October 31, 2011

How To Get Your Own G+ License Plate

You might have seen the news last week that I picked up a rather unique license plate, which reads as GOOG +1, a shortcut highlighting not just Google+, but the +1 button you find throughout the web, including here. While we at the office often talk about Google+ being a good representation for how we share in the real world online, in my own silly way, I like how the GOOG +1 license plate reflects in real life how I share on the web. See what I did there?

When I debuted the new plate, grinning, the reaction was split two-fold, between those who thought I was a goofy fanboy and those who appeared jealous they hadn't thought of it themselves. After all, I only joined Google in August, and there's no doubt people on campus are more deserving and could likely have gotten it before me. But GOOG +1 isn't the only way you can highlight Google+ on your license plate, assuming you live in California and have a little imagination.

Personalize Your License Plate with a +Sign on the DMV Site

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers personalized license plates, if you're willing to pay for them. I'd never been interested before, accepting what I was given, but the state now has a series of "Kids' Plates" that feature symbols including a heart, a hand, a star, and the + sign. Before I joined Google in late August, I knew I had to find a way to get a + on my license plate - and unfortunately, I couldn't get GOOGLE+, as the state interprets the + as a blank space, and GOOGLE is already owned by someone. (Not sure who...)

This Might Be Your Plate

So I ordered GOOG +1. A short 9 or 10 weeks later, the plate arrived, and I enjoyed taking the specialty plate around the offices in Mountain View, to get photographed with many of those who are working on the product. In the photo album I posted to Google+ (of course), you can see Senior VP Vic Gundotra, VP of Software Bradley Horowitz, CEO Larry Page and many others smiling with the plate. It's a little token, but fun.

To get your own G+ plate, saying whatever you like, including +YourName or G+ Rocks or whatever you can think up, head to the California DMV, choose a personalized plate, select the Kids plate, and test the name until you find one available. For fifty bucks and a forty buck a year cost, the plate is yours.

If you're a longtime reader, you know I have fun with tech and this particular experiment was fun. Do I expect to see scads of G+ license plates up and down the freeway? No. But you can if you like. I'd love to hear your idea and see what you come up with.