Facebook Screws Up and Gets Usernames Vanity URLs Wrong

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crowd One of the greatest things about Facebook has always been that it is the same for everyone.  You don’t have to be a “power user” like on Digg to get anything about of it, and you didn’t have to join 3 years ago to get a decent username like on Google Gmail or Yahoo Mail.

But, at 12:01am, Facebook will allow people to pick a username.  The blog entry makes it sound great. Now, it says, you can be www.facebook.com/bob.smith instead of www.facebook.com/profile=19837254.  Mainstream media is already touting what they are calling “vanity URLs.”

Yeah, sure.

That will be true for about 37 seconds.  According to Facebook’s numbers there are 200 million “active users.”  How many of them have your name? Including middle initial? Your nickname? Your online persona name?

Don’t think for a second that there won’t be millions of cyber-geeks, opportunists, jerks, weasels, and just plain old Facebook users sitting up hitting refresh at midnight.  By tomorrow morning, that oh, so great sounding blog post will look quaint and naive when you can be known as “bob.smith8201735” or “The-Bobster-O-Rooney-Ding-Dong.”

In other words, after tonight, things will be just like they are now for millions of Facebook users worldwide.  You will have to email, link, or write down your profile address for people to find your Facebook profile.

The only difference is that a few thousand Facebook users with fast Internet connections and nothing better to do on a Thursday night that sit in front of their computer will have better links and web addresses than you do.

It’s kind of a bummer.  One of the things I really liked about Facebook was that I got to use my real name, the one people might actually look for me with, instead of having to try and come up with something that was unique, but not embarrassing, yet memorable, but not too…

It seems every time Facebook makes a change, they make it worse.  The funny thing is that their current platform is wildly popular.  Why not look for things to ADD instead of things to CHANGE!

Coca-Cola did one of them in the 1980s and the other later on.  Which one constantly ranks in the Top 10 Corporate Blunders of All-Time and which one increased revenue and market share around the world?

Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.

Facebook, get out the books.  It’s time to study.

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