Today we celebrate the 30th birthday of David Shiffman, but the entity known as WhySharksMatter was born on an entirely different day. On January 26, 2009, David officially joined Southern Fried Science and assumed the handle that would soon become the most prolific shark conservation activist online. Here, for posterity, is the original chatlog where we discussed his future handle.
David: I’m still working on a clever handle name
me: you don’t have to have one
it just makes thinks more fun
and gives you a little anonymity
David: It would definitely be helpful
I could also go with the title of the book I’m writing and what will be the name of the nonprofit I create to go along with it… It’s not too snappy as a handle, though. “WhySharksMatter”
me: i like that a lot actually
I can do that
me: or just Sharks Matter
Not really southern
But otherwise I like it
me: it says it all
i said southern in the broadest possible way
and sharks are found in only two places on earth
the northern and southern hemisphere
David: Fair enough
Just “Sharks Matter” then?
me: if you like it
David: I do, and it is related to my other work
But it isn’t really a noun like “Scientist” is
me: what about Shark Matters?
David: Still not really a noun and less related to my earlier work
The Shark Shall Rise Again?
conservationist and southern
me: may not want to invoke that particular brand of the south
David: Something about palmettos?
it’ll be something that as soon as you hear it you’ll know