a list and last.fm

in Design, Today I Made

I was just about to report that my computer seems to have reached a stable point OS-wise, when my screen blinked a few times and I got a notification that my display driver had momentarily stopped working.

At least with pre-installed OS from the computer manufacturer I can be pretty sure I’ve got all the right drivers. Lenovo’s drivers & downloads page is a PITA.

Anyway, on to the LIST!

in the past couple of days, I’ve made

I still kind of like my old username, actually, but as a name for the pseudonymous blog it started out with, not something I connect to my public identity. Sadly, last.fm does not offer any way to change usernames or to transfer data across accounts, which just seems like a lack of foresight to me. Surely it can’t be too difficult to design a database with that sort of thing in mind. I can import data from itunes itself, but for various reasons my playcount data only goes back a few months, during which time my listening habits have been more erratic than usual. My current top track is only in that spot because I was using it as background music for a Flash project last semester and listened to it over and over and over for that.

I think twitter’s simple and remarkably seamless username-change process really gets it right, and we ought to demand it as standard. The first generation of digital natives is growing up and moving out into the world, and will have a lot of changes to cope with. Hell, I’m a little old to be a “digital native” and I was active on several online message boards at 14, created my first webpage at 15. I’ve had at least 5 AIM usernames for various reasons, none of which I am especially happy with (ielerol all by itself was taken by the time I got to it). I still have my first personal email address, also acquired at 14, though anymore I forward it to gmail and use it as an extra layer of filtering and prioritizing email. I definitely don’t give it out to humans, it’s way too embarrassing for that.

As we grow up and grow older, our identities as human beings will change dramatically, and if the web services we use don’t want us to abandon them, they really ought to provide us with tools to reflect that change in our online identities.

**sorry for the buzzwords. they make me twitch, but sometimes they really do label useful concepts. my only real problem with a phrase like “personal branding” is the implication that public identity management is some kind of new concept, when it’s all just new tools for the same old thing. Best not to get started on that rant, though.