Google Plus vanity URLs

Google+ as a web­site and ser­vice is quickly matur­ing. It started invite-only and has since lis­tened to users and expanded its ser­vice based on that feed­back † . More recently, it opened itself up to the world—invites no longer required.

Since it is still a fairly new ser­vice and not every­one has yet migrated to it, I find I am always refer­ring peo­ple to my page over there.  In gen­eral, it’s not a big deal.  I have a unique enough name and user icon that folks can find me if they search, but a direct click­able link is a lit­tle more straight­for­ward and eas­ier than say­ing “go here, then type this into the search.”  And the big prob­lem I have with Google+ user pro­file URLs is that they’re ugly.  They are not sim­ple like “twit­ter dot com slash brian enigma.”  They look a lit­tle more like this:

That’s all well and good for email­ing the link or embed­ding it in a post, but it just doesn’t roll off the tongue.  I have a van­ity domain that I do not really make much use of, so I thought I might make a short­cut there.  So now, if you want to find me on Google Plus, just go to:

If you are run­ning your own Apache web server and would like the .htaccess rule for mak­ing such a link, it looks a lit­tle some­thing like this:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^g\+$ [L,R]

I’m think­ing mainly of fea­tures like broad­cast­ing Hangouts, which Ada was doing by duct-taping a 3rd-party broad­cast ser­vice on top of the group video chat Hangouts, which Google later inte­grated as a view-only mode to Hangouts. The rigid and pub­lic gen­der cat­e­go­riza­tion hasn’t yet been addressed.

Posted in: Code Dear Diary

Published by

Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *