You’re still using Internet Explorer 6, seriously?
The BeansBox Team
Tomorrow noon time in Hong Kong (13th of June), Facebook members will have the chance to personalize their accounts as a replacement to the current irrelevant numerical assignment system. This means that if I am the first to grab the name 'elmer', my profile can easily be accessed through www.facebook.com/elmer instead of http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503058943.
This new format is available on a first come first serve basis; if you're John or Peter, you're probably competing with hundreds of thousands of other Peters and Johns worldwide to get that coveted name. Such multiple occurrence of first name and last name prompted Facebook to let users decide on which username to use. I imagine if everyone has unique firstname-lastname combination, Facebook could just simply do a www.facebook.com/firstname.lastname URL format.
This rush is similar to registering a highly lucrative domain name with an important restriction; an account holder will only be allowed one username. This eliminates the possibility of selling usernames by those who register multiples (see domain name businessmen). Shall we go on and try to use our own identity instead of that long series of numbers we ourselves can't remember? It's definitely a plus to do so.
* Branding - You'll be remembered by the name you use, not the id number. So make sure you come up with something consistent.
* Ease of access - As mentioned, it will be easy to type the URL if its elements are easy to remember.
* Search engine visibility - Assuming URLs still has significant impact, searching for your name should yield higher results with a URL containing the string
So tomorrow, if you're into this username thing, visit the Username page and be quick. Make sure you made up your mind; no changes will be allowed once you made your decision. This is to prevent a possible proliferation of "Facebook name squatter" business.
Here are some rules:
1. Usernames must be at least five characters long and can only contain letters, numbers, or periods.
2. When you decide to delete your account, your username associated with it will never be available to others or you, should you decide to rejoin Facebook.
For more info, log in to the help page.
I'll try the username Elmer. If unlucky, I'd have my firstname and last name combination to fall back to. I was able to nab the same format in Friendster (www.friendster.com/elmer) and I hope to do the same with Facebook.