Why it matters that I successfully bagged my Facebook username

facebookIt’s 4.58 am this morning in the UK and the alarm kicks off. I’ve set it to bag my Facebook username. What this means is that whenever I direct people to Facebook, I will no longer send them to a URL ending in a strange collection of numbers but rather to my name. Facebook only let us know about this around four days ago.

It’s 4.59 am and as the laptop boots up, I’m thinking that I must me mad. Or, worse still, is this yet another sign that I am addicted to the web? My friend Peter Moore seems to give the theory substance with a Tweet saying “Working with social media can be like having a serious drug problem“.

Facebook’s username selection page loads up and is now counting down the seconds. I am actually shaking.

It’s 5.00 am I begin to remember why it is I am doing this. Try having a pretty average name like “John Welsh”. Google Alerts make it clear just how widespread it is. In one week, all these John Welshes are mentioned:

  • John Welsh, of the Hibernian Society of Utah
  • John Welsh, the photographer
  • John Welsh, principal of Key West High School
  • John Welsh, a US trader
  • John Welsh of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, CA
  • John Welsh, an English actor in the Duchess of Duke Street
  • John Welsh, an English footballer
  • John Welsh will sell you tickets to the John O’Leary band
  • John Welsh, a Liberal Democrat councillor came second in a recent election in Sudbury, England

As you can see, there’s quite a lot of us.

It’s 5.01 am and the countdown reaches zero. I am just about to claim my name and deep peace settles in. I am almost in a state of Zen-like kama. If you, like me, came late to social media, you will have a ragbag of names on your social media profiles. Yes, I’ve managed to bag

But I don’t own John Welsh dot com, taken quite sensibly years ago. And, as for the majority of my social media profiles, they boast a confusion of letters and numbers attached to my name, all of which seem pretty straightforward when compared to my utterly ridiculous Gmail address – johnchriswelsh@googlemail.com. It’s very length and complexity seems to deny the very purpose of social media.

Addicted to the web maybe, but desperate to unclutter my social media footprint, yes! Chuffed to be sufficiently up to speed with social media nowadays that I can do today what many people have been doing for years and lay claim to my name first, yes! Keen to take control of my username for any eventuality the future might throw up, yes!

It’s 5.02 am my name sits there beside a radio button, I press enter and that is it, I’ve nabbed www.Facebook.com/johnwelsh. Back to bed.

It’s 9.00am and I follow a Tweet by Louis Gray to his blog post and realise quite how lucky I have been.

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