Facebook announced the imminent availability of vanity URLs today, meaning I could soon become facebook.com/marshallk or some variation. Chris Messina’s take on this is a must-read. Or I’ll just give you the short version:
I don’t need a Facebook vanity URL because I already own Marshallk.com. That’s a heck of a lot better. I can be found on Facebook by searching for my name, or via the breadcrumbs of conversation that I occaisionally drop there.
More importantly, you can also find me at Twitter, at FriendFeed (if you really want to find me on LinkedIn, Delicious, StumbleUpon or Flickr, it’s all listed at FriendFeed too) or you can call me on the phone. My phone number is listed on the side of Marshallk.com. I spend most of my days at ReadWriteWeb. I also have a physical body that occasionally makes an appearance in public.
The point is, I’m in charge here at Marshallk.com and that’s the way I like it. I know who makes the rules, so there probably won’t be any new ones I don’t like. I cannot say the same about Twitter or Facebook, not at all. Anything could happen over there, and if that’s the only connection that you and I have – it’s quite possible that connection will be broken in time. I’m here at Marshallk.com to stay. That means I’m going to stop telling people about my serf’s address at Twitter when I introduce myself, and I’m not going to promote my special link on Facebook (if I get one) – I’m just going to send people to this page if they want to find me, and then they can find where ever I happen to be hanging out through here.
I know most people don’t have their own domains registered, but for those of us who do, maybe we should reclaim some of the control that comes with ownership of digital identity. Just a thought.
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