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username squatting

May 19, 2008

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This picks up on yesterday’s post about registering user names.

A decade ago, brands had a problem with cybersquatters, people grabbing brand names like http://www.coke.com, or http://www.microsoft.com and then selling it back to the brands.

Well, meet our decade’s problem: user name squatting. Grabbing MySpace.com/brand. Or Twitter.com/brand. Or a Digg.com/brand.

If you’re an AE of a brand, and you’re reading this, go out to Twitter, MySpace, Digg, Skype, Tumblr, Last FM, WordPress, Blogger….and see if someone has taken your username. If they haven’t, grab it.

Since Twitter is the ‘hot’ thing, chances are, many brand names are gone. That means people have to think about a username that will make people think about the brand. If it’s coke, it might be “refreshing_beverage”. If it’s a pizza store, then perhaps the username is fast_delivery.

In other words, the username strategy could be the product’s best attribute. As the content gets filled it can add the context that lets people engage in conversation.

Agencies could make the password the agency name, then hand it over to the client. To log in, they’ll have to enter that agency every time.

It’s looking smart for essentially doing nothing. And as people become aware of username squatting, either intentionally or not, it could mean looking like a genius.

And unlike the old days of cyber squatting, this is FREE. So register a couple. But don’t think that someone isn’t going to pick your brand. They will.

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