I hate it when my name is taken. I bet John Smith does too. If you’ve tried to register a Yahoo or GMail account recently, you know what I’m talking about.
If you want a big influencer to join your online community, why not reserve their name in advance? It shows a great deal of respect and should appeal to their ego.
You can also attack their fear of loss. In these brand-hijacking days. How many key influencers would hurry to claim their reserved name if you explained it was only going to be reserved for 5 more days.
Why not reserve the names of all your customers and drop them a quick note asking them to claim their name before it’s opened up to everyone?
This also works if your transitioning from one website to another. Everyone’s name is reserved for them, so long as they claim it within a week.