ClaimMyName: Self-Help Against Name-Squatting on Social Media Services

by on August 8, 2009 · 11 comments

The proliferation of Web 2.0 social media services has magnified the old problem of cyber-squatting: Every new service represents the possibility that someone else might claim your name, or your organization’s trademark, as a user name before you do! This problem is especially significant where user names correspond to vanity URLs, as with Twitter and, more recently, Facebook.

So I was intrigued to discover that the market is responding to this need: ClaimMyName (CMN) will take care of user registrations on 30 Web 20 services for $329 or on an astounding 300 services for $799. CMN is a “freemium” service offered by DandyID.com, a nifty free service that allows users to organize all their social media profiles for something like 390 services so that buttons for each service can easily be added to an author bio page on a blog, as we’ve done at the TLF. So if I really wanted to make sure that no one else registered http://<WEB2.0service>.com/berinszoka, or /techliberation or /ProgressFreedom, this service would allow me to do so with just a few clicks—at a price of either $10.97/service for thirty or $2.66/service for 300 services.

CMN is essentially a mini-Mark Monitor, the international company famous for protecting trademarks online—except that CMN facilitates self-help by users outside of trademark law: No registration is required; everything is done on a first-come-first-serve basis. Pretty cool.

  • http://www.aheram.com Jayel Aheram

    The only problem with claiming names on any of these services iis that merely claiming them is not enough.

    Unless you keep track of them and update the profiles accordingly, you will end up with a lot of dead-ends when someone searches for you on Google or any search engine. On one hand, you get to claim your unique name. On the other hand, you have a lot of blank profiles that do not tell much about you and will register in search engines. It just creates noise.

    I am having a hard time as it is keeping track of and updating a small number (18 ) of social networks (making sure profile information is accurate, links bank to http://aheram.com, making sure there is nothing on there that you do not want), adding 282 more to that list will just break me!

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    The value of this varies greatly from person to person; see http://howmanyofme.com. According to that site there is only one of me, so who would sit on that name? No if you are John Smith….

    I had read a story that indicated that soon-to-be-parents were actually picking out names so their future children would be unique when “googled” That seems silly–by the time these children are grown up the likelihood of the net being the same seem remote indeed.

  • http://techliberation.com/author/berinszoka/ Berin Szoka

    Clearly, my parents were thinking ahead!

    Your point is a fair one, EF. Apparently, there are a mere 172 Szokas in the U.S.!

    But yes, many of my friends having kids are, indeed, deliberately picking out unique names because of the Internet era. I suspect that trend with accelerate as more couples hyphenate or even amalgamate their names–thus creating a much more diverse mix of last names. For example, a friend of mine, formerly Bobby Smith, is now Bobby Smithney, having married one Ms. Courtney.

  • http://techliberation.com/author/berinszoka/ Berin Szoka

    Clearly, my parents were thinking ahead!

    Your point is a fair one, EF. Apparently, there are a mere 172 Szokas in the U.S.!

    But yes, many of my friends having kids are, indeed, deliberately picking out unique names because of the Internet era. I suspect that trend with accelerate as more couples hyphenate or even amalgamate their names–thus creating a much more diverse mix of last names. For example, a friend of mine, formerly Bobby Smith, is now Bobby Smithney, having married one Ms. Courtney.

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  • http://ripanti.yiid.com/ yiid.com

    It seems to be a great service, but it isn't to expensive ?

    Regards
    Marco

  • http://ripanti.yiid.com/ yiid.com

    It seems to be a great service, but it isn't to expensive ?

    Regards
    Marco

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