Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tips for Finding the Perfect Username

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons
Almost any website you visit, particularly ones where you have to sign in, require that you use a username. Picking a username, however, can be very tricky. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a name.

  1. Consider why you are posting.  HotBabyMomma might be cute on a dating site, but not so much if you are trying to get a job. 
  2. Does the name reflect who you are? It's always important to be true to yourself. Try to stay away from super trendy names that don't reflect your personality. Names based on the "Movie of the Week" get old fast and tend to date the person using them. Unless you are a try hardcore fan, I would recommend sticking with something more relevant to who you are. 
  3. Be aware of spellings.  With many sites having a "once used no longer available" policy those who sign up later often find themselves combining various words or changing letters to make a username. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you double check that the edited version doesn't accidentally mean something else. One of my first online names turned out to be a cultural slur that I was completely unaware of. I immediately changed the name once I found out. 
  4. What does it sound like? People will automatically try to pronounce the username so a name like "sxshooter" could be pronounced "six shooter" or "sex shooter", depending on the reader's state of mind. You will also find that at real-world meetups based on online groups, people will associate you with your username more often than your real name. One of my other early usernames was FireSong. This was great until ended up at a meet and greet and people would say "Hey Fi..., um, you. Hi." Understandably, no one wanted to yell "fire" in a crowded room. 
  5. Continuity.  If you are trying to promote your business or brand it's important to have a unique, but spellable, username so that potential clients can find you. It's also important to have the same, or very similar name, on all the websites that pertain to your business. 
Finding a good username can be a challenge, which is why it's important to find something that is as unique as you are. 

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