Username creation and availability

Change the sign-up page (account creation page) so username availability will be shown while typing in the username box. To see username availability for how the page is currently configured, one must type a possible username, complete the Captcha then click “Set up my Runbox account” and wait for the page to show whether or not the username is available. This is a very time consuming process when trying many different username idea’s.

Because the account creation form was submitted without being completed a lot of red text appears near the top of the page. If the username is not available it will show a username suggestion with a number after the username typed into the box. If the username is available, no suggestions for other usernames will appear at the bottom of the red text.

I have been trying this other webmail provider Inbox for awhile with a paid account. But I chose Runbox because of the 100 aliases instead of only 5 with Inbox. For a great demonstration of how easy the Runbox username availability could be please visit the Inbox sign-up page here Register Your private and secure email Type any word or number into the username box and you’ll know instantly if it is available. Their character minimum is 2 and there are still a few 2 digit numbers and 2 letter usernames remaining. I like that because it allows for more addresses. I can’t remember if they recycle usernames.

The same username availability as Inbox should also be used for creating Runbox aliases. Without knowing alias availability a user has to take a chance requesting an alias and won’t know if it’s available unless they’re granted or denied the alias or they sign out and use the cumbersome sign-up page to check alias availability.

If they use the alias page without being able to see availability and are granted an alias that they may not really want, no one else can use it ever again for all of eternity, which severely limits the username and alias selection for all users. Until eventually only the most unusual and least desirable usernames will be available, forcing users to resort to L33T Speak and other impractical usernames.

After an account is deleted the username should be recycled and made available again after a year, or two at the most. The same should apply to aliases that are deleted with an account or separately. If an account or alias has never sent or received mail it should be recycled either immediately or no longer then 30 days later. Since no mail was ever sent or received there is no point in waiting longer to recycle the username.

Users that don’t pay for an account after a 30 day trial should have their username recycled after a year so others can use it. Making a username unavailable for all of eternity is ridiculous simply because someone did a 30 day trial. That in itself could cause Runbox to lose a lot of usernames and some customers because a desired username belonged to a deleted trial account several decades ago.

Not recycling usernames and aliases will significantly limit how long Runbox will be able to operate. Because someone created the email and will use it for their entire adult life as their only email, should not mean that the email address can never be recycled or used again.

Or say Jack only used Runbox for a few months, was dissatisfied, will never use Runbox again and moved onto another email service. It’s seems very short-sighted to say that no Runbox user for all of eternity can ever use the email ever again simply because one user had the account for a few months 50 years ago. That’s severely short-sighted thinking and planning.

Runbox email addresses and aliases can only include a-z 0-9 . _ - and are required to be between 4 and 32 characters. Some really smart math person can figure out how many user names are available with those characters for Runbox. Base that on an average of how many users sign up for Runbox every year and come up with a possible timeframe for when Runbox will run out of usernames and start the decline to the end of it’s life. Because as old users pass away new users can’t sign-up because all the accounts have been used.

Recycling usernames and making Runbox available for future generations goes hand-in-hand with Runbox using renewable energy. Using renewable energy for Runbox with a finite amount of usernames is counter productive and more importantly is a waste of all the time and resources being used to develop and grow Runbox, with the end result being that Runbox will eventually have to shut down. Email is the product here and Runbox only remains in business for future generations by recycling usernames.

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As it turns out does recycle their usernames and aliases. I checked an alias I used and deleted, and it is now available again for anyone to claim as a stand alone email address or an alias.

Hello. We could look at doing some kind of instant lookup of username on the sign up page. It isn’t something that will be a priority right now but it’s an interesting suggestion and we can certainly look at it.

On the issue of recycling addresses; we disagree. We decided long ago not to recycle addresses in order to protect the privacy of all users no matter how long they are with us even if they only had a trial account. There are lots of possible combinations of characters to make good usernames and this isn’t going to dry up any time soon.

There is also the possibility to use your own domain if a particular address matters to you, and these days domains can be registered quite cheaply. Thank you.