Short URLs to Social Services Using Own Domain and .htaccess Redirection

These days, there are many social services we use. I use some of them. Bloggers or websites also provide some links on their blogs/websites to those social service. If links to our profile is easy to remember, that should be great. For example, it’s easy to remember my Flickr photostream using http://flickr.com/orangescale, or Twitter account (http://twitter.com/thomasarie).
But, what about Facebook, Technorati, or LinkedIn? My Facebook profile page is located here: http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Arie-Setiawan/695771665. There is a Facebook application to create more memorable Facebook profile, page or group. They will be something like profile.to/thomasarie or groups.to/AnyGroupName.
Few days ago, @mahadewa and @huda mentioned about this. Anyway, there is .htaccess for redirection. So, why not using it to produce more memorable URLs for our profile? It’s easy. Now, I can have https://thomasarie.com/facebook (Facebook profile), https://thomasarie.com/linkedin (LinkedIn profile), and more.
Since [added later: I have my own domain name,] my web hosting uses Apache and supports .htaccess, it’s very easy to do it. I just put these lines in my .htaccess (in the root folder).

Redirect 301 /facebook http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Arie-Setiawan/695771665
Redirect 301 /flickr http://flickr.com/orangescale
Redirect 301 /linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasarie
Redirect 301 /openid http://openid.orangescale.com/thomasarie
Redirect 301 /technorati http://technorati.com/people/technorati/thomasarie

“Redirect 301” means permanent redirection. You can add as many redirection rules there. Just see the patterns there, pretty easy to understand, right? And, I think it’s easier to remember. It also nice if we use it for our business card :)

Stop spammers and unwanted traffic

If you have your blog installed in your own webhosting account, there is another nice strategy to combat spammers and also unwanted traffic by Donncha O Caoimh (he is a WordPress developer). It’s because sometime antispam plugins like Akismet or TypePad AntiSpam are not enough. They can blocked comments, but do they also block unwanted traffic? I mean, they can filter comment spams, but that’s after the spammers’s comment being processed by the system (blog engine).
I think the approach offered by Donncha is very useful. Right now, I use another method to fight the spammers (and also unwanted traffic). For my WordPress, I have TypePad AntiSpam and Yawasp (Yet Another WordPress Anti Spam Plugin). I decided to remove WP-SpamFree for now. It’s a great plugin, anyway. But, sometime it caught real readers from sending comment, just because their browser settings are not cookie-enabled.
About dealing with unwanted traffic (it’s not directly related to spams), I use hotlink prevention using .htaccess. Another method is by having list of IP addresses in my .htaccess. I got the IP address from antispam plugins. If I got spammers, I just put their IP address into my ban list. I have some of them.
By this, I have less visitors (if I checked from my webhosting analysis tool). Probably, it’s because it checks all visitors (spammers and human). But, I’m fine with that. I think I will try the strategies mentioned by Donncha now.