What’s in a name

I signed up for YouTube in 2007 and fell in love with the website. So much creativity and crazy nonsense has found a home on YouTube over the years. I started uploading some musical experiments and chiptune covers of songs I liked. Slowly my channel grew but my peak came when I uploaded a version of the song Levels by Avicii that I covered using only samples from the SNES game Super Mario World.

At the time of writing this video has gotten 8+ million views! This is still insane to me. After this video I started taking my channel more seriously and tried to find a type of content that I enjoyed making and that people would like to watch as well. To be honest I still haven’t fully settled on anything that resembles a format, and I don’t think I’ll ever will.

When I joined YouTube my username was just the username I used everywhere. It was a diminutive based on my initials. My name is Jan Willem Kolkman making my initials JWK. In the Dutch language we sometimes use “tje” (or “pje”) after a word to indicate that this is a small version of the thing (which is what a diminutive means). That’s why my username was: JWKTJE.

The English language doesn’t have diminutives and to most people in the world my username was just a random string of letters. This made my channel hard to remember and hard to find, which isn’t a good quality for any social presence. I tried to make my username more memorable by coming up with a logical English sentence that used the letters in my username. I came up with “Just wanna kick the Jet Engine”. Still this was quite a long sentence and really only served as a mnemonic aid. That’s why months ago I announced that I would be changing my name. And now, the actual change finally happened!

I changed my name to Kick The Jet Engine and the nice people at YouTube helped me to change my custom channel URL to reflect my new name.

Changing a name is weird. Because why even need one apart from your actual name? What makes a good channel name? In my case I do like my new name as it has a close relation to how I started out. Right now, my “old” URL still works but I’ve also got www.youtube.com/kickthejetengine!

Apart from the name change I’m also planning to start uploading more regularly. Most YouTubers say this more often than actually doing it and I’m probably no exception. The last 6 months have been really quiet on my channel. The reason for this was simply; life happened. I did so much work that I almost forget to spend time doing the things I liked. Managing this balance for me is mainly a matter of continuously keeping myself aware that I alone have the power to change the way I distribute my time. I know how obvious this sounds, but it doesn’t always feel this simple in day to day life. So many tasks feel like stuff you simply “need to do”. And all the fun things will come eventually, right?

In many ways it’s good to be able to have the discipline to do the mandatory things first. But it’s important to stay realistic about how mandatory certain things even are. I don’t want the rut of my routine and other peoples expectancies dictate how I should prioritize my life. I want to stay in control and not live in autopilot. Flying in autopilot for too long makes me just wanna kick the jet engine.

Thanks for taking the time to read my first blog  post. Let’s see where this plane takes us!

View All

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *