Joel Runyon publishes ImpossibleHQ.com and he wrote an interesting article about getting the Twitter handle he needed by buying a domain name. Some may not agree with the method because Joel did a workaround that did not include getting Twitter to give him the handle.
From the article:
Here’s how I did it.
Since then, it’s done well enough to continue pushing it strongly outside of just the email & push into social media landscape.
I was able to get the Facebook profile at fb.com/paleomealplans but the accompanying twitter handle (@paleomealplans) was just sitting there – no tweets – no nothing. Opened in 2012 & the last activity was 2012. Snooze fest.
The website associated with the profile was paleodietmealplans.com – similar in concept to ours – but apparently no longer in use. I wanted to see if I could get the twitter handle since it matched my domain exactly.
Joel goes on to talk about how he won the domain on NameJet. After that he moves on to Twitter. He tried to reset the password on an account he doesn’t own. By putting in the username he was able to see some part of the email address.
From the article:
In my case, twitter basically asked me:
“Do you want to reset the password for in**@p***************ns.com?
Now, in a vacuum of information, this isn’t helpful at all – that could be anything. But, going off a hunch and based on what was listed in the profile – I took a flier that they meant the email was firstname.lastname@example.org – the same domain that was in their profile & the same domain that was now legally mine.
I setup a “catchall” email forwarder to another email (so that any email to anything @ paleodietmealplans.com would forward to my inbox and clicked “reset”. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
Sure enough – I got an email in my inbox from twitter asking me to click here to reset the password:
I reset the password, and I was in.
I agree with Joel that Twitter is lazy or one would say incompetent by not recycling abandoned usernames and making them available again.
Some may not agree with the method that Joel used, I think once he owned the domain it exposes another flaw with Twitter. Someone using a catchall email is going to get all these requests for resets.
Read the full article as Joel does explain his rationale and a disclaimer on when not to try his method.
*Disclaimer: No one at TheDomains condones this method of acquiring a handle. Twitter needs to fix their business but this is not the way to go.