If you are getting married or contemplating a user name change for another reason (perhaps “Groovy Guy” has lost its appeal), read ahead to see how easy or difficult it is to change your identity on social media sites.
del.icio.us: I am resisting the urge to use some bad puns. You cannot change your user name. You must export your tags, create a new user name, import your tags, and then delete your old account. The problem is that you lose your bundles. That is a big problem because bundling can take a while. Also note that you cannot simultaneously be logged into both accounts on the same computer or eventually, your old account will magically change to a duplicate copy of your new account. This means that you cannot use your old account to guide how you rebundle tags on the new account. Even if you go through the extra work of rebundling your tags, you still have to update the URL of your del.icio.us page on your other social media sites. I decided to keep my original del.icio.us page. Grade: D = Does not meet expectations
Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo Pulse, PR Open Mic: You go to “settings” or “manage” and change your name. It is a cake walk. No new URLs are needed. Grade: A+ = Exceptional
Pitch: If you haven’t joined PR Open Mic yet, now is the time to do so! It is like Facebook for public relations students, faculty, and practitioners. It is an international community with more than 2,000 members. We help each other with lesson plans, share internship and job announcements, and discuss contemporary issues facing the industry. Join here now.
FriendFeed: If you have a long name, you won’t be able to fit your first name, maiden name, and last name. I could fit “Tiffany Derville Gallican.” Also, if you change your user name, you need to update your new URL anywhere else you have promoted your FriendFeed site. On a good note, even though I changed my user name, I still kept my friends and subscriptions (unlike twitter). Grade: C = Meets expectations
Twitter: You can change your name that appears to the right of your list of tweets; however, you will be forever posting with your original name. Even though you can change your name to the right of your tweet list, you are restricted to 20 characters. I could only fit “Tiffany DerGallicano,” so I couldn’t include both last names to clarify the connection to my user name.
The work-around is to delete your account and start a new one, but then you have to go back and add your contacts. Also, if you’ve promoted your twitter account on your blog, FriendFeed, Facebook, and elsewhere, you have to update all of those URLs. Grade: D = Does not meet expectations
WordPress: You can’t change your user name. Consequently, your three options for the byline on what you write are 1. your original first name, 2. your original first and last name, and 3. your original first name and first initial of your last name.
The work-around is to create your new identity under “users,” but note that you must associate it with a different e-mail account than the one that is connected with your former identity. Also note that your old posts will still have your original name on them. Grade: D+ = Does not meet expectations
I added the plus because at least you don’t have to update your new URL with your other social media sites.