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It’s Your Name: Claim It! | Website Office
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It’s Your Name: Claim It!

July 12, 2008

Ever since I was a little kid, I have insisted on being called James, not Jamie, Jim, Jimmy, or anything else. I liked my name and I made sure that people called me by name, nothing else. Perhaps you are not the same way and you prefer some variation of your name, or perhaps to go by your middle name. You should realize, however, that when you are dealing online, you should be claiming your own name and nothing less.

Online, the ability to converse face to face with people is relegated to sound and video. Most of the web, however, is typed. Unfortunately for you, unless someone is very good at distinguishing someone’s typing style, people are less likely to pick up a difference in the written word. Sometimes things are obvious: Dan Brown does not write anything like Geoffrey Chaucer. I don’t think, however, that your writing is quite as distinctive as Chaucer’s Middle English vocabulary and spelling.

This distinction brings me back to my point: if you are not claiming you own name consistently and in as many places as possible, someone else might. This can cause you a lot of trouble with your reputation and with reaching your customers. If someone else takes the place that is rightfully yours, as long as you claim it, you may be dealing with someone who maliciously works against you and can severely damage your reputation.

If someone takes your name and registers with a social site or forum, they contribute to your reputation, whether positively or negatively. It can also be very difficult to fix or claim your name after someone else already has. The same idea applies to user IDs. Although you may not plan to make use of some forums, you should still keep an eye on them to make sure that no one else is using your standard ID and possibly impersonating you.

So, what is the best way to take care of all of this? Obviously, you cannot go to every social site and every forum and register your site and your standard user ID. You should go, however, to those that you might make use of or those that seem most pertinent to what you do and register there. In addition to preventing someone else from impersonating you, you can also put your links on those profiles, something you should never complain about or avoid.

Written By: James Blackburn, Website Office Staff Writer

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