Entries in website (8)
first off sorry about the delay with this episode -- and also there are a couple audio glitches in the show.
but ... on the flip side, its a new episode of Rad On The Web!! and a very cool site if you love your Xbox 360.
Make sure you don't lose out on the Username of your choice with Namechk.com RMBLees looks at why this website could be important to you.
I'll be honest, I still feel relatively new to the world of social media. Although I've been "social" on various internet forums or newsgroups pretty much since the dawn of the Internet. As you'll no doubt know, using these forums always starts with a signup and login process. A process which invariably leads to the creation of a "username". Some people use their real name, whilst others prefer a degree of anonymity, or create a nom-de-plume just for the fun of it.
Throughout my "social" experiences on the web, I have chosen to go by the same username. If you were to Google that name, you'd find my name in most of the top search results in various forums. But not all - more on that in a minute. Over the years I have become that username, as much as that username has become a part of me. Even members of my family recognise that I use it. My real name is not a secret to those who know or call me by my username, they are welcome to know it, it's just I've become known on the Internet by my alias. I feel almost as though I've made it MY brand.
When I started using social media such as Facebook or Twitter, one of the first things I had to do again was sign up, and again the question was; real, or faux name. With Facebook, I went with real name, as this was a place to be social with friends and family, although it is linked with my username. However, with Twitter, I hit upon a problem. Someone was already using "MY" username. What's more the account is totally dormant, having no friends, and only two "spambot"s as follower,. and a single post over 2 years ago to boot (I've since written to the owner and to twitter to try to release the name, but so far I've lucked out). So I chose another username based on my real name, and life continues.
The desire to "own" my username became even more important to me the other day, when I was communicating on a live video stream chatroom, with someone who I've also communicated with a number of times via twitter. They "knew" my username, but hadn't been able to make the connection between that, and my twitter account. I felt my "brand" had become less valuable as a result. And so to the crux.
A few months ago, I remembered hearing about a website that could help me with my dilemma; the availability of MY username across social media. I'd recommend it to those of you who, like me, value the brand value of a common username.
So what's so great about Namechk.com?
- Simplicity; type your username (or your real name), press the CHK button, and see what's available and, almost as importantly, what isn't. Easy. The layout is simple for the eye, selecting either the most popular sites, or all 158 (currently) listed websites, listed as they are, or alphabetically.
- Detail; The sites will then be clearly shown, either as "Available" (green), "Taken" (red), or "Indefinite" (blue). What more do you need?
- Linking; Clicking on any of the sites listed, will take you directly there; to the site. If it is an "Available" or "Indefinite" site you'll be taken to the relevant homepage so you can create a login- grab your username while you can. If it is "Taken" you'll be taken to the usernames page, so you can easily see if you own it, or who does, if you don't.
- Domain check; As a bonus, the site also shows URL website availability.
… and what isn't.
- Accuracy; Yes it works, but I have found a few sites which were registering my username as taken, even though they weren't (Netvibes for example)- I'm not sure if this was an error with Namechk or the parent site. There were also one or two sites where my username was registered, but Namechk indicated that it was "Available" this wasn't a huge issue, as clicking on the link took me directly to my userpage (Blogger was an example of one where I owned the username. Photobucket was "available" but when I tried to register my username it was revealed as in use- I've emailed them.). Because this error was only on one or two sites, and the ease of clicking on a link, these few errors really didn't trouble me too much.
- Unavailability; There really isn't a whole lot you can do about it if your usename is being used by someone else. Most are allocated on a first come first serve basis (As mentioned, I'm trying to get ownership of my preferred Twitter username; not something Twitter currently support, unless there is trademark infringement).
If you are serious about branding yourself across the social network revolution, then Namechk.com will be a valuable tool for you, but with 158 sites available, which ones will you select to boost your social web presence?