Tutorial: Friendly & short Google Plus link for artists

This is a quick tutorial for my artist friends (and anyone, really) who have asked me how I set-up my friendly Google Plus link: http://gplus.to/nikkismith

If you are unfamiliar with Google Plus, it is a social networking and sharing website rich in photos and content, much like FaceBook however without the annoying ads and with (in my opinion) a nicer way to group and sort contacts into “circles.”  It is gaining popularity with artists and photographers as well as the general public.  However, one feature that is sorely lacking is the ability to create a short and friendly link for your account that can be used in printed materials like business cards or told to a friend over the phone.

Let’s face it: ” https://plus.google.com/u/0/116390766766192381448/posts ” is a real mouthful.

A friendly link like this: ” http://gplus.to/nikkismith ” is both more memorable, more professional and a lot easier to communicate than the link Google Plus provides you when you first signed-up.

So if you are ready for a friendly Google+ link, let’s get started!

Step One:  Log-in to your Google Plus account (or create a new account) at: https://plus.google.com/

Step Two:  Look at the URL in the address bar of your browser.  It should look similar to this, though it may be even longer:

Do you see the number that I’ve highlighted above?  This is your Google Plus ID, located right after the “.com/” and before the next “/” slash sign (ignore anything else — the link you see may be very long, but this first number is the important part.)  Highlight this number with your mouse and press the “Ctrl” and “C” keys at the same time to copy it (or if you are on a Mac, press “Option” and “C” at the same time.)

Step Three:  In a new browser window, open this website:  http://gplus.to
This is a company (independent from Google) that provides a URL-shortening service for Google Plus accounts.

Step Four:  You will see a short form with two boxes (see below).  First, click in the “Your Google+ ID” box, located on the right. Press “Ctrl” and “V” to paste your Google Plus ID (or “Option” plus “V” on a Mac).

Step 5:  Next, click in the “Nick Name” box.  Your nick name can be between 3 to 25 characters long and should not contain any special characters (only Latin characters and numbers).  For example, try your first and last names, etc.

Step 6:  Click on the “add” button.  If no one else has claimed that nick name, then it’s yours!  Otherwise you will be prompted to pick a different nick name.

Congratulations!  You now have a short and friendly URL for your Google Plus account!  Copy-and-paste it into your browser address bar and you will be instantly redirected to your Google Plus account.  Add it to your email signature, print it on your business cards, or use it wherever you need to share your Google+ link.

If this was helpful and you would like to see more tutorials like this in the future, just leave a comment below and let me know what you would like to see!  Feel free to introduce yourself and share your friendly Google+ link in the comments below.

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