One of the interesting things about the internet is having to be careful with how you approach your social media from a naming standpoint. As a musician I’m using my name as my brand. Thus when I sign up for a service, I make sure to grab my name. While my name isn’t wholly common, I do want to make sure I’m in control of it. Recently I’ve stepped up my diligence for getting all services on the same page so to speak with the vanity urls.
Vanity URLs On Social Media
Most social media platforms tend to allow for what are known as vanity URLs. That means you can choose the URL on their dot com space that leads back to your little portion of their service. For example on Twitter I have twitter.com/jodywhitesides which makes it easy for people who learn of my music to find me on twitter by using my name. Same goes for other sites as well. Some are kinda backwards, like Tumblr where the vanity URL is actually in front like this: jodywhitesides.tumblr.com.
Because of a new string of singles I’m going to be recording and shooting videos for, I wanted to ‘fix’ my YouTube vanity URL. Back in the day, for some reason that I no longer recall, I chose jwhitesides. Which made my YouTube URL youtube.com/jwhitesides. Not bad, but certainly doesn’t fall in line with being consistent on the brand. I am a YouTube partner, and I’m working on getting further into the YouTube system. However, the process of grabbing a vanity URL and having YouTube mask it was beyond silly. I went through the necessary steps to get it done, yet somehow it didn’t work. To rectify the situation I started a whole new channel as a new user under YouTube.com/jodywhitesides. My reasoning on it is – with the old channel, which I’ll keep, I’ll do goofy personal things. With the new channel it will be my official music channel with consistent branding. Of course I’m essentially starting from scratch with gaining subscribers, but as the French say “c’est la vie.”
Of course I’m focusing on the biggies, twitter, youtube and Facebook. In the last paragraph I mentioned the YouTube issue. The last bastion to getting all of this consistent was Facebook. When I first got on Facebook, they didn’t have anything but personal profiles. So when they offered vanity URLs, I snagged Facebook.com/jodywhitesides not knowing that in the future of FB they would offer Pages that were more band and career oriented over the personal page. When pages came along, I essentially stuck my head in the sand and kept my personal profile rather than switching the whole thing over to a page and starting a new personal page. Don’t ask me why, again I don’t remember and thinking about it, it probably had more to do with a lack of really using FB.
The big issue with Facebook is that they make nothing clear about how to do certain things on their site. I think they do this on purpose because they make their money on people being stupid and not being in control. It is what it is. I did figure out that you can change your vanity URL on any Facebook address – but only once! My thought process was, hey, I can change my person page to a new vanity URL and that should open up my /jodywhitesides URL so that I can then have the Page for my music grab it and be done with it. No need to ever change again.
So I created a new vanity URL for my private page. Something utterly useless from a social media standpoint and something I did on purpose as I’d rather not be adding people to the private page. Thanks Facebook for announcing that privacy is now no longer possible as of today. The switch in URL on the private page worked and I thought great, now I can go to the Page and make the switch there to – complete my trifecta.
Facebook was telling me that the /jodywhitesides URL was taken! WTF?!? Because if you tried going to Facebook.com/jodywhitesides it led to a URL not valid page. Meaning it was empty. My quest took another step where I attempted to submit the issue to their help center. What a gigantic waste of time that was. Multiple submittals resulted in nada, zip, zero. Could friends come to the rescue? I posted about my dilemma and bingo two friends of mine were friends with people who work at Facebook. Both contacted their respective friends in an attempt to get my issue to the appropriate channel to fix it. Person 1 from FB to step forward provided me with an email address to send my request to.
Off I went explaining the whole issue to this email address and cc’ing the guy on. Waited and unfortunately no response. I messaged him again and he said – I’m guessing they didn’t respond. Nope.
Person two originally came back to my other friend saying – I don’t work there anymore. Then out of the blue two days ago I get a message from my friend who got a message from person two saying. Got it, the issue should be fixed in 3 to 4 working days. I did a little internal victory dance. In less than 3 days, two actually, I got the vanity URL thing fixed with Facebook. Now I’m consistent across the board on all my social media.
My next goal is to get the silly verified thing at Facebook. Not sure how that happens yet, but alas – at least I have two friends that know somebody that could get me the info. Hell I’m verified at Twitter – would seem that alone would be enough for Facebook to say Ok cool you’re already verified on one social service, we should verify you too. I suppose I’ll be writing a post about that when it happens.
I’m happy with the current situation and it makes it hella easier in interviews to say I’m at blah blah service dot com /jodywhitesides. Bingo. Done. Move on.