Welcome to the microblog squatter era
The guys over at Mashable Conversations fêêted America's birthday by taking on the new Twitter-killer de la semaine Identi.ca. Basically, it has some good ideas but isn't there yet. One of the core features it's missing is the ability to search for friends to describe to. Earlier in the day I was typing in the names of people from Twitter and FriendFeed to see if they were on Identi.ca yet. Most weren't signed up yet but mashable was one of the ones I found with an account. Actually it was some seemingly benevolent party that was squatting the name and included a message that he wasn't the real mashable and for them to contact him for transfer. What if he weren't so benelovent and was holding it for ransom? Life in the pseudo-post Twitter era is mostly a crapshoot that goes like this:
New service introduced.
Praises are sung on FF crowning it as the Twitter killer.
Early adopters sign up to preserve continuity of usernames and review it.
Find friends from Twitter.
It turns out to not be all it's cracked up to be.
Rinse and repeat.
What I need is a service that will monitor the blogosphere and reserve my name of choice so that when the foretold Exodus from Egypt ...err..Twitter happens, I won't have to be jw3058i instead of my user id of choice. I can see a squatter capturing a username and followers from other networks when a new service pops up. I really hope the use of OpenID and i-names really catch on for networks. Without it, microblog squatting might become more of a reality.
Free i-names http://www.freexri.com