Go ahead. Put your name in the Google search engine. Do you show up in the top ten? Top 50? Top 100? Now try my name, Randy Kirk. Do you think it would help your business to have your name at the top of the list in Google?
As important as it is today, I think it will be huge in the future. As the internet becomes more and more complex, you are going to want a "personal portal" where you can send folks that will get them to all of your activity. If you can say: "just Google my name" you have created that portal for free.
Well, not totally free. In order to have your name recognised by Google, your name needs to appear on the web. One of my friends has a name that is much more common than mine. Mike or Michael Williams. But if you Google his name, using either first name, he is in the top three. He has only one blog (a very good one), but he also paid for Google advertising in the right column for a while. Doesn't cost much, because no one is competing for that keyword.
The other aspect that isn't free is the time spent on the blog. However, if you have a website, you can put names on that. You can also get listed on association websites. If you send out PR releases for web news groups, and they print your PR release, it will help move your name up the list. You can also participate in forums. Note that one of the reasons my name is seen in the top listings is from participating in a forum.
Get busy. You may be shocked at how many others have your same name. Start building your very personal brand now. In 2006, I'll be reporting on a new aspect of communication and selling that will make this branding even more important.