I’m not vain, I’m just forgetful: Why I grabbed facebook.com/rexhammock


For the same reason Marshall Kirkpatrick and Chris Messina and many others who wrote on the topic don’t need a Facebook vanity URL, neither do I. However, that didn’t stop me from registering facebook.com/rexhammock (facebook.com/rex.hammock also works) when the service opened up the floodgates to the vain on Friday night.

I agree with those who believe online identity should be under the control of a person (it cost $8 to register a personal URL) and not be managed within the “namespace” of some big company’s URL. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, there is a post coming sometime soon that will explain what I mean in simple language.)

However, “vanity” is not the only reason to register a name on a web application. For me, “memory” is the reason I try to get my usernames and application-specific URLs as uniform as possible. You’ll find me at “/rexhammock” almost everywhere. There are two exceptions, however: Twitter, where my vanity is displayed in over-the-top fashion with @r.

The other place I don’t have “/rexhammock” in the URL is here on this blog.

Because I started blogging before there were any books on the topic, I had no idea it would become the hub of so much of who I am and what I do. As this blog is not really about anything, I’m okay with it not having a descriptive “brand” like “My Musings” (apologies if that’s the name of your blog) or something.

But it’s rather amusing to be at a conference and someone say, “Oh, you’re Rex Blog.” I always say, “yes,” but I’m thinking, why didn’t I think to use the URL RexHammock way back when I started blogging. Or maybe I should just change my last name.

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  • This is probably revealing way more than I should about myself, but after getting into a useless “argument” with a teenage girl back in the IRC days about a username I had kept before she was old enough to type, I’ve maintained that same vanity and registered my ideal web name every chance I get.

    I say, embrace that vanity, lest someone takes that name from you and completely tarnishes it. Better vain than be mistaken for someone lame.

  • That last point you mentioned is why I changed my Twitter name from @factoryjoe to @chrismessina:


    Of course, I still blog at factoryjoe.com, so I’m even more screwed than you. At least you used your first name when you came up with your domain! 😉

  • @Chris – So instead of calling you “Joe,” now people ask you if you ever see Kenny Loggins these days ; ). (Note to folks: Chris has done lots of legendary stuff related to web identity and online community. He’s also one of the creators of the original “BarCamp.”)

  • I guess it’s an issue when your domain isn’t meant to be a handle.

    I snagged facebook.com/singpolyma, which matches my singpolyma.net, my twitter.com/singpolyma, and yes, every other account of mine on the WWW.

    I like consistency. I’ve only once had someone actually call me “singpolyma” IRL, but I don’t really mind it. It’s a name I’ll respond to online or off because the handle was chosen by me to be part of who I am.