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 email@example.com. He questions whether the owner appreciates his Gmail handle—or if he even has a pulse.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 also a great read if your name is Michelle Jones or Andrew Green. Check it out here.