I've been virgino0owhore for nine years. While I understand I can just create a new account if I want a new name, I feel that this is a waste. I would have to move every piece of work over to this new account, re-favorite over 3,000 favorites and rewatch my current watch list. It's simply not worth it all because of 14 letters.
Not to mention, I lead a club against name wasting, making getting a new account hypocritical. It seems more practical to allow members to pay to change their name. This prevents the wasting of names that can't be removed because they have history on them. It also gives deviantArt a new revenue source.
Naturally you couldn't choose a taken name but, the act of paying for a name change is common in internet society and amongst gaming communities as well. The price varies but is usually around 15 U.S. dollars, and whatever that may translate into.
How would a user change his/her name?
They could access the name change feature through their user settings, or even the deviantArt store features, much the same way one purchased points. Once accessed, they would have to choose a new name through a text box, and using the same technology the site has set up for choosing a new account, the name would be verified as available or unavailable. Once a new name has been determined, they would be prompted with a payment method choice.
What if they wanted to revert back to the old name?
They would have a 30 day grace period with the first name change. The old name would be locked and if they decided they wanted to revert back to their old name in this time they could easily do so by pressing a button. There would be no refund, and this is something they should be notified of prior to completing the transaction.
Any further usage of the name change function would not grant the 30 day revert grace period. It would be a permanent change, unless they paid for the name to be reverted.
How many name changes could a deviant have?
Each member would be given a maximum of five name changes, available upon accessing the premium membership feature only.
Would the name change on all posts/comments/etc?
Yes. Much like the avatar changes on all posts when updated, so would the name. Any post ever from you would show under your new name.
What happens to the old name?
The old name would be locked for 30 days and unavailable for use. This is needed for the grace period to be allowed for first time name changers. During this lock out period, any attempt to access the old name would revert in a redirect to the new name.
IE: virgino0owhore.deviantart.com would redirect to vo0ow.deviantart.com
How would they tell the difference if someone took the old name?
Firstly, your page is still your page and their page is still theirs. Confusion may happen, it's a risk with these sorts of things, but when they click on your name or avatar they will be able to see you are not the same person.
Secondly, anyone on your watch list would be sent a notification of your name change. It would read along the lines of:
virgino0owhore has deviantly changed their name to vo0ow!
During the thirty day grace period, your name would show a question mark as it's symbol. Example: ?vo0ow
What if someone took the old name of a user, and uploaded their artwork to pose as them?
The users deviations would be uploaded in a shorter time frame than the actual deviation. This is a dead give away of it being a false and thieving account. This should be reported to deviantArt right away. The user will be punished appropriately.
What if the user didn't want their old name available for reuse?
When accessing the name changing feature, a bullet option would be on the form used to make the change asking if you wish for the name to be retired or not. The default of this function would be set to no, but should you pick yes it will go into an archive list of names and the page itself would redirect to your new name. If you choose to archive the old name it may end up becoming unavailable to even you, so be sure you are certain of this option upon choosing it.
Paid Name Changes are Voluntary
When a name change is bought, they would be prompted with an "Are you sure?" box that had a cancel, or yes button to press. It would inform them in a more legal manner, that it is their choice to change their name and the risks they are taking. IE: Possibly losing the name if someone else chooses it, having to pay to get the old one back if it is still available, people being confused with the name change.
There should be a no refund policy associated with it, something they would have to accept before completing the transaction. Only if there were proven technical difficulties would it even be considered. Meaning, the site charged them but the conversion was not made in the time frame alloted for the transition, the name they were given was not what they chose and they can prove it, etc. Typos are not a reason for a refund.
Please take this suggestion into consideration.
Rachel A. Osborn
No longer wishing to be virgino0owhore