Many websites that host online communities allow you to create your own personal URL within the website. This custom URL typically serves as the Web address of your profile page and can be shared and bookmarked by other users.
Examples of websites that allow you to choose a personal URL include social networking sites like Facebook, photo sharing sites like Flickr, and various Web forums. Users can choose a custom name, which will then become part of their personal URL. For example, a personal URL on Facebook may be http://www.facebook.com/username. The username might be a made up name, such as "pinkbunny77" or your actual name, such as "john.johnson."
If you have an account on a website that allows you to select a personal URL, but have not chosen one yet, the Web address of your profile page may include a unique ID instead of a username. For example, the Web address of a Facebook profile page might be "http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1234567890". Since a username is much easier to remember than a long string of numbers, selecting a username is usually recommended. When you choose your personal URL for Facebook or another website, make sure you decide on one you really like, since you may not be able to change it.
Personal URLs are also called purls, personalized URLs, or custom Web addresses. They are different from personal home pages, which are created and published on a user's own website.
Updated: December 13, 2010