Facebook have launched vanity URLs, not just for companies and brands, but for you and me too. Mark Zuckerberg and his cohorts have finally given in to the Twitter/social media world and given us access to our own personalised usernames. The build up since the announcement, has been feverish.
There has been lots of discussion surrounding this, and many others have gone into the intricacies of what this shift means for us. Indeed, Techcrunch compared the choice of username to getting a tattoo – make sure you’re certain or you might regret it later in life.
They haven’t been without controversy of course, originally Facebook intended to auction off vanity URLs to try and generate some cash and (in theory) ensure only those companies who could afford their URLS would get them to prevent cyber squatting.
As Matt Churchill, or any other variation of my name has seemingly been taken, I opted for Geetarchurchy – my adopted online pseudonym. But, why?
The opportunity Facebook is providing ordinary people is to make their Facebook profile the first thing that will appear when people search their name. Is that such a good thing? I have made a concerted effort to keep my personal and private online web properties as seperate as is necesary. Facebook is one of these that I want to keep as personal as I can. Twitter is the first thing I direct people to, whether professionally or personally. Twitter, I hope, Is a better conveyence of my personality than a set of data and photos and this is what I want new contacts/friends to see. Not a stack of personal information.
This can be interpretted as a barrier to communication – it is in fact just keeping a little bit of myself only for those closest to me. Keep the community fed and watered first.