BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Thursday, July 16, 2015

User Names

Picking a user name is hard online and becomes harder every day as more and more names get taken. In the beginning, I tried to use Patti everywhere, but someone else always had it already and I was on the internet earlier than the majority of people. PattiO was usually a no-go too.

I ended up using my full name on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, which ended up working out with the writing thing. I kind of stumbled into FB by accident and was on there--again--earlier than a lot of people. At least a lot of people that weren't part of the original college group that had FB to themselves for a while. You used to need a .edu email address to register.

Adding extra difficulty to the question is that you want a user name you can tell people. If someone you work with asks for your Twitter name, you don't want to tell them it's Studmuffin or anything else embarrassing in real life.

What if you really dig the user name and want a website for it? Now it's time to worry about who's registered what web domain name. It's daunting.

There used to be a website that would look at available names across multiple platforms, but I forget what it was called. I also read stories in the news about parents who would register their kids' names for websites and social media so that when they were old enough to use it, it would be there for them and not taken by anyone else.

It's really a hard thing. It becomes an identity the same way a name does, and what's available and sounds cool when you're 20 might not be that cool when you're 40. Then the question becomes do I really want to start over with a new user name? Better to get it right the first time.

Yep, a truly daunting problem.