The growing importance of the social web is really beginning put a whole new perspective on something that used to be a low involvement decision- choosing a username. Over the years, I’ve increasingly moved away from the magic and fantastical (dark_merlin… wtf?) to something that uniquely identifies me allows me to build my personal brand. Still, when I chose my previous current default for a username, mpulfer89, I never thought about the distress a simple 89 would someday cause me. Not only does this immediately give away my age and spure judgement, but it’s pretty much childish. Choosing a ubiquitous username may seem like an unimportant task, but is increasingly important in building a unified personal brand across multiple platforms. Here are some tips for choosing your personal web identity so you don’t have to stress it once you’re serious about going big.
- AVOID NUMBERS if at all possible. Birth years leave you vulnerable to age categorization and beg to be called out at an inopportune moment.
- _ and . and – are your friend. The hyphen and the underscore can get you that one necessary character away from that pesky bastard who’s squatting your name while maintaining a clear personal brand.
- Dont attempt to use clever spellings of your name to differentiate yourself from that pesky squatter. People won’t be able to find you when you decide to replace the I with an l in your name.
- If your name is incredibly generic, take the time now to think of a professional, unique username that you can apply across many platforms.
- A good starting point for building a solid username is a combination of initials and your names like mpulfer, michaelp, mapulfer, or michaelpulfer. If those are taken, play around with your friends _ . -. Finally, if all else fails try a simple modifier to get away from that pesky name squatter.
Personal branding is becoming increasingly important, especially if you want a voice in the growing discussion going on in the social web. Pick a good name now and save yourself many a heartache and “ADD MY NEW ACCOUNT @shortsighted.fool” posts later.
That being said, you can follow me on almost any social media platform under mpulfr, here’s my Twitter link to get you started.