I just discovered this site, NameChk that allows you to search through a ton of social and online networks and see if your name or brand has already been taken. (Hat Tip to Mashable) for this one.
This is a great tool to help you ensure that you can deliver a credible brand experience across a number of platforms. This is also a nice tool if you want to squat on your name and prevent yourself from being locked out of your name for eternity on various networks.
One place where I see some nice utility for this service is if you are about to start a new business and you are still trying to determine a good name. If you find that the name you were leaning towards is already taken on all the primary sites (as well as many of the secondary sites) you were contemplating a presence for is already taken, perhaps this is a great reason to reconsider your name. Particularly as digital is becoming even more important every day, you don’t want someone else ranking above you for your own business name, even if they are not a competitor.
Whether you need to protect your personal name on every network or not is another story as sometime life is too short… Then again, if you can get it why not?