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Feature request: vanity URLs

Instead of

I would rather have something easier to remember like

point to my profile. (NL for the netherlands, AMS for amsterdam)

Is that possible someway or another ?

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marked as duplicate by balpha Aug 4 '11 at 16:00

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I really don't understand why HCP_NL_AMS is better... – Cody Gray Aug 4 '11 at 14:46
Even if HCP_NL_AMS was objectively better, one could readily argue that Adam_Davis_Ann_Arbor_MI is worse than users/2915/adam-davis or even the shorthand users/2915. I don't see any particular value in having yet another way to refer to a user. I think the suggestion to use a URL shortening service is probably the best way to go about personalizing one's links. – Adam Davis Aug 4 '11 at 14:50
@Cody Gray as it is easier to remember HCP then 542109 – HCP Aug 25 '11 at 9:18

User names are not unique AFAIK. So it could be ambiguous, even with the country or town. (Try typing John in the user search)

By the way, this requires the maintenance of a mapping tables for the webserver[1] (that would not be nice regarding the performances), as well as at least one true redirection (when you try to access, you need a 301 redirect to

I know the mechanism exists on Career 2.0, but the objectives are not the same, because you use your real name on it (normally). So ambiguousness is fairly rare. On SO, you would just add pain to the users trying to catch an unmatched name. We don't want to see "John14352432-2" or "John_", "John___" and other derivation of this if it can be avoided.

[1] which is probably IIS since SE runs on .NET framework... so not mod_rewrite exactly.

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