The world’s second best surfer celebrates his birthday today. I know this because people are sending him birthday wishes to my @joshkerr Twitter account. This 28 year old Australian phenom with the same name as me has no chance on ever owning a “joshkerr” on any social media accounts. I’ll likely beat him to registering that name every single time.
This is totally unfair for him, he is more famous than I am and probably more deserving of the username. Fast forward 20 years and there will probably be another Josh Kerr even more famous than the surfer. He too will be out of luck because all of the “joshkerr” names will be registered. Fast forward 100 years and the problem is even worse.
So what happens to all of these “joshkerr” usernames when I get old and die? Do they fall back into the public domain, or are they gone forever, attached to my account leaving a sort of digital tombstone for younger generations to find?
The concept of the username just doesn’t scale and for now, the other Josh Kerr’s are out of luck. I’m certainly not the first to write about this and probably not the last either.