Something We Learned: Changing Names is Hard (on Facebook)

Have you wondered why we haven’t changed our name on Facebook? It’s not because we haven’t gotten around to it, or even because we’re waiting to change it when we reveal our new logo. We’ve already changed our Twitter profile to @bookpromoforum (you’re following us already, right?). What’s up with Facebook?
We saw last week that a hacker proved that he could get into Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook profile and change his information. For Zuckerberg, it’s an embarrassment, but for a business or figure with a fan page, this could create quite a costly mess. Thankfully, there are a few verification walls in place to make this more difficult for hackers to break into on business pages. Unfortunately, this also means that a legitimate name change takes time.
In order to change your name on Facebook, you need to present a photograph of physical proof that you have changed your name, such as a utility bill, before they’ll consider approving any name change. Since we’re a volunteer org without our own brick-and-mortar (unless you consider a P.O. Box an office), this proved a little difficult. Luckily, that P.O. Box I mentioned earlier will do the trick — after a few agonizing trips and lines to the USPS, of course. Now, it’s just a matter of waiting for Facebook’s team to approve the change.
Moral of the story:
When creating a business page or fan page on Facebook, think about what name makes the most sense over the long-term, and you’ll save yourself the hassle of having to go through the process later. I’ve had a number of authors ask me whether it’s better to create a fan page around a book’s title or their own name. The shy types would prefer to make a page about the book, but if you think there’s a chance that you will ever right another book after this one, you’re better off making a fan page for yourself.