Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


From bmann to boris - an evolution of usernames

As I signed up for the umpteenth web service ever (, if you must know), I was thinking about the username I was entering.

Once upon a time, I used 'bmann' exclusively. What's the story? Well, at the University of Victoria, where I went to school, all students had a nice UNIX-y login that was first initial plus first 6 letters of the last name. Mine was nicely recognizable, and really, when you have a first name like Boris, something like "bee-mann" is nice and simple. And sometimes people even call you that. Personally, I liked my friend Mike Kerfoot's username: 'mkerfoo'.

I continued to use 'bmann', but as this whole Internet thing took off, it was often already taken. There must be some Brian Mann's or other such more normal combinations out there scooping my username. So for a while I went with an underscore, and so I have a Yahoo and Hotmail account that are both 'boris_mann'.

Then, as I began to be more heavily involved in online apps, I suddenly realized I might get a chance at just plain old 'boris'. As it turns out, I had a fierce competitor ... whose name only kinda was actually Boris. I'm talking about Montreal-based Bopuc aka Boris Anthony, of course. Since he's a friend of Joi Ito, Bopuc got all the cool 'boris' usernames. I was happy to finally meet him by chance in San Francisco this year.

But then, at some point, I managed to pull ahead! I was getting 'boris'! I think it was my Flickr account where I realized that I could be shooting for the coveted first name only username (it probably helped that they were in my backyard here in Vancouver and that Roland got me in on the first couple of hundred users). I mean, I'm not the number one Matt, but maybe...

These days, here is the order in which I try to get usernames:

  • boris
  • bmann
  • borismann

What's your username? What's its story?

Update: Yowza! Lots of awesome posts in the comments. So far Jeff wins for widest variety -- Jeff / Dingo / henshaj / jeff.henshaw / jeff_henshaw. I didn't mention username / domain name grabs. I think there might be some .ca variations that I could get (and I should really ditch bmannconsulting since it isn't really a consulting website anymore. I aspire to some friendly Icelanders helping me get ...