Getting Started In Social Media: Claim Your Name

Posted in Social Media by diptoe on May 21, 2010

Step Two: Claim your name.

Ever gone to sign up for a new service or e-mail address and found out your name was already taken? Yeah, it sucks. You do not want that happening every time you sign up for another social media account. Here’s a few ways you can prevent that.

1. Do your research.

Before you choose a name, use Google or a service like KnowEm.com to find out if it’s already taken. KnowEm is great because it checks over 350 social media sites for you. Definitely check to see if the name you want is a website already.

2. Get an email address with your username.

This might have been helpful for the previous post. Hit Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, and any other top e-mail services you might want.

3. Get your username and profile on the top social media sites.

You can use a service like KnowEm.com to do this, or you can do it on your own. You’ll at least want Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare, and at minimum one blogging service.

4. Create a Facebook page and get a username.

Your page will need at least 25 fans in order to get a username. When I did it, I made the page and PM’d about 40 of my closest friends. I explained that I was experimenting with social media, and asked if they would help by liking my page. 36 of them did. I got my username. Notice that I didn’t spam my entire Friends list. That was unnecessary, and I didn’t want someone finding out what I was doing and getting my username before I did.

5. Purchase domain names.

And I do mean “names.” Get the .com, .net, .org, etc., of your name and any equivalents that you think you might want someday. It doesn’t cost much, and it’s much better than someone capturing your name and trying to sell it back to you (it happened to me). Be careful here – use a reputable registrar like GoDaddy or Register.com. The last thing you want is a shady, fly-by-night registrar purchasing your name the minute you search for it on their website.

Ok, that was 20 minutes. Better than yesterday. Have you ever had your name stolen from you? Let me know in the comments below.

Update: This post was originally titled, “The Five-Minute Blog Challenge (FMBC), Post Two.”


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