This one is (a little) more useful than TweetWasters. My new site, CheckUserNames.com, allows you to check the availability of your potential new username across dozens of popular social networking sites (MySpace, Delicious, LinkedIn, etc.). Due to the increasing demand for staking your claim on your brand name across the interwebz, this little tool should come in handy for some of you.
The site is based on the original concept by the creator of usernamecheck.com, Jon Skypes. Unfortunately, Jon had to take his site down due to the massive amount of incoming traffic. Soon after he did, Michael Gray and Mike Streko brought it to my attention. Seeing the need left by the loss of his site, yesterday afternoon I got to work coding a replacement.
Jon was nice enough to post some of his PHP curl code and I used that as a basis to create an all new Ajax object to go out and grab the result screens from all these social networking and social bookmarking websites. By last night I already had 25 or so sites done. This morning Jon emailed his old database to me which has proven very helpful in adding more sites to the list. As of this writing we’re up to 54 and have plenty more left to add.
The concept behind the site is very simple; you enter a username, and one at a time the application goes out to each site on the list to find out if the username exists or not. It’s a little tedious to set up, since I do have to manually go to each site and look for the unique “User not found” message on each page. And of course I also have to design the little logo graphics that go along with each site. But it was such a simple and quick project to work on I couldn’t pass on it.
So if you still don’t have an account on obscure social sites like BallHype or Linkfilter yet, check their availability and go sign up!