6 months or so ago, I changed my name on SE to "Jack says try topanswers.xyz" and asked other people to consider doing the same:
@@@ question 595
At the time, my reasons were:
* SE had been on a roll of terrible behaviour that looked like it would not stop.
* I thought (and still think) it was an [acceptable](https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/349131/users-political-display-name-triggering-government-action-against-users-who-vie/349167#349167) and relatively inoffensive way of expressing that dissatisfaction towards an organisation that had accepted 8 years of devoted service from me.
* No-one had actually complained about my name change.
Things are a bit different now:
1. I still think SE are treating their users like a product, more every day…
…but they have [pulled back from the brink](https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/343890/166851) of their [headlong dash](https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/333965/166851) towards destroying the entire platform.
2. And while they are still graciously showing our (jokingly-posted) [advert on Stack Overflow](https://meta.stackoverflow.com/a/394474/12757754), some of you will have noticed moderators on tex.se [voicing](https://tex.meta.stackexchange.com/q/8616/206657) [their](https://tex.meta.stackexchange.com/a/8617/206657) disapproval of names that promote awareness of tex.ta.
I am committed to developing TA far into the future — I've enjoyed every minute of the effort so far, and it's been a real privilege getting to know the great people in the communities here. I guess I think perhaps we should build on what we have here without antagonising the powers that be on SE. Not because I think they are right — SE still surprise me from time to time with new madness — but because I think we can be better than them. Both a better platform (already in some ways, eventually I hope in many more), and a better community of people who do less harm and more good to ourselves and others. Part of that I think may be letting the Tex moderators have their way on this, since it seems to matter to them. Perhaps more importantly, it may be appreciated by other in the tex.se community who [don't mind the TA promotion](https://tex.meta.stackexchange.com/a/8618/206657), but probably would prefer not to have the friction with their mods.
I propose that I post an answer on that meta tex.se post and would any feedback you are willing to give:
> Hi Joseph, I'm the lead developer of TopAnswers, and I'm responding here as my name has come up [in the comments](https://tex.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8616/promotional-material-in-usernames#comment28129_8618), and because I want you to know that it makes a difference to me that you, and/or [one other another moderator here](https://tex.meta.stackexchange.com/a/8617/206657) would rather *my* name did not advertise TopAnswers.
> I'm not saying I agree with your reasons, or the method of trying to shape opinion here, but I was a moderator for many years on dba.se so I know that it's a tough job, and I have no wish to make yours any tougher, without a very good reason. So I've changed my name here (and on SE generally) back to "Jack Douglas" and will keep it that way. I gently encourage others to do the same, though of course they may do as they please, I have no position here or indeed anywhere else, to tell anyone what to do.
> I have to admit I am impressed that the advertising bothers anyone at all, but I suspect that is less down to the TopAnswers 'name' in particular, and more down to the prolific and brilliant contributions of certain users active on *both* sites (of course on SE there are many other great contributors I do not mean to suggest otherwise — and I imagine that now this has become an issue, they would prefer not to have this friction ongoing, so I write this post out of respect for them too).
> Best of luck with tex.se for the future — and I hope you continue to get full support from the SE network.
Please don't pull any punches if you feel I'm off base here. Most of all I don't want you to feel disrespected by me — what you do on SE is your business, and I love this community, it is very special to me. Whatever happens I want to go on supporting tex.ta and making it a better place to share knowledge and learn from each other.
I completely support disentangling these sites. While I had an SE account, my user name did not have any reference to top answers. (Since the user profile had an URL field, I added https://topanswers.xyz as the URL though. I am not claiming this was a good move.) So, yes, I agree with your proposal.
There are a couple of thoughts:
1. I do not think that adding a reference to topanswers in user names has an overwhelmingly positive effect on the efforts to make the site more known. Rather, I always felt that this is rather blunt, and may even have the opposite effect.
2. IMHO the most efficient way to [make the site more known](https://topanswers.xyz/meta?q=595) is to make answers written here show up high up in some Google search results.
3. This raises the question how we can achieve being "seen" by Google. Obviously we won't pay for that. IMHO the best way seems to provide posts that are of higher quality than those on other sites. This seems to require a discussion on what "better quality" really is.
4. I am not at all an expert on search enginges. However, my crude understanding of "page rank" seems to suggest that linking to other posts on this site (as far as appropriate, of course) helps. (I personally like to do that for the sake of fairness anyway.)
5. This is just an opinion, but I do not think importing questions from SE is a good idea.
6. I am not sure to which extent I agree that moderation on TeX.SE works. The moderator decisions there are influenced by one moderator running another Q&A site, and another one being member of the so-called LaTeX3 team. One of the biggest threats to fair moderation is conflict of interests. I believe that any successful site will have to make minimizing conflicts of interests a top priority. In a way, the reason why the SE sites will ultimately fail is also a conflict of interests, namely between the aim of the company to make money and the aim of Q&A sites to provide useful information. Luckily this site does not suffer from this problem.
Finally, let me thank you for all the valuable work you have put in, and for your committment to develop the site further.