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July 06, 2010

Naming difficulties with Twitter

I've just changed the name of the Twitter account associated with this blog from @TwitterLitNews to @TWLitNews. And to make things match I changed the blog's name to TWLit News. I haven't changed any addresses, however, so all permalinks will remain intact.

There's a practical reason for this. Nowadays you can't register a userid on Twitter that contains the word "twitter." But back when I started TwitterLit and its associated accounts, in April and May of 2007, there was no difficulty with doing this. Here's what Twitter help says about the  issue:

"You can't use the word 'twitter' or 'admin' in usernames: this is to avoid brand confusion. There was a brief bug that allowed people to register user names with the word "twitter" in them; if you were affected by this, you will have to pick a new username. No account names can contain 'Twitter' or 'Admin' unless they are official Twitter accounts."

I can certainly understand the proscription, but it leaves me in a difficult position. If you have an older account with "twitter" in the userid, the account will work, but you can't make any changes to your profile. That's why I changed over to @TWLitNews. I would be happy to change my @TwitterLit, @TwitterLitUK, and @TwitterLitCA accounts to conform to the new rules, and so that I can make change to my profiles, but there are problems with doing so. Combined, the accounts have something like 12,000 followers, and @TwitterLit has been inked to across the web and mentioned in print. I'm unwilling to break all those connections. I did once ask Twitter support about the possibility of being grandfathered in, but never received an answer. 

For now, I'm leaving things as is. But I dread the day when I may have to change my Twitter IDs. Let me know if you know of any solution.


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