I require my upper level students to have a Twitter account. Sometimes we use it extensively, sometimes we don’t. But, darn it, they have one.
As journalists, I also tell them that having a private account is generally a bad thing – you want to have open lines of communication, you want your knowledge to be shared. That can’t happen if it’s a closed account.
Now, Scott Bourne over at GoingPro points out something else – what account name you use can affect how search engines will categorize and rank you. So, if you have numbers in there, it sees you as spam.
Takeaway: Use your real name, or something as close to it as possible, for all of your online accounts.