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Any Tips for an Effective User Name?

Capricciole © 2012
stainless steel, glass, copper
Artist: Joe Diemer

A reader asks:
Do you have any tips for coming up with an effective Instagram user name?
I don't know much about Instagram but feel that it may be a good business move. I make elegant household accoutrements such as birdcages in stainless steel wire.





Here are what seem (to me) to be my options:

  • My name, "JoeDiemer", which is available.
  • My clunky business name "JDiemerArtisanry", which is also my Facebook page name - continuity.
  • A descriptor of what I do: "Handmade Birdcages", which is also my website name - again continuity. (Unfortunately I named my site back when I mostly made birdcages. Now I make many different things.)
  • Or another descriptor such as "Wireworker".

J.Diemer-HingeSo it boils down to:

  1. My name
  2. My business name
  3. What I do

What's your opinion? Thanks for your excellent blog and artwork!
Take care,
Joe Diemer


Thanks for your question.

My professional recommendation is the following priorities:

  1. Consistency across all platforms (best as possible).
  2. Using your name as your artist identity.

Consistency across all social networking, 2.0, and photo sharing is sometimes challenging depending on the number of characters allowed or the format. Just do the best you can.

Using your name as the artist identity will be the least likely to change over the years, building momentum across media and with different occasions like interviews, conference lectures, workshops, teaching positions, work included in books, magazines, or blog platforms.

Facebook and LinkedIn and many other social networks actually allow for a unique URL based on the person’s name.  If you have a common name try a middle name, middle initial or some kind of special moniker.

Having a URL that is consistent with your name is  a desirable option across all platforms. Creating a consistent identity across platforms is important. 

Using your name in the URL is also consistent with Google Webmaster Guidelines and SEO of the future.

2.0 specifics &  URL examples:

A dash between each word of your name is better than all one words, but this may not be possible on some social networks. Do not use a underscore between words as it is very often missed when a hot link is underlined.

As an illustration below is a list of a few of my social networks.  There is some variation depending on the limitations of each site, but you will see that I have created a reasonably consistent identity across platforms



Aboutme http://about.m/HarrieteEstelBerman

Google +




My twitter profile name is not as good because they didn't allow a long URL. . Sometimes I am forced to go with the harrietee version of my name. Very few people spell Harriete with an "e" on the end.

P.S. If readers have another idea, please share your point of view. Is there something that isn't considered that you can add to the conversation?

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