Spend any time on a social network where you’re identified by a username or handle—be that Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, Flickr, Shizzow, Gmail, or a multitude of other sites—and you’ll rapidly become associated with that name.
Need an example of this in action? Just show up to a Portland tech event. I can all but guarantee “What’s your Twitter name?” comes up at some point in the conversation.
But like anything online, once you’ve found a name you like, it becomes a matter of consistently using—and reserving it—on sites that you may use. Just so everyone knows that it’s you.
We all get very defensive about our username. And we’ve been dealing with this issue since the days of BBS—actually maybe even CBs, good buddy.
And then there’s the confusion when you have folks who use the same name or who switch identities from service to service. Are you the @aaron from Twitter or the @aaron from identi.ca?
Worst of all? What happens when someone else snags your identity and uses it against you? Like the situation with which the folks from OurPDX were dealing with on Twitter.
To date, the best defense has been the “new social network land grab.” It’s a lemming-like rush to the cliff of every new social network site that crops up. We all sprint over, register our preferred username, and squat on it—just in case we decide to use that social network at some point in the future.
Oh my. Who knew social networking would end up being so much work? I just want my friends to know me, wherever I happen to be. Why does that have to be such a pain in the ass?
Well, thanks to Portland-based FriendsCall.Me, it just got a lot easier. Built by DariusMonsef and PureForm—the duo behind COLOURlovers—FriendsCall.Me cures a whole bunch of the headaches surrounding social network identity management—and it gives you a beautiful new profile/lifestream to boot.
Or, in the words of FriendsCall.Me:
We’re living in the age of the social web. Just about every website you join has a profile for you to fill out. A huge number of really great sites will come online in the next few years and every one will have another profile… this disconnected mess of profiles is going to become more and more of a pain to manage. We’re paving the first steps on the way to helping you organize all those profiles. In the comings days and weeks we’ll be bringing online features that not only allow you to check a username, but register a profile and sync it with all your other profiles… and along the way show you some interesting sites you might not have known about.
So the problems I mentioned above? Owning your chosen username, letting people know you’re you even though your usernames may be different, and getting alerts when new social networks come online? Done, done, and done with FriendsCall.Me.
Want to see where your username is being used? Just run a username check and you’ll see all the spots where it’s living.
If you’re looking to consolidate your profiles under one roof, sign up for an account. Then, you can add a bunch of your social media and social networking accounts to your profile page. Your new FriendsCall.Me profile aggregates all of your identities in one spot.
Finally, if you’re looking to keep control of that identity, you’ve got a bevy of options on how you get alerts. Want every site that comes online? Fine. Just want photo sites? Fine. Mix and match the alerts to meet your needs.
What’s that? Your favorite site isn’t there? That’s easily remedied.
Seen this before?
I’m sure you have. FriendsCall.Me is sure, too:
You may notice that FriendsCall.Me works a lot like some other sites you may have seen… that’s because some of the features we provide aren’t exactly new. The username checking susernameervice was well executed by Jon Sykes before he turned his site off… and several clones have popped up since. In that way, our features are a little “Me Too” but we’re not much for simply copying an old idea and rebranding it. We saw an opportunity to take a few concepts and stir them all together to create a new and much more useful service.
But I like the way these guys think, they’ve got a ton of experience in dealing with social networks, and—let’s face it—I’m going to give any Silicon Forest startup the benefit of the doubt.
I’d love to hear what you think. Give FriendsCall.Me a try and let me know.
[…] Like to use the same username everywhere? FriendsCall.Me can help (4) […]
Thanks Rick for the awesome writeup. And thanks to Jeff & Justin for the kind words. What we have online now is just the beginning of what we plan to offer… Looking forward to helping everyone organize their profiles.
This service is so bad ass!! I can’t wait until they can manage multiple parts of our identity data 🙂
Um…needless to say, I just set up an account here for OurPDX…!
WOW! FriendsCall.me goes above and beyond any other user-name checking site. This is VERY cool! I signed up and I’ll keep using it.
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