David Simpson

How I got @Simpson on Twitter

Posted on November 13, 2012

Over the years I have slowly become a big evangelist of Twitter, it is no question my social network of choice.

Requests aren't popping up left and right to play Farmville, I don't have to sort through hundreds of terrible memes, and people are limited to 140 characters to say what they need to say. That is my kind of social network.

A few months back I looked at all my design work and knew it was time for a change, check out my last post about how I wanted to rebuild my personal design identity behind "Simpson" here: How I built my new Website in 48 hours". Based on that decision the race was on to get @Simpson on Twitter.

The Research

Since the handle "@Simpson" was suspended, I figured there must be some possibility of retrieving it, so I started looking on Google for any information I could find. I didn't find as much as I would have hoped, the only real lead I found was information on submitting something called an "impersonation request" to Twitter. At first glance I decided not to submit a request, the criteria for an impersonation request is if someone is falsely impersonating you on Twitter and it is causing you real harm (Defamation is no joke). I dug a little deeper and I found several articles including one on Twitter that alluded to the fact that Twitter is not allowing the transferring of locked or suspended user names at this time. Sad bears.

The Solution

A few days later, I uncovered a new form they had rolled out for a personal brand impersonation request and this was closer to the criteria that my situation fell under. It wasn't the perfect fit for my case, but I gave it a go knowing I had to start somewhere. I submitted the form making a plea that I needed to receive this premium twitter handle for the good of my personal brand.

After submitting the first time it got rejected, so I decided to try again and see if it made it through. I included some questions to see if they would respond with answers. The second time around I started to get human answers and was able to get my foot in the door to start working towards getting my hands on the handle. It took a while but here are some of my takeaways for anyone looking to start this process.

Here are my key pieces of advice:

1. Be patient.

This is the most important thing to keep in mind, this is a slow process, a week can go by before you get a reply back to an email.Perseverance wins this race.

2. Put some proof in the pudding.

I registered simpsn.com and built a personal site showing them that my identity is centered around Simpson to reiterate my need for the handle. The more evidence the better, obviously.

3. Get your other social profiles in order

Go through other social networks and sites and reserve that same name everywhere you possibly can (Facebook, Github, Dribbble, LinkedIn, etc..)

4. Keep your chin up!

I was fortunate enough to eventually get to the right people and that perseverance got me my username. I've read lots of stories from people that spent much longer and never yielded any results. So, results vary, do the best you can to make a compelling argument!

The Finish Line

After about a dozen email submissions, 6-8 weeks going back and forth on those emails reiterating my need for the handle and lo and behold I finally got a response from Twitter letting me know they were transferring the name to me. It took 2-3 days after receiving that email but it eventually came through and i'm now officially @simpson

The end

What do you think?

Do you have any questions or comments (positive or negative!) about this article? Don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you, ping me on Twitter.

Tweet @Simpson