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Forgive me if I’m just a little off-topic today, but as a Netflix subscriber and as someone fairly engaged in the online world, a story about the Netflix spin-off, Qwikster, caught my attention.

Qwikster loses Twitter handle to pot-smoking muppets

Netflix announced earlier this week that it would spin-off its mail-in DVD service into a separate company called Qwikster. As someone fairly involved with social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), Netflix made a surprisingly big error… it failed to secure the Qwikster Twitter handle before deciding on the name (and that is before you even start counting the more than 23,000 Google results that just think Qwikster is a stupid name).

As’s Legal Blog Watch noted yesterday, the @Qwikster Twitter handle "already belongs to someone whose avatar is a pot-smoking Elmo…." [Update: avatar now changed to coat of arms] Netflix also failed to secure logical alternatives to the @Quikster handle, including:

  • @QwiksterMovies
  • @Qwikster1
  • @Qwikster2
  • @Qwikster3
  • @QwiksterDVD
  • @QwiksterGames
  • @QwiksterRentals

Netflix provides a glaring example to others: secure your online identity before someone else secures it for you.

(c) Copyright 2011 Brett A. Emison

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