Get Your Name Before Somebody Else Does

This Way to Monnette If you don’t get your name now, someone else might get it later. Username, I mean. And on a social media site like Twitter, FriendFeed, Digg, Flickr (which uses Yahoo!’s (YHOO) ID system), or YouTube (which can use Google’s (GOOG) ID system).

A friend recommended this to me a few months ago. (Thanks Eric!)

In other words, if you can come up with a fairly catchy and unique username, you could make it your consistent identity on every social media site that you use – or may use in the future.

For example, say you like the username MrMediaMuppet. You already have MrMediaMuppet@gmail.com and www.MrMediaMuppet.com. You also use this username on YouTube too, giving you youtube.com/user/MrMediaMuppet as your profile URL. What you should do next – especially if you are a social media marketer – is to reserve this name on other social media sites as well. This means getting twitter.com/MrMediaMuppet, friendfeed.com/MrMediaMuppet, and flickr.com/photos/MrMediaMuppet too, even if you don’t regularly use these services yet.

(BTW, MrMediaMuppet is an available username, if you want it!)

Dave Evans, a social media consultant, recommends this not only to individual users, but to corporate marketers as well. For instance, say you’re a marketer for Apple’s (AAPL) new product, the iCar. You decide that iCar and AppleiCar will be your social media usernames. The next thing you should do is reserve these names on various social media sites before someone else does. Hopefully soon thereafter, you’ll be able to use them actively; after all, that’s why you’re reserving them, right?

Not only will you be able to lock in a social media marketing venue, but you may prevent an unscrupulous detractor from potentially damaging your brand image. For any professional internet marketer, this should be a must.

UPDATE 2/12/2009 noon: Eric just pointed me to this cool service – UserNameCheck.com. Nice!

UPDATE 6/11/2009: Another cool service – namechk.

Author: Mike Lee

An idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student.

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