An Open Letter to Facebook’s Vanity URL Team

Posted on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Social Media

Dear Facebook, You had to begin your vanity URL landgrab at 9PM on a Friday. I guess I am lucky to be in Los Angeles - a New York residence could have made this a much darker tale. Please do not take my anecdote lightly, as this is not a simple note from a single man, but shared experience told through a single narrative. And if you check your logs, you'll see that this tale does not exist in singularity. I arrived at one of my favorite bars, Baja Cantina, at around 8:30 to enjoy the company of some friends. There was an immediate rush of nachos, chilled Patron, and Coronas. It seemed like a flash of fate that I remembered at about 8:56 that I needed to open up my iPhone. And with only moments to spare was I able to view facebook in the none-app, none-WAP version which would allow me to secure my vanity URL. First things first, I had been bragging all week that I was going to nab facebook.com/frank and everyone would be forced to call me the social media genius that I am. Wrong. Frank was an unavailable vanity URL (I guess I'm not as unique as my Mom had led on). I spent the next couple of wasted minutes trying out the names of the people at my table. As I write this completely sober, I'm not exactly sure what I was hoping to achieve by grabbing the "lawrence" or "rich" URL. After rounding the table I had gotten a bit suspicious, especially after "dottie" had been turned down (thank God). facebook-note After wasting the first few prime minutes I took the next logical step in vanity URL acquisition - brand names. I've always been a huge opponent of "squatters", but given the chance to finally be on the other side of the coin - I had to take my shot. And after a few drinks, I took the same move I imagine many like me did - I went after Nike. Denied. Again, in hindsight, like Facebook was going to let some random guy own the destination for one of the largest brands on the planet. I took a few more stabs at some bigger brands and then moved on to things, that at the time, seemed a lot more "realistic". So for the record, "pepboys", "olivegarden", and "patron" went earlier than minute five. I now had the whole table on my side. The game was on, and everyone wanted to see me win. The next and final target for attack was nicknames. A few people were yelling for me to grab my plain, ol', boring REAL name. But from what I can amass from Google, there are only four Eybsen's in the world - and I had no need to worry about my Facebook page not ranking for it. I tried "frankthetank". Looks like I'm not the only Frank to earn this nickname after a certain movie came out a number of years ago. I tried a few more on the spot self-imposed nicknames that I thought would be great, but no luck for "coolguy", "sexydude", or "likestoparty". It was then that after a good 15 minutes into the game my friend Luigi called out for me to try "frizzank". This entry was successful, and without hesitation or bothering to read the TOS, I hit the save button. Now, no one ever in my life has called me Frizzank. In fact, I'm very aware that Snoop Dogg style pig latin hasn't been cool for a few years now - even something to be ridiculued when used. And yet, here I was, Frizzank. Facebook, I simply ask of you to give me another chance. I don't want to be Frizzank. People are starting to call me Frizzank outside of the Facebook world. This is not cool, not cool at all. Just give me one more chance, I promise I'll choose something I can use in an email signature at work. I won't be silly, I won't be drinking, and I won't try to take anything that doesn't belong to me. I'll leave it at that, it's in your hands now. Sincerely Frizzank You can read more Facebook vanity URL silliness at Techcrunch and Mashable.

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