Freelance consultant for digital heritage

Being @tag on Twitter

When I signed up to Twitter in early February 2007 I wanted as short a username as possible, and as Twitter was still young, I was able to get a three letter username – @tag – which are my initials (@tom had gone) to save on those precious 140 characters. Twitter didn’t do tagging, and it didn’t look like it could ever make sense, so I settled on @tag and have happily used it ever since.

But since Facebook allowed the @username reply (@username on Twitter is a reserved term, and no account exists) people decided to say that you could now “@tag” your friends. For a few weeks after introducing this, and various tech blogs mentioning “@ Tagging” my Twitter replies were, shall we say, a little busy. It actually made Twitter a lot harder to use for me. But thankfully it died down, and I now only get a few erroneous “@tag” mentions.

But when I launched Tweetie this morning to check my Twitter account, it seemed that I had a few replies:

Hmm. I found out that this is the culprit tweet:


So now, hundreds of people have decided to start tweeting “Meet the Genius behind the creation of this site.. join me! @tag #followseachange” – slightly missing the point of putting someone else’s username into their tweets.

I think I’ll just have to weather this one out and see what happens. I really like my username, and don’t want to change it!


2 responses to “Being @tag on Twitter”

  1. LOL, this is funny! I was wondering how the owner of the username was feeling. (I’m one of those following @followseachange)

    Anyway, I think you’re an awesome sport. 🙂

    1. It’s a shame, but I suppose on reflection it’s not unexpected. I did manage to get 2.5 years out of the username without any problems. Recently an article on TechTree called Facebook’s @replies “@tag” and now I’m getting a reply every 5 minutes or so. *sigh*

      Maybe I’ll see if I can weather out the storm…