Robin4Homes aka The Diva of Orange: A Transformative Moment in Time at the RE Barcamp in San Francisco

Robin Fenchel February 22, 2012

I considered a name change–oh no, not my “real” name, but my on screen real estate name. Robin4Homes just doesn’t reveal who I really am. Okay, okay, so yes, my real name is Robin, and yes, I do sell homes (ala real estate); but nowadays, one’s on screen personality can really sizzle with a dynamic screen name; I mean would people have viewed Archie Leach in the same light as they did the suave, debonair, sophisticated Cary Grant? I think not. And what about Madonna? Would she have had the same fame had she remained Louise Veronica Ciccone? Questionable, at best.

So I tossed around a few names to see what transformation might occur with a new name. The first one was Rockin’ Red Robin; certainly, sizzly–but maybe a little too sizzly; I wanted to be noticed on screen, but maybe not in that sort of way. So out went Rockin’ Red Robin, and in came Robin’s Nest–too cutsy; later it was on to Robinzhoods; I thought this one was a winner; but my partner nixed it; he thought it sounded too gansta rappy; and Round Robin too portly.

Then to complicate matters, I started a blog and had to come up with an on screen persona for the new blog; I was told not to obsess about it–to give it ten minutes max and be done with it. So I wound up with Irvine Real Estate Blogger (boooring!). But I guess it defined a certain aspect of me (I live in Irvine; I am in Real Estate, and I am a would-be real estate blogger); Still it did not define the real me, definitively, and in a way with which I was satisfied.

Fast forward to the RE Barcamp in San Francisco, the day before the Inman Connect 2008 Conference, where the superstars of the blogosphere gather to discuss blogging about real estate and the newest technologies in a free-wheeling, brainstorming sort of way. Some brilliant, creative minds thought up a great way to meet and greet other bloggers; namely, calling cards with code names that defined a superpower within each of us. Too cool! Thus we were introduced to The Striped Crusader whose superpower “emits powerful rays of inspiration,” The Legal Eagle whose superpower is “making the industry better one degree at a time,” and The Mortgage Man whose superpower is “keeping consumers safe from high interest rates,” and so on. And then my name was called out: Robin Fenchel (Real Name), dubbed “The Diva of Orange,” whose superpower is raising a UC Berkeley and Harvard tandem.” Poof! I was transformed, aloft and afloat without warning, from Robin4Homes into the Diva of Orange for a single, cloud computing moment in time. And what a time it was.

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