What’s in a username?

by Write Edit Print.

Oh God. There are huge numbers of people on the internet and they’ve stolen all the usernames. I want to create a blog and the first obstacle to overcome is to choose a name. Thinking of what I plan to be my first post I type ‘IThinkThereforeShush’ into the designated box. But WordPress tells me that capitals are not allowed. Really? I’m not used to my computer telling me I can’t do things. In the physical realm, I have only a finite array of fonts (my own scrawl) and colours (some ten year old glow pens) to choose from but in the cyber realm you’re usually allowed to pick any font, any colour, any size that you like. It’s not easy to distinguish the words in ‘ithinkthereforeshush’ and I don’t want my eyes to spasm every time I have to read it. Nevermind, it’s a shit name anyway. Different tactic. I type ‘blogoff’ into box and box answers ‘sorry, that username already exists’. Fair enough, it’s a pretty obvious pun. Next I try ‘freepublishing’. Taken. How about ‘writeeditpublish’. Taken. I like this so I’m fairly irritated by the computer’s third rejection. However I’m intrigued at these cyber dismissals and keen to test the waters further so I randomly type ‘iamaduck’. TAKEN. ‘flobberworm’. TAKEN. ‘computersaysno’. Computer does say no. Still absorbed I try ‘doesthisexist’ and indeed the familiar words appear before me, ‘sorry, that username already exists’. Annoyed, I type ‘fuckoff’. Taken.

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 18.43.38

I look around the room for inspiration and type ‘ornamentalcow’. Success!  But wait…I don’t really want a blog called ‘ornamentalcow’. Is this my punishment for joining the blogging world too late? Will I be stuck with ‘ornamentalcow’? I read recently that the rich and famous are creating twitter accounts on behalf of their babies so that their domain names are secured. It seems ridiculous, but now I wonder if their parents are just particularly internet savvy and are saving their children from the fate of ‘ornamentalcow’ as an online persona. What could be worse, my dear?

Having now written it four times, I’ve developed quite a liking for ‘ornamentalcow’ but I think it gives off the wrong impression so I’m rejecting it. This is difficult. But why? It’s a username for God’s sake, not a tattoo. However, as I have often thought with tattoos, if you can’t pick one you probably shouldn’t have one. On this note I attempt ‘hewhoshallnotbenamed’. Taken, obviously. Harry Potter references are probably a no go area.

No wonder it’s so difficult to choose a username; in 2011 it was estimated that there were over 181 million blogs while the current reality is likely to be around 250 million. WordPress itself claims to play host to over 71 million blogs. But I’m looking forward to delving into the blogosphere so I need to decide on a name. I want something that will be difficult to regret; something to the point and lacking sentimentality or personal associations. What essentially is this? It’s a publishing platform. So let’s go back to basics; Write Edit Print.