Every so often, some new online service will present itself. Some turn out to be duds, but some turn out to be pretty compelling. As most of them are free, it’s often handy to grab your name early on while it’s available, in case it becomes useful later.
In the prehistoric days of the net, I used a nickname. But I went off that, and switched to the same alias that usually matched my corporate email name: dbowen. So back when Excite was a portal and email service that people actually used (as opposed to a the ghost town it is now), I managed to nab the dbowen user on there, as well as a bunch of other, more obscure services.
At some stage it got too hard, and I switched first to dfbowen, then to danielbowen. Certainly longer, but this is an easier one, and is also more readily identifiable with me.
There are obviously other Daniel Bowens around online, but I seem to have usually managed to beat them to the punch on this stuff. I’m obviously more of a geek than they are. The most recent was Facebook, but here’s a list of the main places I’ve grabbed my name:
- danielbowen.com — blog… and really, the only one of these that I truly own
- danielbowen at gmail.com — now my main personal email — I periodically get emails for one of my namesakes here. The same logon is used for a multitude of other Google services
- danielbowen at yahoo.com — an email address I no longer use, but it’s the same profile used for YahooGroups, and also for…
- flickr.com/photos/danielbowen — my Flickr photo feed
- danielbowen at hotmail.com — I don’t use this for email, but it is my Passport logon, for various (mostly Microsoft) services. Someone’s got this one mixed up too, as I’ve noticed an influx of Match.com dating service emails, apparently directed at a namesake in Western Australia.
- twitter.com/danielbowen — the Twitter feed, providing useless snippets of information, 140 characters at a time
- friendfeed.com/danielbowen — I don’t really use this very much, but it combines the blog, Twitter, Flickr, geekrant.org posts, and my Google News EgoSearch into one handy stalking package
- User:Danielbowen — my Wikipedia user page. I dabble in Wikipedia, undoing obvious vandalism when I see it, and occasionally adding things to articles
- facebook.com/danielbowen — but note, I don’t really use it that much at the moment. Mostly Scrabble, and keeping up with friends that I actually know in real life, and a handful I know well online. Stick to the blog/Twitter/Friendfeed if you want to stalk me.
What’s your handle? Do you have a single one you use online? Have you missed out on your preferred logon on some services, and had to compromise, or have you got something reasonably unique?