How Your Username can Affect Your Twitter Experience
I joined Twitter March 18, 2009. I had no idea what to use for a Twitter username when I set up my account. Your username becomes your Twitter handle which identifies you to your followers. Venturing into the great unknown and very public world of Twitter was intimidating to me. Would I be cyber-stalked if I use my legal name? Would a clever pseudonym pigeon-hole me into a small special-interest group and confine my public thoughts to that box? Not sure how to address these questions I decided on the handle “@Shuttrbug”. I could have spent hours and hours searching cool names to see if they were still available, and still draw a blank. I made my decision based on my love of photography. It fit for the time being – especially since I had no idea what I would use Twitter for anyway. Back in those days I was under the impression that all anyone did on Twitter was tweet about what they had for breakfast.
Then came #lrnchat.
I discovered this phenomenon on Twitter – where people involved in the Training & Development industry come together weekly to share ideas, challenges, stories, heroics and horrors among peers. Moderated by @lrnchat, #lrnchat is a real-time, fast-paced, energetic and intelligent conversation with wonderful T&D and Social Media individuals such as @OpenSesameNow, @olliegardener, @cammybean, @ipttoolkit, @ZaraLynnKing and @NixTheNext. I lurked silently during one of the chats about six months ago – uncertain what to expect – and was fascinated by the amount of real knowledge and great ideas being shared openly by professionals. I was thrilled! I wanted to participate, but felt my Twitter handle didn’t reflect my interest or ability in the T&D field. So, after hours of debate (amounting to days of procrastination), I switched my name to ‘@cr8ivetraining’ and joined the #lrnchat conversation. My good friend @pmtrainer, however, warned me that having a number (8) in my handle could create problems.