When the Fox television network wanted to promote the TV series Bones online, it turned to its corporate sibling, MySpace, for help. Obligingly, they offered up the screen name "Bones," which would be pretty easy to remember. Except, that screen name already belonged to a band in Louisiana that had put together a list of 2,100 friends.
Fortunately, some kind folks at MySpace reunited the band with its original screen name.
However, it's another reminder that promoting someone else's domain name on your printed material and press kit is an invitation to disaster. (Remember, $8 a year is all it costs to have your own domain name, even if you just redirect it to your MySpace page.) MySpace's terms of service indicate that they can -- and will -- take back your screen name if they want to. It's really nice to hear that they stuck up for a member this time, but you can't guarantee that they'll do it again.
And, for all the folks that think MySpace is never going anywhere, ask the senior members of your favorite music business bulletin boards what it was like when MP3.com vanished after it was purchased by an international media conglomerate. (Some folks are still stinging from that one.)