Top 10 Stories of 2011: #7 How to get a Twitter username that is already taken


More people have been warming to Twitter over the past year, but when they go to sign up for an account, they often find the Twitter username they want (much like a domain name) is already taken. 

The number seven story in this year’s Top 10 is How to get a Twitter username, that’s already taken, a story I wrote in June after successfully obtaining @Fusible, a username that was registered by someone else, but never used. 

Many Twitter stories published here have garnered plenty of attention by sites like TechCrunch, such as Twitter winning a dispute for the typo (missing a ‘t’) and Twitter going after (extra ‘t’). 

But the story of how to get a Twitter username to this day still attracts readers, even months after being written.   

Just a couple weeks ago, Jon Mitchell a writer for the popular tech news site ReadWriteWeb, published an article using the steps detailed in my post, and he was able to get the Twitter handle he wanted.  “Thanks to J.B. at Fusible for showing me how this works. I can’t believe it, but it really does!”, wrote Jon.

It’s not a silver bullet, but submitting an Impersonation Claim with Twitter, gives you a much better chance of getting a response, than simply opening a Help ticket with the microblogging site.


How to get a Twitter username that’s already taken (Hint: It’s easy, I got mine)

Fusible on Twitter

A big hat tip to Robert Borhi of who wrote an article that led me to pursue getting the Twitter username @fusible, after I had been using the Twitter username @fusiblenetwork for a couple years now.

The post caught my attention because it mentioned TweetClaims, a service I had written about in late April.  Robert’s article however directed me to a story on another blog called Standing On Giants written by Kyle Reed that provided step-by-step instructions on the how-to of getting a Twitter username that’s already taken.

I followed the steps described by Kyle and it took all of six days from the time I started for Twitter to replace the username.

There are a couple of changes to be noted in Kyle’s how-to.  But what’s important to stress is Kyle’s opening point, “what I am about to tell you will only work if the twitter account you are going after is inactive. And when I say inactive it has to have set dorment for probably 6 months to a year.”

The account I pursued is @fusible, an account that had NEVER tweeted [see for yourselves], not even once in years of being online.  My goal was to replace @fusiblenetwork [my original account].

Twitter’s Terms of Service are clear on this: “To keep your account active, be sure to log in and Tweet (i.e., post an update) within 6 months of your last update. Accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity.”

FACEBOOK:  Become a fan of

Step 1: Submit an Impersonation Claim

As Kyle instructs in his post, I submitted an Impersonation Claim on Wednesday June 8, because the response time on impersonation claims versus other claims is much faster according to Kyle.  In my claim, I stated that the individual behind @fusible had never tweeted since first registering the username.

Within minutes, I received an e-mail from Twitter stating, “This is an auto-confirmation that we have received your request. Twitter will reply to your report as soon as possible.”

Step 2: Receive a message from Twitter Support

By Monday, less than seven days after my claim was first submitted, I received a message from Twitter Support with the following information.

Thanks for providing this information. In order to process a username transfer, please choose from one of the following options:

1. If you would like the name to replace the username on an existing Twitter account that you’re already using, reply to this email and list that account’s current username.
2. If you don’t have a Twitter account or would like to create a new account for use with the requested username, please create an account with a placeholder username that we’ll change (@tempname123, for example). You can sign up for an account here:

Step 3: Choose an Option

I chose option # 1, and replied back with @fusiblenetwork (which at the time had been my existing account).

Still at this point, there was no guarantee that Twitter would be able to make the requested transfer.

But in my case, they did.  On Tuesday June 14, I received an e-mail from Twitter Support stating they had associated @fusible with @fusiblenetwork.

The difference between my experience and Kyle’s experience, is that his username was released to the public, and Kyle had to register it quickly.  Whereas in my case, Twitter simply replaced my existing username with the username I had requested, guaranteeing someone else wouldn’t have a shot at snapping up the name before I could register it.

Talking about this story: ReadWriteWeb

News Trademarks Video Games

Fusible domain blog gets mentioned in TechCrunch; other major news sites and technology blogs

Rewardville Beta by Zynga

Early this morning, I broke a story about the Beta launch of Zynga’s Rewardville after I noticed that the web address was resolving to an actual web site and not to a GoDaddy Parked page.  This followed a week of speculation of what Zynga might have planned for the domain name. 

Just over a week ago, another domain blogger Elliot Silver first pondered whether Zynga purchased the name, then I was able to confirm the social gaming company applied for a trademark in Europe shortly thereafter.

When I posted my story this morning, I tipped off several news sites and technology blogs.

