Saturday, September 13, 2008

Web 2.0 Cybersquatting

Remember the old heydays of 1999 when people were domain squatting? Remember the millions of $$ someone paid for It's understandable the value of a good and easy-to-remember URL if you are a company.

But what I find interesting lately is people "squatting" on other people's Web 2.0 identities, intentionally or not.

For example, my friend and fellow blogger, Alisa, was recently telling me that someone appears to have setup a gmail account impersonating her and trying to chat with her friends.

Or I was trying to follow my friend Adam Lavelle on Twitter. But "Adam Lavelle" is actually owned by someone else it turns out. Now, I don't know how common a name Adam Lavelle is, but it sure looked suspicious that someone had that Twitter handle, protected their updates, and had only 1 follower and followee. Quite different than "ALavelle", who I was really trying to follow. When I mentioned this to Adam, we got into a larger discussion about this squatting issue. Apparently, he's been pondering the same with Seth Godin on his blog.

Personally, my name is so common that it's almost impossible to get my preferred username for most sites. But I'm used to it. I had to go through high school with someone in my class (same year!) that had the exact same name. Thankfully that was pre-Internet and our lives never extended past slam books! =)

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