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

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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.

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