I’ve made it a point to secure the usernames danielgreene and danieljamesgreene wherever I can so that I can give people easy URLs to find me on the Web. It would be nicer if I had the same username on all social networks, as Alexandra Samuel does (she can say, “Find me as awsamuel on … Twitter, De.li.cio.us, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Google, and YouTube), but djgreene is usually not available. In fact, narrowing my usernames down to danielgreene and danieljamesgreene involved several feats of account and profile management. Here’s how I did it.
The YouTube Story
Here’s a pair of cross-referenced videos I put on my old and new YouTube accounts as an “I’m moving” subscriber retention campaign, or what I guess some people might call a rebranding campaign.
This one tells people I’m moving from azsingersigner to danieljamesgreene:
And this one welcomes people to danieljamesgreene and tells them I’ve moved from azsingersigner:
azsingersigner on YouTube now has a brother channel at danieljamesgreene on YouTube. I’ll keep azsingersigner because I’ve had it for four years and have received many views, comments, video responses, subscriptions, favorites, on my videos there. It wouldn’t be right to scrub all that. I’ll just start uploading all my new stuff to danieljamesgreene, and make sure all my old subscribers know to subscribe to my new channel. In case you’re wondering why I didn’t get the username danielgreene on YouTube, it’s because that username was secured by someone in Belgium a month after I joined, and nothing has been done with the account since. Oh well. My husband’s name, andysmithers, was also secured around the same time by someone in the United Kingdom, and nothing has been done with that account either. Username squatting, anyone?
My Usernames on Other Social Networks
- danielgreene on Flickr has been my username for more than four years, so no problem there.
- danielgreene on Twitter has been my username since I first joined almost two years ago, so that’s cool.
- danieljamesgreene on LinkedIn has replaced danieljgreene as my username. You can change your personal URL on LinkedIn, something you can’t do on most social networks.
- danieljamesgreene on Facebook is my Page, and the name on my Page is Daniel Greene. Conversely, danielgreene on Facebook is my personal profile, and my name on my personal profile is Daniel James Greene. Seem strange? Read on.
The Facebook Story
Although it might seem strange that Daniel Greene is danieljamesgreene and Daniel James Greene is danielgreene, there’s a method to the madness. When I first secured my username on June 13, 2009, within the first minute they were available, I picked the name I’d always used. I had barely considered getting a Page, and even if I had a Page, I wouldn’t have been able to secure a username on June 13, 2009 unless I had 1,000 fans by May 31, 2009. When I finally decided to get a Page a few weeks ago, I named it Daniel Greene, which I’ve always gone by professionally. Ironically, I couldn’t secure danielgreene as the username because I had already taken it for my personal profile. So I took the next best thing: danieljamesgreene– my full name including my middle name. But, oops! Now my username for my Page was different from my display name for my Page, and my display name for my profile and Page were the same. It turns out you cannot change your Facebook Page name, but you can change your Facebook profile name. So I changed my Facebook profile display name to Daniel James Greene. Now it’s easier for people to tell the difference between updates from my personal and public accounts. At the same time, I can do the kind of “this is that and that is this” cross-branding that associates one brand with another.
I’m a bit loath to talk about my names as brands, but–let’s face it–they are. Everybody’s name is, in some way, their brand. One of the reasons I’ve always used my name as my brand is that I do too many things to brand what I do with a company name. As Daniel Greene, I work as an interpreter for the deaf (sign language interpreter and oral transliterator), interpreter trainer, performing artist, writer, Web author, blogger, vlogger, photographer, and more. I do too many different things to limit myself to a blog or YouTube channel about one thing, and it would be too time consuming to maintain separate media channels for all my various vocations.
Using the Middle Name
Daniel James Greene is my full name. There aren’t as many Daniel James Greenes in the world as there are Daniel Greenes, so someday I might have to use my full name as my professional name. For instance, if I joined SAG and there were already a SAG member named Daniel Greene, I would have to join as Daniel James Greene. Likewise, if there are other authors or scholarly writers that use the my first and last name, I might want to use my full name. I plan to go on using the name Daniel Greene as long as I can, but I will use Daniel James Greene when I have to.
So that’s the story of my usernames danielgreene and danieljamesgreene. I got them so that I could use my first-last and first-middle-last names for social and professional discoverability and recognition. I like to be able to find the people that matter to me, whether as friends or public figures; in return, I like to help people to find me. I also value integrity and consistency, and I believe in having as consistent an identity as possible. Integrity, to me, is doing what I say I’m going to do and being who I say I am. I believe integrity is also about integrating the various aspects of yourself into one. I’m not interested in using the Internet to take on imaginary personas; I just like being me here, and I prefer to do that with as few names as possible and let people know that both names refer to me.
P.S. I also secured the domain name danieljamesgreene.com and set the URL to resolve to danielgreene.com.