Hit the URL Jackpot!

The URL Jackpot; what exactly does that mean? In January I was asked to help name a new commercial real estate firm. Of course, one of the first things I thought of was to have the keywords in the title. The second was the availability of the URL and the availability of the same name on social media networks. Why would I worry about that? Good question, I’m glad you asked. Even if the company didn’t want to start out from day one on social media networks, it is always a good plan to go ahead and secure the name on all the networks before someone else does. If another user has the same name on any of the networks it can be challenging or even costly to obtain the name. Additionally, it may be that an entirely different name has to be used on one, some, or all of the social sites. This can cause some confusion among the world wide web.

Here is what happened to me: I was out with my friend Joni and we decided to post a photo to Instagram. The photo was so great that I wanted to share it that night with all of my Facebook and Twitter friends (which can be done right from the Instagram app). I tagged Joni in the photo on Instagram, and syndicated the photo to the other two networks. About an hour later I received a reply on the photo from an 11 year old boy on Twitter claiming to not be in the photo with me. What had happened was… Joni had one username on Instagram and a different username on Twitter. So when I syndicated the photo it ended up that a little boy on Twitter had the same username that Joni had on Instagram. Wow! Talk about a slip up.

So, how does one avoid this situation? Fortunately, there is a website that can check the URL desired among the majority of popular social media networks: http://www.NameCheck.com. This is an amazing tool, and I actually just used it last week. My dad is starting a new construction company and asked me about a website. The first thing I did was plug in the URL he wanted in to Name Check. He was in luck! Not only was the URL available, but all of the social sites were as well.

Moral: Don’t learn a lesson the hard way like I did. Keep little boys out of late night drunken photos, and check for URL continuity.


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