I've got mixed feelings about this.
Although it IS unfair for the cool original names to be taken by mindless mules who were never used... The idea is stupid. How is Gaia suppossed to "give away" the free usernames? Just by free to whoever joins or changes their name? Will they have a really expensive price for it?
Will it be first come, first serve? That would be beyond unfair. Besides; what makes you think people won't use the opportunity to sell them?
Old regulars are only going to make up a fraction of the accounts affected. Do you know how many accounts that logged onto the site once and then never returned? Not to mention there are some people who have paid accounts just to "hoard" the usernames. Seriously. I've seen people brag of having 20, 30, even 50 accounts just because of their names.
This is probably just going to be a name change on the accounts . . . not an actual deletion.
Caramel - exactly how is first come first serve unfair? That's exactly how it is now. neutral
It should be low-activity accounts(fewer than 100 posts or whatever) that haven't logged in for a long time and perma-banned accounts. I know I wouldn't want to lose my name if I was going to leave for 2 years...
Is there some way to tell if a user has only logged in a few times in the beginning, then never logged in again? Those would be good people to "recycle".
This is gonna go rather interestingly...
Though who do you determine will be inactive? And how will said change named log in... (big if) they return.
I personally would be surprised if someone who hasn't been here for 7 years, suddenly decides that they want to sign on. As previous posters put it, banned and accounts with low post should be the likely targets.
I have mules I don't go on for a while... about 6 months, due to me being on my Main account the most
I'm glad you're finally considering it, but I feel 2 years is not long enough. This site is 7 years old. I feel the length should be 4 or 5 years since log-in.
Gaia should be focusing more on retaining users than gaining new ones. People who left 2 years ago are more likely to come back than someone who's never heard of Gaia. But if their username has changed and is no longer available, that likelihood just dropped to 0.
gaia should at least make a token effort to contact the emails of the accounts in jeapordy, to advise the owners of record in case they might still want to claim what is rightfully theirs.
and what sort of name grab are they planning for the released accounts?
who gets first choice in the newly richened alphabet soup of potential names?
this move appears ill thought out, poorly presented, and fraught with peril.
»I love the idea. I would definitely want another deciding factor or two added to the decision process though. Fewer than 100 posts would be one (which wouldn't add much to the filtering process, would it?), and while I'd love for you to check inventories/profiles/signatures etc for evidence of a hiatus, I know that this would be very time consuming for the amount of usernames we're talking about here.
So please think seriously about the post count idea!
Also, as mentioned earlier in the thread, username hoarding pisses me off. What's the bet that those people will all go log into their accounts once just to make them 'active in the last 2 years' now so they don't lose them? D;