I recently received an email from a business partner asking about selecting names on Twitter. I believe that the majority of selecting a name on Twitter applies to most social networks. I try to think of this as the wild west. The situation with Twitter is similar to when domain names first became available. The main difference is that people understand now that once a name is taken it is no longer available. That being said you should lock up your name, your company name, variations of your company name and any other names that might apply to any far off business ventures that may be lying around in the back of your mind. If you don’t there is no precedent for taking control of a name that relates to a trademark. People are already locking up major brand names in the hope of selling them. Most companies will go the legal route but they can just pay a couple hundred bucks and save on the cost of their legal.
- Your name
- Your brands
- Versions of your brands
- Future venture names
- Anything else you can think of.
Twitter may be something that people are still trying to figure out but it is in a similar position to Google a few years into operation. They have the majority of the traffic to microblogging platforms and are constantly tweaking and innovating their interface and tools. Not to mention that you can use their API and create your own Twitter tool. As for my selection of my Twitter profiles I operate each of the names below for myself or professionally. The first 4 relate to blogs that I have. Then number 5 is my name and the last 4 are for professional purposes.
In talking with some younger generations they are using this system for chat. While I was used to using ICQ in college and some earlier systems before that the options are greater and this type of social integration into direct communication is just a natural progression.
Update: Brian Solis posted an article that linked to a username checking site for social networks. http://usernamecheck.com/