February 17, 2014

From Gerald R. Lucas
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A couple of days ago, I read “Why it’s Worth it to Purchase Your Own Domain Name” on Lifehacker. The article is a bit old, but the advice is still applicable. Generally, it concerns the protection of your image in the digital world by being proactive and owning your own personal domain name. I’ve written about this recently, suggesting that we proclaim our name online so that we can control “our own narratives in positive and direct ways via digital media.” This is particularly important for new media students, since much of their professional careers will rely on their online presence. We must make them as good as we can.

So today, I purchased a couple of domain names. I’ve gotten tired of Yahoo! Small Business (it might be the slowest web site on the planet) and the pricing issues I always seem to be dealing with. I tried Name Cheap this time. They took PayPal, and since I just sold some old stuff on eBay, I had a nice little balance to play with. Luckily, all of my purchases were right around $10, so my digital splurge didn’t break the bank.

The first domain I bought directly relates to Harry Guinness’ Lifehacker article: geraldlucas.me is my new About Page URL. Now, I know it would be much cooler if I just paid About.me the $50 to host my domain, but I’m cheap. Therefore, I’m just using my new domain name to point to my About.me page. It’s still cool, and I own the domain now.

Next, I wanted a domain name to use with Svbtle. I thought I would use Svbtle to write about digital media in general, and my book project specifically, so I got writdm.com. I’ve been using this as an abbreviation and hashtag for my Writing for Digital Media class a while now. It seemed an obvious choice, and I was delighted to see it was available. I even got a new Gmail address with the same name! Cool.

Finally, I thought it would be wise to get the domain name written out, so I also got writingdigitalmedia.com that will eventually point to my etextbook when I publish it. Now, it made a about/contents page for it using About.me. It looks pretty good so far.

I also decided to see what it’s like to transfer a domain name. I initiated a transfer from Yahoo! Domain Services to Name Cheap. What a hassle. It cost $10, and it takes up to five days to transfer. Still, it will be nice to have all of my domain names under one service.

My experience with Name Cheap is good so far. It was messing up a bit with Safari, but using Chrome, I was able to get all of my purchases and updates finished in hardly any time. Their backend is less elegant than their web site — looking more Windoze 95 than Mac OS X. Still, everything has been pretty straightforward so far.

Check out my new digs. Why not get your own? More later about my domain reorganization. I think this site will eventually become grlucas.net. I need to think about this a bit more.