefit from the boost of traffic that would soon visit his pinoycosplay.com site, claiming that his .com site was far more accessible to people everywhere.

Noelle De Guzman rejected the offer and said the Pinoycosplay ML will not be affiliated with Pinoycosplay.com under any circumstance. Mike Abundo chose to keep the name of his .com site, saying that he has already invested his monetary resources into the creation of his forums which, in reality, uses the format given by the invision.net service providers on the creation of an online bulletin board/forum. (emphasis mine)

This was posted to the Pinoy Cosplay ML as well earlier this month, but since I don’t regularly read the messages from there, I was unable to voice an objection to the use of my name in this context. Since then it appears to have been spread all over the Internet.

The released “Warning to Philippine-based fandom groups” is supposed to be about the activities of Mike Abundo. The gravity of his actions as described in the text speaks to what kind of person he is; I see no need to use my proper name (and use it repeatedly) when the term “the founder of the Pinoy Cosplay ML” would have been sufficient in describing who the person interacting with Abundo is.

Well-intentioned the warning may be, I feel that I need to say that I have nothing to do with the “Warning to Philippine-based fandom groups.” Next time, folks, do what the journalists do and ask first before using someone’s name in something you write. Thanks.

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