(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)
Check out the web address www.senatorfeinstein.com. The address goes to a blog.
You would think it is related to the senator from California, right?
Not so fast.
This is a very current illustration of what can happen when you do not gain control over domain names. Someone who opposes you could do so.
This isn’t a political comment. I’m not going there.
The senator didn’t get around to registering that domain name. Instead, a gun store owner who opposes the positions taken by the senator registered the domain. He then set up a free blog to aggressively argue the opposing side of the gun control debate.
One article on the web, found here, says the gun store owner has registered other domain names. Looks like he is going to be busy.
Whether you find the senator’s situation entertaining or irritating, it illustrates the need to gain control over your name on the ‘net.
Who should bother?
Individuals – You may not need it now, but some day you may want to use your name as a URL. I’m guessing in this new technology era, a lot of people will need to have a way to present themselves on the ‘net. Having a good URL is a small part of the strategy.
Get control over your name before you actually need it. If you are a professional, marketer, entrepreneur, sole proprietor, or want to be one of those, you need to own a URL and control your name in social media.
Businesses – You obviously need to have control over your name.
Nonprofit organizations in controversial areas – If you have taken a position in an area that is getting lots of heat, you really want to control your domain name and all variations of it. Get control over the names of your programs as well as the organization name. Include snarky variations and misspellings too.
As righteous as you know your cause is, there is someone else with an opposing belief.
Politicians – See www.senatorfeinstein.com. ‘Nuf said.
Gain control over your name
Domain names – Those are the funny little things like www.senatorfeinstein.com or www.outrunchange.com that the ‘net uses to direct traffic. That’s how the internet real estate is controlled.
You can buy domain names real cheap, around $10 or $12 a year. I use GoDaddy. Their domain name is www.godaddy.com. There are lots of other low-cost places to get domain names.
You might want to buy several alternate names and variations. Get the name that corresponds to all your programs and perhaps all your major products.
Social media sites – There are a number of popular sites where the first person registering gets the name. Consider registering your personal name, business name, and major programs/products at:
- Facebook – Far stronger anti-squatting rules make this less critical, but still important for pages.
- Google+ – This is less critical since I’ve read they require real names. If you have a common last name, this is still an issue.
- LinkedIn – primarily for business contacts. Especially important for professionals and business people.
- Blogs – These are very easy to set up at WordPress or Blogger. No cost to just create a place holder. Minor cost for some add-on features when you want to start using them.
I previously mentioned this back in 2010 – see Reserve your name at social media sites.