I am founder of a company called Crexia. A future post will explain the idea behind the name. Anyway, last year, I decided to acquire the twitter username @crexia – and realized it was owned by a Filipino girl. Apparently, ‘crexia’ is a nickname used in Philipines. Who knew!
Using the name @crexia is something I haven’t particularly thought about in 2009, as I was heavily active via my personal account @vicokezie and also just acquired @socialrecruiter from a US Talent Acquisition Manager, who was kind enough to let go of that name, following a ‘combined’ advisory service he provided my other venture, www.socialrecruiter.co.uk
Crexia’s business shifted to events in 2010 with our debut Social Recruiting Conference. And back then, I knew we will be focusing on multiple conferences within Social Media, and hence set out to find out if it will ever be possible to have access to @crexia on twitter. According to Twitter, in order to claim back a username, you can either hold the trademark or submit a request. I didn’t have the former so I tried the later. I got a nice stardard email that explained how they release unused twitter usernames. I followed the process through, but nothing happened. It used to work before and these guys were successful. But for many people trying to acquire a username via twitter, they always hit a brick wall!
So I decided to track the person with the name and try to ask politely. By then, the username had no tweet and it was following 1 person (a tours company). However, the girl’s real name was in the bio area (I won’t reproduce it here – lets call her X) including her location. So, I did what anyone will do. Google it. I received lots of results of that name with various spellings. But the top ranked results where names from Facebook. I clicked on a few of them and wondered which was the real person. Anyway, I logged into FB, and did a search for that name (selected all) cos I figured that if someone with this name has a twitter account, they must surely be on FB. I got around 7 results within a FB search – 3 had photos and the other 4 didn’t. I sent messages to all – just a simple, “are you the owner of this twitter handle? I’d really appreciate if you give me access to the name if you are not using it … blah blah.” I got nothing back.
Then I recalled that I had worked with someone in Philipines in 2008 when I was starting out with Crexia’s recruitment efforts in Asia. I wanted someone to do lots of research and data entry and so hired a freelancer (Y) there over a period. I searched my box and found her email, so I sent her one out of the blue (March 2010) to explain if she can help in tracking/researching who X is, based in Philipines. Ok, I got a reply the next day and she suggested using FB too. Blimey!
Y now runs a small IT company after her MSc in Engineering and growing her business. So, she did same search and sent friends request to all of the 7. Alas, 3 or so accepted the request and somehow she managed to gather 2 email addresses. Then, she sent emails to those two addresses in English/Tagalog asking if they own the username and again blah blah. We heard nothing. That was March 2010.
I gave up, so was starting to contemplate using a @crexiauk or @crexiamedia or @crexialimited. I never got around to any and sort of was closing that chapter. Then in December 2010, while reading The Facebook Effect, I decided to friend 3 of the ones with the same real name (X) on FB. And also send messages about the username. A few days later, I got a response in broken English but quite apprehensive too. Basically, it states: yes its mine, and what do you want from me. So, we started a conversation. Some days it took 5 days to hear from her. I found out a lot more about her. She uses FB on her mobile and she was just over 20. Anyway, the discussion was going nowhere as she didn’t quite understand why someone from the UK was interested in a twitter username. Then I got Y involved again. Emailed to say our X was responding and can she speak with her to allay her fears etc and explain that a UK company called Crexia was interested in her username, for some strange reasons.
Long story short, Y sorted it all. She got to speak with X, arranged to sort the username transfer (I got the login details via a FB message) and she later hired her for a freelance project. And naturally, I compensated Y for her efforts and assistance. Username was mine by mid-March and everyone was happy. The experience thought me how one can be determined but also patient, in order to get to a destination. But more importantly, how our contacts (anywhere they might be in the world) can come in very handy when we need them.
And finally, how Facebook has brought the world closer. Now then, you can follow @crexia and next time I’d write about this very cool name. That should be interesting. Ciao!