Picking a name – URLs and usernames

Although it’s not the be all, having a unique name for a project/event/whatever can be very useful indeed:

  • Being unique makes it easier for people to find you online, and
  • Using Google Alerts and the Social Media Firehose is an awful lot easier if you’re not sifting out irrelevant search results.

Choosing names for things is difficult at the best of times but there are a couple of tools that will make the process a little less painful.

Domain name availability

I tend to use Instant Domain Search to see if the .com domain for a given name is available (as well as the .net and .org).  There might be a better tool – if so let me know – but I’m happy enough with this for the time being as it’s ridiculously quick.

Checking username availability

As well as the domain name, it may make sense to have matching profiles on sites like Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, etc and so on.  When I was picking a name for the film competition I ran (Film Dash) I spent far too much time checking username availability on the principal social media sites.

The Username Check service simplifies that process massively, although perhaps replacing it with an urge to sign up to every single service.  (Thanks to Phil Oakley for the heads-up on this one).

Published by Chris Unitt

I work at One Further, doing digital projects with cultural organisations. Follow @ChrisUnitt or find me on LinkedIn.

3 replies on “Picking a name – URLs and usernames”

Comments are closed.