This post discusses the multiple reasons why I decided to change my Twitter user name from @TamarahLand to @WriterChanelle. You can decide for yourself whether or not to change your screen name. This is not a post detailing the reasons why I changed and…hey! …you should too. None of that will be happening in this post. Lol.
My account became un-searchable
One of the best features on Twitter is the Find People function. Find People allows users to enter keywords or user names to find people that they would like to connect with on Twitter. Since many people do not have protected accounts, it is easy to use this feature to begin following someone in hopes of networking with them in the future. This is where Facebook and Twitter diverge in terms of their usefulness.
On Facebook it feels like eavesdropping to see a conversation between someone who is your friend and someone who is not. If you continue reading that conversation and decide to “friend” the unknown person, they may take offense to it claiming, “I don’t know you. Why are you trying to friend me?” This behavior is, however, encouraged on Twitter with the hashtag: #FollowFriday being just one of the myriad ways users suggest other users to follow. This is the way Twitter becomes useful and extremely convenient for young people, especially.
If you can’t be found, though, Twitter loses some of its value. The #FollowFriday hashtag is one among multiple of tags used to simplify the process of finding new people to follow. Many hashchats take place on Twitter, allowing users to hop into a discussion on certain industries. When I started using Twitter, I discovered #blogchat, #writechat and #editorchat. From participating in these chats, I was able to ask questions, answer questions, and develop connections with professionals in these industries. When I jumped in to participate in a chat one night and discovered that I was not seeing my tweets come up in my search column on TweetDeck, I attributed it to a bug in the system. I filed a complaint with TweetDeck. I searched for other users on Twitter who might have had similar problems; and, I found this forum http://getsatisfaction.com/twitter/topics/why_am_i_not_coming_up_in_people_search listing multiple users who were having the same problem. Realizing I was not alone, I began tweeting both @TweetDeck and @Twitter, hoping they would see my tweets and issue some sort of solution. Soon other people I was following began to have the same problem. I re-tweeted their tweets to @Twitter, hoping that they would see more people having this problem and do something to fix it. No luck. Knowing that a hashtag campaign similar to that of the #fixreplies issue would be useless (because the people with this problem can’t be found unless they’re being re-tweeted by people who *can* be found through search), I waited to see if it would get fixed.
In the meantime, other issues arose that gave me reason to think about changing my @ name. Part Two: I Didn’t Mean To Offend You…coming soon.
UPDATE: Part Two is up now.