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.