Missing Zero – A Case of Username Envy

Envy

Envy (Photo credit: iThinkergoiMac)

The face of writing has changed forever. Due to the Internet, that is. It’s obvious, sure. But it can’t be denied that everything we do today as writers is now influenced by the vagaries of the great almighty World Wide Web. For better and worse.

Take this blog I’m writing. I don’t even know what a blog is. But I know as a self-published author I have to write one. I’ve also created a FaceBook page, a Twitter account, a Tumblr and Pinterest site and produced a YouTube video to help me promote the novel I wrote, called Missing Zero (see more links below).

Without the Internet there would be no Smashwords, granted. Or eBooks, more generally. Meaning my treasured manuscript would no doubt have been left in a bottom drawer somewhere to serve as cockroach bedding. Instead copies of my magnum opus are available for download at Smashwords, Diesel, and Barnes and Nobel for the modest price of $6.66. This being just one of the many obvious boons of the Internet for an unsigned author.

Personally, I have also somehow relished the challenge Twitter, for instance, presents of using only 140 characters at a time to convey one’s ideas. Distilling Missing Zero’s 116,000 words and central conceit to just 140 characters or less proved strangely liberating – namely “the role of Antichrist is defunct in a world so gone to hell”. Hilarious premise for a darkly-comic satirical novel, huh?

More incredible to me (a child of last century), though, is the fact I’m writing this on an iPhone, while lying on my back on the couch. Technological advances continue to make writing easier…Again, for better and worse.

Which brings me to the main point of today’s blog: username envy. Because don”t you agree with me there ought to exist a single amusing and universally-accepted word to describe it? That pissed-off feeling you get when you go to open a new Internet account only to find someone already owns your username. Damn! It happened to me just today, here at WordPress. The URL missingzero@wordpress.com was already taken! Believe me, it sucks. But what can I do? Change the title of my novel? Not f#%*ing likely!

No, the genre-bending comic masterpiece I wrote shall keep its title of Missing Zero for evermore. Unfortunately, its companion blog shall be hosted at zeromissing@wordpress.com for evermore, also. Oh well, it could be worse I could share Justin Bieber‘s sex life. Hmm…

As an experiment I just posted the following request for help on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/missingzero666 – Anyone know the Internet slang word for “username envy”? “Ah, fuck, it’s already taken!” seems a bit cumbersome. Any ideas, twitterfolk?

Within about 30 seconds someone favorited (if that’s even a word) my post. But no-one offered up the kind of zippy slang term I was after. The more observant amongst you will notice, by the way, that even my twitter account is @missingzero666 (@missingzero having already been taken). The 666 tag on the end was forced upon me, essentially. Although the story of the novel does centre around a character named Lorem Ipsum, who starts to believe he just might be the (now defunct) Beast of the Apocalypse or Antichrist, I’m not an advocate of Satanism per se.

Anyway, so, in my wider search for answers, I happened earlier upon a random username generator (http://www.jimpix.co.uk/words/username-generator.asp), where I got given malmseynosedzero as a suggested username. Who nose/knows maybe I’ll use it someday? Whatever. Either way, this conveniently leads me to my next point. Cue segue music now, please!

What I am trying to say is this: many of the characters in my novel got their names from online usernames I have used over the years. Names like Lorem Ipsum, Sdeerwf Eggeth and Missing Zero itself! I must admit I have a personal affection for Sdeerwf Eggeth, having been asked once in an Internet forum about this most unusual of names. My reply was that I believed it to be of Norwegian origin, before leaving it at that.

Yes, the face of writing has changed forever. If you don’t believe me, simply take a look at how many writers are now using social media and online hosting sites to promote their e-wares. Me included! Follow the links to see the kind of web presence I’ve started to build up around Missing Zero in just over 12 weeks. It’s a numbers game. With a world population of 7.071 billion, you only need a fraction of a percent of people to pick up on your talent and you’re away. Sure as hell beats watching your unpublished prize manuscript slowly decompose into compost in the bottom drawer of your desk. So get tweeting/posting/blogging today, right this instant. Who knows, it might be your novel that’s the next “now trending” success story…if trending is even a word, that is.

Missing Zero eBook downloads:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/missing-zero-lorem-ipsum/1114301801?ean=2940045109604

http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000256919/Ipsum-Lorem-Missing-Zero/1.html

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/256919

Missing Zero social media sites:

https://twitter.com/missingzero666

https://www.facebook.com/zeromissing?ref=hl

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/missingzero

YouTube

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About Lorem Ipsum

Just some guy trying to figure out where the "on" switch is hid on the remote control—ah, forget it. Because, you know what, I'm also the kinda guy who always likes the book waaay more than the movie! View all posts by Lorem Ipsum

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