firstname.lastname@example.org — That has been my email alias at Microsoft for over 10 years now. You would think that I could have had chrisavis@ or cavis@. But nooooooo. They had to drop the "s" and make me sound like a video file.
I don’t know for sure, but my guess as to why it ended up that way is that it is fairly standard for companies to use one of the following formats for generating user names —
1) cavis – First Initial + Last Name / truncate to 8 characters max (what I would have liked to have had)
2) chrisa – First Name / up to 7 characters + Last Initial
3) chrisavi – First Name + Last Name / truncate to 8 characters max (what I ended up with)
I didn’t get option number one because, at the time, there was a Craig Avis at Microsoft and he had cavis. We ordered business cards about the same time one year and they cross-shipped them. That is how I discovered him. We even exchanged some genealogy info to see if we might be related. Nope.
I never checked on chrisa but I imagine there was at least one other person at MS who’s first name was Chris and last name began with "A". There is one now so I bet there was back then as well. So I ended up with chrisavi.
A couple years ago, the MS IT Staff sent out an email blast with a link to a utility that would allow us to claim alternate dotted email names. I tried to get just chrisavis but the tool wouldn’t let me. So I settled on chris.avis which is what I typically hand out these days as it is easier to remember. My blog links to email@example.com and my business cards list it as well but either one works just fine.
I thought about getting firstname.lastname@example.org because I sign my name using my middle initial and I have been using my middle initial as a differentiator since early in the days of the Internet so I could be found more easily and to distinguish myself from the myriad of other Chris Avis types that mistakenly stumbled upon the World Wide Web. I just spot checked Live, Google, and Yahoo! and all of them put me on top.
My evil plan is working….