Because it Sucks to be John.Smith_091279@gmail.com

Because it Sucks to be John.Smith_091279@gmail.com

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Taryn Williford
Apr 24, 2009

With our online personas seriously affecting our lives in the matters of friendships, careers and even our entire identity, its easy to see how getting the right username can be a big deal. Daniel Sung at Tech Digest goes on a little mini-rant about not being able to claim dansung@gmail.com. He questions whether the owner appreciates his Gmail handle—or if he even has a pulse.

Daniel writes:

The trouble is, that my name's not so rare that I always get my choice of user name on all the big services out there. Most people's aren't but, again, that was never really a problem when it was just about e-mail addresses, but now that Google profiles becoming all the rage and services like Twitter actually affect my career, suddenly, my juvenile choices of dannyskunk@hotmail.com and nipples@gmail.com aren't very useful any more.

...

So, how do I go about getting my name back, aside paying the guy for it? What if it's some kid who never uses the account? What if the owner of dansung@gmail.com is dead?

The article goes on to detail the process for taken-but-inactive user handles on big sites becoming disabled and available to the unfortunate John-Doe-named public again.

It's an informative read for anybody who's curious about terms of use, but obviously not curious enough to read the info and commit it to memory (instead of scrolling down and checking the "I Agree" box like I tend to do).

It's also a great read if your name is Michelle Jones or Andrew Green. Check it out here.

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