Social Media Matters: Secure your own web domain name

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Feb. 8, 2013
Metro section

Secure your own web domain name

I’ve given this advice before, but I’ll give it again. If you work in a profession where your personal brand is important, such as a musician, artist, lawyer, writer, politician, accountant, architect or any number of other careers, I strongly recommend securing the domain name that matches your personal name.

AcronymWhy? It’s simple. It’s easier for people to find you. For example, I own my own domain name — briancormier.com. It’s super simple for clients to find me because they just type in my name, and there you go! It’s also a good way to protect your personal brand if someone out there has your same name and is in a profession you’re not terribly comfortable with. For the sake of making a point, let’s use pornography as an example.

If you have the misfortune of having the same name of a porn star, you’re probably already out of luck because they’ve likely already snatched up the domain. However, if you secure your personal domain name now, any future attempts to purchase the name will obviously be thwarted because you already own it. Just keep renewing it annually and you’ll be fine.

If you don’t think it can happen, think again. If you ask someone to visit the White House’s website, most people (I dare say) would type in www.whitehouse.com. Until 2004, it took you to an adult site because the U.S. government was too slow to purchase the domains related to its functioning back in the day. Whoever purchased the .com domain had the brilliant idea that it could get a lot of traffic just from people assuming the .com version of the website was the actual White House in Washington.

The correct address for the White House is actually www.whitehouse.gov, since the .gov extension belongs to the U.S. government. Had they been on their toes, the U.S. government should have purchased the .com version of the address and simply pointed it to the “real” White House where President Barack Obama lives and works.

Today, the www.whitehouse.com website just points to a list of links for singles websites and other adult-type sites, but I can guarantee that there were many school children doing research on the U.S. government in 2004 and earlier whose first exposure to the pornography industry was simply because they typed in .com instead of .gov when working on a school project. A 2004 Associated Press report said the former whitehouse.com site was getting up to two million hits per month.

There are many domain name providers out there. The one I personally use is Namecheap.com, however I think they’re all pretty good. The one thing I don’t like about Namecheap, though, is their lack of telephone support. Sometimes, you just need to talk to a real person!

Top consumer information websites

Shopping cartEvery week, I take a look at the top 10 sites in categories among Alexa.com’s website rankings. If you like researching online before making a major purchase, you’ll enjoy this week’s rankings of the top consumer information websites. Statistics are current to Feb. 5.

1) Yelp (member recommendations on restaurants, shops, etc.); 2) GSM Arena (resource for GSM handset information); 3) Engadget (gadget and technology tips and reviews); 4) CNET Reviews (reviews for computers and other electronics); 5) Gizmodo (blog focusing on technology and gadgets); 6) Tom’s Hardware Guide (technical product reviews for items such as motherboards, CPUs, etc.); 7) Yahoo! Autos (new and used vehicle information); 8) FixYa (support information for consumer products, including instruction manuals, etc.); 9) Yahoo! Shopping (product information, comparisons, etc.); 10) Nextag (online shopping comparison guide).

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Scientific experimentsEvery week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Feb. 5. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Let me know and I may feature it here. This week’s featured channels all relate to science experiments.

1) Sick Science! (165,643 subscribers): This is a very popular channel with nearly 67 million total views and features cool science experiments by Steve Spangler. Playlists include Halloween Sick Science!, Physics, Chemistry and Fan Favorites! (Most popular video: Dry Ice Boo Bubbles – 2,406,764 views.)

2) IncredibleScience’s channel (35,269 subscribers): IncredibleScience is an online retailer of “cool science toys, educational toys and fun science projects,” according to its website at www.incrediblescience.com. Its companion YouTube channel features about 60 videos featuring a number of kid-friendly experiments and how-to videos that promote its products. (Most popular video: Water Balz Jumbo Polymer Balls – 30,271,533 views.)

3) Science Experiments for Kids by Dr. Mad Science (12,325 subscribers): Doctor Mad Science is the alter ego of 10-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont., native Jordan Hilkowitz. After uploading a few videos to his YouTube page, the views took off and he became a YouTube star in his own right. Jordan is autistic, as well, and the channel has greatly helped his development, according to his mother. His channel now has nearly 4.3 million views featuring kid-friendly experiments. (Most popular video: Milk + Soap = Magic – 3,701,398 views.

3 Responses to Social Media Matters: Secure your own web domain name

  1. I’ve always said that too – I’m the webmaster for http://gailbenoit.ca/ – but I’m not Gail Benoit – she is a notorious dog broker who is a convicted animal abuser – and the site details her history in the news – it bothered me that when you googled her nothing came up, good or bad – so I decided to give her an online presence – and Google likes to look for the most basic domain names when searching – so if someone searches “Gail Benoit

  2. …continued from above…
    – Google will bring up my site first – so it was wonderful that the subject of my site had not secured her own name as a domain name. It is the perfect case of the subject of your blog post. I however did it for the good and not