As you've noticed, several editors have started transitioning to their real names. And like anytime we try something new around here, everyone notices and wonders what the heck is going on. So here's what's going on:
We started a new site called Congress Matters with Kagro X at the helm. It's a serious site, and I am confident that Kagro is the best parliamentarian in the netroots. No one knows more about how congress works in this world than he does, probably because he likes that shit. (Shudder).
However, it's an unfortunate fact that few in establishment DC will take someone who calls himself "Kagro X" as seriously as they would the guy whose name is "David Waldman". And I think the political debate would greatly benefit from having someone like David available to make sense of what is oftentimes an unfathomable process. So I want David quoted in news articles, invited on the radio, published elsewhere as he works to educate as many people as possible in the inner workings of our nation's government. (Or at least the Article I part of it.) And it's easier to make that happen if he's using a real name, and not something out of a Star Trek episode.
So we decided we'd transition him away from his old account to what will ultimately be just "David Waldman". The "aka" is temporary, so people are aware of the transition over the next couple of months.
Well, once he made the change, several other editors decided that they were also ready to transition to their real names as well. (Remember, most of us don't start writing here using our real names.)
This is not a sitewide edict. The editors can decide for themselves what name they feel comfortable using. Note that I haven't moved over to my full name, nor have any intention of doing so. I like "kos" very much. It'll be an individual decision and one that I have no interest in meddling with (though I admit I told Hunter, Meteor Blades and Plutonium Page that I really liked their online pseudonyms.)
We understand this is a somewhat awkward and confusing transition, but we'll somehow manage to pull through. And really, there is great sociological material to mine here about our notions of self and identity and our online handles.