Get ready for the Facebook name rush
Beginning June 13th at 12:01 a.m. EDT Facebook users will be asked to pick a name to identify themselves in the Facebook world. Just like you have a name in the Twitter space (mine’s @RBearSAT) you’ll get to have a name in Facebook land that will identify you more personally. Yes, it’s the 2009 Facebook name rush, very similar to the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. I can just see people around the world setting their alarm clocks for that crucial moment to make sure they get their special user name. Remember, there are over 200 million Facebook users in the world so how many chances do you have to get that perfect name? Will the Facebook platform slowly melt down around 12:01 a.m. EDT that day?
In a related post at Inside Facebook the aspect of identity in the world is becoming more and more of the norm. People are becoming more and more social in the world of the Internet and that identity is so important for you to connect with people. I’ve had a variety of identities over the years, ranging from old high school nicknames (no, I’m not going to let you know what they were) to specific identities that locked me down to a zip code (RBear78240). That later one was a mistake locking me down to this small area of northwest San Antonio. Now it’s RBearSAT so I guess that means I’m now a lifelong resident of the Alamo City. Sorry Mark Zuckerberg, I can’t move. If you want me to work for Facebook you’re going to have to move the company to San Antonio.
So why is this important? Well it boils down to a variety of things including the rate we seem to be living in social media. In a column in the Express-News Roy Bragg spoke of the need to be in “social media for your social life.” Bragg highlights the life of Luis Sandoval (@Pandaran), a noted social media consultant in San Antonio, who spends up to five hours a day in social media. “We are turning into a global society,” Sandoval says in the article. “We have transcended our neighborhoods and our communities. We’ve taken down the barriers that exist and we are connected around the world.”
He’s right about that. We have started connecting in new ways using the tools of social media. Through Facebook I have found old classmates and friends. I have discovered things happening in the world I never would have known about through my friend’s statuses. It’s the way we keep up with what’s happening around us. It’s the new “party line” of the Information Society. We’re all listening in to the conversation and take action when we see something that interests us.
In the coming weeks I’m hoping to start working with the mayor’s office to help build a new aspect of social media in civic affairs. I’ve talked about this before with regards to developing a virtual town hall. Through social media neighborhoods can start reconnecting and sharing information. It’s not that social media will surplant the good old NA or CA meeting. It just augments the concept. This is something Mayor Castro talked about during his campaign in the first virtual town hall. In that he mentioned that we should leverage social media to help reach out to our neighbors and promote a new connectedness. Sandoval also spoke of this new view of the world. “These networks are the virtual town halls and break rooms of the world.”
Friday night is your chance to get that special identity you’ve always wanted in the social media world. Yes, you can be KittyLady or BigPanda or TheTerminator. Just get there before the rest of the 200 million do and you’ve got it. Otherwise you could end up with Skippy78240.
Update 6/12/2009 11:30 p.m. – I was able to grab my social media ID of RBearSAT in the name grab. A lot of people who were on at the start got their own names. As this progresses the names are going to be harder to get. Oh, the Fiesta Commission is FiestaSA, just like their Twitter ID.