Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who Owns Your Social Networking Name?

Some useful information below regarding your social networking accounts:

"Many sites dole out domain names on a first-come, first-serve basis. The most democratic is LinkedIn, which hands out "vanity URLs," such as LinkedIn.com/in/JuliaAngwin, to the first person who asks for it. As long as the URL is really your name, you can keep it.
Even celebrities can't jump the line at LinkedIn. During the presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain wanted his LinkedIn URL but it was already taken by another person named John McCain – so the senator was out of luck, according to LinkedIn spokeswoman Kay Luo.

MySpace and Twitter are similarly democratic in doling out names – but they offer few assurances about preventing celebrities from cutting in line. Twitter reserves the right to reclaim names that are trademarked or are "non-parody impersonations." MySpace generally honors the first person to claim a name – but reserves the right to reclaim URLs on behalf of advertisers or celebrities with just 72 hours notice.

Until recently, Facebook didn't offer domain names. Most profiles are located at URLs that look like this (this is mine): http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2911944&ref=profile.

But Facebook has begun quietly doling out vanity URLs to some 'fan pages,' such as www.facebook.com/ashton for the actor Ashton Kutcher and www.facebook.com/kevinrose for the Digg.com founder. Don't bother asking for one for yourself, though; Facebook is not accepting requests for vanity URLs at the moment. A spokeswoman says the site is considering offering vanity URLS to all users in the future – but good luck if your name has already been doled out."

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