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An Open Letter to Facebook’s Vanity URL Team

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 [1], 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 [2] You can read more Facebook vanity URL silliness at Techcrunch [3] and Mashable [4].