Facebook Usernames and the Online Identity

The Facebook Username landrush started last night, basically meaning that instead of your facebook link looking like this:

http://www.facebook.com/friends/#/profile.php?id=561529368

it now looks like this:

http://www.facebook.com/yournamehere

Big deal, right?

Well, potentially it was for some, popular journalists and brands were spared the landrush and allowed to pre-register their desired facebook username in advance of the launch. Presumably this was a play for positive write-ups for their vanity project.

So what does it mean for us? Well it will be a little easier to do this sort of thing:

http://current.com/e/90052190/en_US

It has got me thinking about the distinction between the two worlds we operate in. The only place I use my real name on the internet is Facebook, and to a degree here. Everywhere else I am VenomandSerum, a handle that has developed from gaming, through forums and now to creative outlets. I’m fairly sure this is a common story.

In the Venn diagram of my internet connections there are very few people in the intersecting area. This made my decision to use my actual name as my Facebook Username an easy one. Facebook, whilst a powerful tool for connecting people, seems to me like internet-lite, a tranquil zone for the less geeky in a sea of nerd. It has pretty much all the other aspects of the tinterwebs, games, chat, commercials, and the friends in the Facebook circle that I also see in real life, you know, the real number once you strip away the people that you drifted apart from after school FOR A REASON, tend to head straight to Facebook when they get on the net, and rarely visit anywhere else.

For these people the Facebook Username might be a huge deal. Nobody wants to be DaveSmith637, and for these people an alternate Facebook Username is largely useless; their online persona is the same as their real life one. I guess they’re stuck with a string of numbers still in their link, pretty much negating any potential benefit of the Facebook Username.

Oh well, never mind, I got /GazzHayes so what do I care…?

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