(Originally posted on a previous iteration of my blog in 2008)
With Facebook getting a lot of attention for their vanity usernames (which, in my opinion, is fairly useless). It got me to wondering how Facebook would prevent brand-jacking, or the act of a random Joe Schmoe claiming “Disney” for himself.
Twitter has fought the issue recently and a few celebrities have been able to reclaim their profiles. Facebook must have some type of approval filter, because facebook.com/bscarter is un-claim-able.
Which led me down another path…what happens to future Brandon Carters? Will I have my name on Facebook forever? If I stop using Facebook, will my name expire and go back on the market?
Which brings me to the point of this post. A lot of Twitter early adopters grabbed valuable real estate and abandoned it. Check some of these out:
http://twitter.com/bsc (Yes, I’m bitter)
I checked out some of the major brand names, listing off the biggest names I could think off the top of my head, and it seems most of them don’t own twitter.com/(their name).
(Editor’s note: This list was much longer in 2008 and included names such as WalMart, Target, General Electric, Sony and even Microsoft)
And on and on…
As a native Oklahoman, I can appreciate the land-run nature of grabbing usernames, so I don’t have major issues with this. It seems like a good idea to have a company brand scavenger who spends as much time as needed going through sites and registering the company name.
I would like to see Twitter take accounts and toss them back out for general claiming if someone doesn’t use them for a while. I know that would cause issues with identity confusion on occasion, and maybe it wouldn’t be fair to the guy who ends up in a coma…but dangit, I want