Robin Wauters was the first to write me back after he posted the story on TechCrunch, giving and Elliot Silver credit for ultimately uncovering the trail to Zynga.  A big thanks to Robin Wauters, and other news sites who credited their stories. 

Not all technology blogs and news sites like to attribute their stories

Mashable ran their story hours later after I submitted my news tip on their website early this morning through their Contact Form and via Twitter.  And of course, no credit back to Fusible or even TechCrunch who was the first major news site to report it.  In fact, all Mashable did was post the same statement that Zynga’s PR group sent to me and other blogs hours after the story had broke – then Mashable tried to call the story their own by not crediting any other news source.

It’s this kind of blogging or news reporting that’s difficult to see, but occurs at a disappointing rate among some of the more mainstream bloggers and news sites — a point brought up by another domain blogger over at Domain Gang in a story titled: We already told you so!

While the post is short, the message is loud.  As DomainGang writes bluntly: “Twice in recent days so-called “mainstream blogs” reiterate content we already broke the news for – sometimes with a lapse of one or more weeks”.

I might not always see eye-to-eye with DomainGang who offer a different spin on domain blogging with a dash of humor, but on this matter I most definitely do.  It’s not unusual to see breaking stories in the domain industry appear on the popular domain news aggregator over and over and over – with absolutely no mention or credit to the original blogger who broke the story.

As DomainGang simply says: “This comes as no surprise because the focus these days seems to be the regurgitation of news ad nauseam.”

Sure, it’s great to hear opinions by other bloggers, but it’s also good to see credit given to the source.


Will the sale of even come close to $20MM (its previous sale price)?

online gambling was the first blog in the Domain industry to report about the auction of, shortly after reading a tweet sent through Calvin Ayre’s web site announcing Media Corp had retained Sedo to sell

Hours earlier, Media Corp had issued a press release through BusinessWire: ‘Whilst the Group has received a number of very significant indicative offers for, the Board believes that a formal auction process with the World’s leading domain name broker will achieve the best possible outcome and valuation as Sedo is uniquely positioned to present the domain to global gambling brands and other qualified buyers.’

Purely a Domain Sale?, if you recall, sold for nearly $20 million in 2005.  However, the sale wasn’t purely a domain sale. 

According to Sedo back in 2005: ‘The sale of turned heads when it hit the multi-million dollar mark and sold for 20 million dollars.  Also included in the sale were benefits of a direct mail database and affiliate program connections.’

In 2010, will even close to its multi-million dollar sales price from 2005? 

Back in 2005, Casinomeister wrote about the sale.

“ is the number 1 listing on for “Gambling” search and has over 500 other internet and affiliate sites linking to globally. It also has extensive expertise in direct mailing and has built a double opt-in database of over 200,000 members.”

Times have changed. is no longer the number 1 listing.  Though type in traffic is always a nice perk, long term businesses want to own the search engines.

What are people saying?

Over at Gambling Portal Webmasters Association, the site that was originally tapped to auction, members are a bit skeptical that will get anywhere near that $20 million price tag.  Here’s a look at some of the comments:

Christoff says, “Superb domain but will never get $20m for it”
Brean78 says, “For what its worth, I think has suffered from a bit of an identity crisis for a while now. It appears to be heavily focused on sport (for traffic I presume), but I don’t know too many people that associate gambling with sports betting.”
Graham says, “20 million?? I just don’t see this as good of a domain as something like,,, etc. where the people are coming to the site knowing exactly what they want to do. Gambling is too broad and I don’t think would convert that great, nor have the player value that some other terms might carry.”

Kentucky internet gambling case: Court date scheduled for December 6


For those interested in the Kentucky internet gambling case that began in September 2008, in which the state of Kentucky tried seizing 141 domain names of gambling sites, a new court date has been scheduled for December 6, 2010. 

As CasinoAdvisor reports: ‘The case is back in the court of Judge Thomas Wingate, who was the original judge that ruled that Kentucky was legally able to exert jurisdiction over the specified domain names, even though all the domains are owned and operated outside of the Commonwealth.’

While there are 141 domain names involved in the case, the state’s attorneys in an attempt to identify the owners of the domains, wants to divide up the domain names into groups. 

According to CasinoAdvisor, the state’s attorney’s submitted the following before the court: ‘In order to effectively manage the large number of sites, the Commonwealth suggests that the determination of identification and ownership of sites occur in groups. The Commonwealth requests that the initial group consist of,,,, and’

Who knows whether this case will ever end. 

What do you think of this latest submission by the state’s attorneys?

See the original list of the defendants’ 141 domain names, which includes,, and (just to name a few).