Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Unique cyberspace identities - an impending conundrum?

For some reason today I went and activated my myspace account again, and tried to claim my own unique myspace URL.

Barely, crossing my mind, I typed in: "http://www.myspace.com/davidlian" I tense up for a moment in anticipation... and am greeted with the reply - "URL taken."


What? Now, I'm not necessarily a narcissist but I guess I've come to take for granted that the cyber-moniker davidlian would be uncommon enough to be automatically mine. It's not like it's as common as John Doe, right? (anyone actually called John Doe out there?) But fact as it is, there are many other Davids out there, and Lians, and apparently David Lians too!

Here's the conundrum. As more and more social networks, internet services and things-to-sign-up-for pop up, do you find yourself more and more often using the same username / login? Do you start hearing people call you by your "callsign" / online-username / identity / cyber-moniker? (ST or FA anyone?) Have you come to identify with that one name?

If it's yes, yes, and yes, then you're just one more person that's part of the unifying-internet-identity trend. With open-source projects like OpenID, corporate driven unification programmes like Microsoft Passport or the YahooID, and alliances like Google's OpenSocial being drawn up, it seems everyone is driven to having just one ID and one password.

Here comes the cruncher, what happens when you aren't the first davidlian to sign up for that brand new OpenID account? Or that new OpenSocial account? Yeah, you'd end up adding numbers to the back of your username (like davidlian82 for my MySpace) - but you've lost the pristine-ness to your online name.

Will this lead to people then signing up for just about every service there is "just in case"? I just might - heck, the davidlian in OpenID is mine already. Will there be cases of ID-squatting just like cybersquatting?

Will this then lead to stricter policing of "dead" IDs? davidlian on MySpace hasn't logged in since October 2007. I haven't logged into my Friendster for ages. Should unused accounts that age for more than 3 years, be de-registered so that other people who may use the same ID can have a shot at having their preferred one?

On another note: does anyone realise myspace always tells you the person whose page you're visiting is in your extended network?


Justin Koh said...

I feel your pain. I couldn't get justinkoh.com for the same reason. It's registered to a Singaporean guy and he doesn't want to sell it even though he is not using it.

I didn't know there were so many Justin Koh's running around in the world, just like you didn't know there are so many David Lian's running around.

Will said...

I would like to say it is very annoying because of most of us (included me as well) would like to have a series of unique identity while using the online services! My solution so far is using a name that is impossible exist in this cyberspace!The situation is getting better while some of the web site currently use email to identify a unique user! but there are still lot more issue have to be solved for most of the user to get their REAL unique identify in cyberspace! I will hate those services that my unique identity is taken and I just don't want use it because I will simply forget my ID! SWT

davidlian said...

@Justin: Well, it's not so much painful as spotting a potential problem in the future.

@will: Using email solves only so much because when I'm commenting on threads etc, I don't want my email showing for privacy issues...don't wanna end up spam bait.