I registered my primary domain in 1995. Even back then your first, second, and third ideas were probably taken by someone else. I had just finished the Amber series by Roger Zelazny, and the character Ghostwheel was sticking in my mind. Search engines didn’t exist back then, but internet guides like Yahoo! did. (Yahoo! didn’t crawl the web back then. You sent them your URL, and a description, and a human visited your site and decided whether or not to add it to their directory!!) Lots of people built pages that were links to other pages, and tried to be a popular guide for this or that. Ghostwheel.com could be a place where I gathered information from other websites, and act as a guide for surfers. That was my idea at least, and so ghostwheel.com was registered and I became firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the books, Ghostwheel was a computer created with the ability to explore alternate universes and gather information for Merlin. Ghostwheel became more than a tool; ghostwheel became a Person. Ghostwheel took on a life of his own, and his goals did not always align with those of Merlin.
Ghostwheel.com has evolved as well, in a way. It has grown from being just my website to my Name; without the .com of course. This past week I went to Burning Man for the first time. I camped with Danger and Dusty, who have been doing Burning Man for a very long time. The first time Danger intruduced me to someone he called me Ghostwheel. Having previously been called ‘Merlin’ by people who knew my email address, and not being comfortable with the name Merlin*, I would shy from that other part of my email address and repeat my name as Chris. I started to think about it though, and the more I thought about it the more I liked being called Ghostwheel. I later told Danger that I had been thinking about it, and that I liked his choice of name for me, and that I would be taking it on. Me being Ghostwheel on the Playa fits me well, much as does the Death’s Head I wear on my neck; and for many of the same reasons.
Strange winds are blowing right now, and I like it.
-Chris, aka Ghostwheel of Black Rock City
*When working at renaissance faires there are far too many people named Merlin, and only one I know of who deserves the name. So, I shy away from being called that.