When Twitter launched, my best friend got on it right away. She told me about it, I checked it out, and I actually began the sign up process and got two thirds of the way through and then something interrupted me, I decided I wasn’t interested in a new platform (hell, in the fall of 2006 I was still getting used to using Facebook), and lost my chance to be @Cecily on Twitter. Having just your first name as your Twitter handle is a sign of being uber-cool, an early adopter, and ups your social-media-savvy quoitent exponentially, and I’m furious at myself for letting that slip away.
Alas, three months later when it became clear that everyone in social media was going to be on Twitter, I went to sign in and had to settle on being @CecilyK. Still cool, but with far less shine that @Cecily would have had (and I’m sure @Cecily on Twitter is a wonderful person, and I do not want to appear in any way as if I think she does not have the same right to that name that I do being also named Cecily she surely does, the lucky woman).
You’d think I’d learned my lesson, but I once again delayed too long to sign up for Pinterest, and lost out on even the chance to be CecilyK there. I’m “Cecily Kellogg” on Pinterest now. Not that I’ve pinned anything, mind you, nor am I a “designy” type person that is likely to pin a bunch of things. But damn it, my brand yes, I’m using the dreaded “b” word is now tied to CecilyK and now some (I’m sure very lovely) other woman is identified with “my” name on Pinterest.
Whether or not you like the idea of personal branding, if you are associated heavily with a name, it is my advice that you PROTECT THAT NAME. And yes, that means signing up for every single annoying (and likely short lived) social media gizmo that comes along.
My oversight with Pinterest aside, I’ve signed up with Orkut, Quora, Plurk, and many more of now-defunct or no longer cool social media sites than I can name. I have literally dozens of social media accounts almost NONE of which I use on a daily basis. I now not only sign up in my name but in my blog’s name as well, because after all, I’ve gotta protect that brand too.
Next time my best friend starts touting a cool new social media platform, I’m going to click over and sign up immediately. I’ve learned my lesson! Of course, I’m the rare mom blogger that hasn’t also created all of those accounts in my daughter’s name… But when I get some free time, I’m get RIGHT ON THAT.