Like the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 before it, Saturday, June 13th at 12:01 a.m. EDT will be one of the most important moments in the history of all of time.
At that exact moment, social networking site Facebook will allow users to register dedicated usernames, meaning you can finally have a URL for your profile that will make sense to other human beings. Won't your business card look that much cleaner!
But be careful. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Here are some helpful pointers to consider before you choose.
- Make sure you're logged on right at 12:01. In the past, being social meant that you would probably be out on a Friday night. Not anymore! In modern times, the best way to network socially is to make sure you are hunched over your computer all evening on a summer weekend.
- If your name sucks, grab a better one. You can always legally change your real name in court, but once you choose your Facebook username "you won't be able to change or transfer it." Ever! In fact, it may save time if you prepare the necessary legal forms to change your name to whatever handle you get in advance.
- Try to grab a celebrity name or important handle first. Remember when Madonna got into that fight over the website Madonna.com. You know why that happened? Because the guy who owned Madonna.com was a genius! You know how many free copies of Dianetics you can negotiate if you're the first to grab the username "TomCruise"! You'll thank me later in your deposition.
- Have a backup plan. Alright, Steve. I know you have your heart set on www.facebook.com/steve, but you may want to get your steno pad out and start jotting down some alternatives. Oh, your friends call you "Steve-o"? Great! Keep thinking.
- Be consistent. They've yet to diagnose it, but "web-schizophrenia" may eventually be a serious psychological problem. If your Gmail account, doesn't match your Twitter, doesn't match your Facebook, you might as well add your name to a terrorist watch list, 'cause you've got identity issues.
- Don't take Facebook's suggestion. What is this? 2001? No. It's 2009. We don't let some HAL-wannabe boss us around. I'm sure Facebook is gonna suggest I take "mike.pomranz". Ha. I'd rather take "screw.you.facebook.pomranz" than take orders from a machine!
- Be happy with what you get. Remember how proud you were back in high school when you picked up the AOL screenname "BluntSmoka420420"? It's estimated that Facebook has 15 trillion users and growing. Just be happy they were willing to give you a handle at all! You never complained when your username was "635712833".
If you follow these steps, I guarantee that you will be happy with your choice in username for at least the next 14 month that it takes for your interest in using Facebook instead of the unforeseen newest social networking trend to peter out.