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Thinking of Joining Twitter
what username should I choose?

 12:42 pm on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think it may be finally time for me to get with the program and join Twitter, it seems the rest of the world has! Plus from a work perspective it's good to have experience of these things.

I am an avid Facebook user (no flaming please!) so I'm not a stranger to social networking. On Facebook I am myself, with my real name, although my picture is a cartoon.

What is the etiquette with Twitter? Should I choose my real name as my username or not?

With Facebook, no-one but my friends can see my incoherent ramblings, but with Twitter, I think they will/should be public, won't they? Which makes me worry about whether I should remain anonymous.

I read one blog post that said the professional way to go is to use your real name, but not if you're going to talk about your shopping list. And I can't promise I won't :)

What do you guys reckon? Are you Twitter people? Got any tips for a n00b?


Paul Bedford

 1:03 pm on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I use my real name on Facebook and Twitter (as I do in most places including here).


 1:13 pm on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I use yoshimi everywhere online, and have done for years, even people who know me irl now refer to me as yoshimi so that works for me, unfortunately Twitter was the exception as that wasn't available. I have 2 twitter accounts, one is my business name, and one is yoshimi+my hobby which is my personal account (not because I'm worried about business contacts seeing what I say, just that there is a lot of talk on that one about specific hobby stuff which would bore the pants off most people.

I think it depends a lot on why you are using it, and who you want to be able to identify you on there. If you are looking to mainly add personal contacts you could go with a nickname that people would know about you, if it is more business related contacts you may want to go with your real name, business name or derivation thereof. Unlike most sites Twitter also allows you to change your name, so you are not tied to yur first incarnation.


 5:38 pm on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I use my real name no were due to the fact it is traceable and can be googled that shows up to much information on me and my business. very dangerous


 9:46 pm on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Tried it for a while, never saw any use or value in it, so I quit using it.


 8:39 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

it seems the rest of the world has

That doesn't seem a good reason to waste your time with twitter.


 8:52 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm mack pretty much everywhere even in the offline world people still refer to me as mack.

If I sign up to anything I try and get mack or a suitable varient.

why mack?... well my real surname is McIntyre pronounced Mackintyre mack just flows better.



 8:59 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Get both your real name and your online nic if you can.

Twitter has major problems with username spam. Not to mention anyone who may not like you who decides to launch a Social Media Reputation Bomb against you.

Then, decide which of the two you are going to become. ;)


 11:19 am on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the responses guys. I think I'll set up a personal account first, not using my real full name, and see how I get on. If I do need a work account I might use part of the company name.

On Facebook I have both a work and personal profile, both using my real name. Sometimes if people stumble across the wrong one, I just point them in the right direction :)


 11:24 am on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

If I sign up to anything I try and get mack or a suitable varient

I worry about using the same nick across different platforms. I might wish to put some distance between my different groups of online peers!


 11:35 am on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just joined up - why is 10 Downing Street following me automatically and should I be worried!


 9:00 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

HelenDev, the choice of a name depends a lot on whether you are using Twitter for personal branding. It seems like most social networking gurus use real names. Others prefer to maintain a lower profile and not expose their real identity to every random reader.


 5:49 pm on Mar 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would use another username unless you are a 'celebrity' or if you are using it to attract traffic to your site, use the name of your site.

[edited by: tedster at 6:11 am (utc) on Mar. 16, 2009]


 7:56 pm on Mar 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

it seems the rest of the world has!

I hate it, I really don't like the interface and the way getting coherent conversations together just doesn't seem to happen. It shouldn't take much programming to get all those @ messages to line up in a single, threaded conversation. And don't get me started about the search.

I don't see the choice of username as any different from joining any other forum. In five years Twitter could be as obsolete as Friends Reunited.


 9:22 am on Mar 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I see some people 'claiming' several versions of their real name and username and putting a note to that effect on most of them, with instructions as to which one to follow for updates.


 3:03 pm on Mar 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm using a nickname but in the settings there are my real name and surname so if someone search on "find people" will find exaclty myself :)

I registered just for fun to read what Lance Armstrong and Shaq has to say everyday.

May be in the future will become a good tool for web marketing but I'm skeptical about it...


 10:16 pm on Mar 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

I use my full name on Twitter and only tweet to announce some SEO URL from a desktop. My work phone has a data plan but a terrible keypad, so I'd only tweet with it in an emergency.


 4:32 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I still don't see the value of twitter for the average joe. Facebook has status updates and so much more.


 5:34 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

your name, most definitely!

build that personal brand, so you could use it to establish your professional identity ;)


 11:01 am on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Facebook has status updates and so much more

If you take a look at the discussion going on over at [webmasterworld.com ] you will see that the status update isn't called that any more, and it looks like they are trying to become more like twitter.

Not sure if this is a good thing though. Having now experienced both I think that Facebook is more useful than Twitter for me in general. IMHO Twitter is just a good way of following celebs, and not a good way to have a coherent conversation with someone. And the new Facebook design seems less coherent too :(


 8:10 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)


Seeing this thread reminded me it was something I probably should look into.

So, I went there in my usual browser, FireFox . . . and immediately noticed the page was kind of broken, what is intended to be a round-cornered top of the box is hanging up and to the left . . .

Despite my disdain, I started looking around . . . and there's nowhere to join.

What the heck? No big and pretty Web 2.0 buttons, it's not even in the plain text links at the bottom, no link to join or register . . . .

So I fired up Internet Destroyer and punched in the URL . . . well now, the page looks like it's REALLY broken . . but there in the space between their graphics and the quotes is a big JOIN button.

So if this is an I.E.-only crowd, I'm not interested. :-) Maybe another day.

I know the url is /signup, and I know this is using Ajax to generate the join button, but it says a thing or two about Javascript dependence and accessibility . . .

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