For the past year or so, I have been registering the first / last name .com domain names for some of my friends and family, with their permission (and appreciation). As surprising as it is with all the Godaddy Super Bowl commercials and other technological advancements, some smart people don’t really know where to register a domain name. A simple Google search would yield the results, but many people don’t really think about buying their .com domain name anyway.
As almost anyone who is reading this blog knows, owning your personal domain name is important for many, and even critical for some. Politicians, for example, build a brand around themselves, and they should have their .com domain name if possible to help market the brand – and of course keep it out of the hands of competitors. Other people who aren’t politicians should try to have their .com domain name for business or personal blogs, and many lawyers, doctors, and other professionals market themselves much like politicians.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the importance until it is too late, and the domain name is owned by someone else and the asking price is either too high, or the site is already fully developed. I don’t own my domain name in the .com, although I would like to own it, and my wife does, courtesy of a gift from Rick Latona & Co. I know that it sucks to not have my .com domain name, and I don’t really even need it, so I can imagine what friends of mine would feel if they actually needed their .com domain name for business reasons.
That said, I have been buying their .com domain names when available to keep until they are needed. To be clear, my friends know I am buying the names, are very good friends of mine, and they can have the names at any time with no expectations of anything. It might get expensive at $8/year if there are numerous domain names, but they’re my closest friends and I am happy to help them out.
If you have good friends that don’t own their .com domain names, maybe you should ask them about buying them on their behalf, or strongly recommending that they go out and buy them. They might not need the names now, but they will certainly be happy to have them down the road.
I couldn’t agree with you more. Elliot. Michael and I do the same thing and, believe me, after a while they realize the value and are very grateful. Ironically, we had the same done for us. In 1999, our local ISP reserved CCIN.com for us because the owner, a good friend of ours, believe we’d eventually use it. At the time, Michael and I appreciated the gesture, but had no intention of utilizing it. Today, it is the address of our corporate site.
The father of one of my best friends is very politically active. I bought his .com name and it now forwards to his page on his law firm’s website. Whenever he needs/wants it, the name is his. I also bought his son’s (my friend) domain name since he plans to run for office sometime in the not so distant future.
Good read. Not to mention domains make great gifts.
One thing I would like to point out is this…think of domain names not as just names but email addresses also.
My wife and I recently had to change all our emails as our internet service was sold (Alltel to Windstream). With so many nieces and nephews on the move, school, marriage, etc it would be nice to have a permanent and personalized “home” address.
Here is where the extension matters very little. Look at some of the more less popular ones like .me, .us, .info for instance.
LastName.me is a great example. And the entire family can use it by simply putting in Name@LastName.me.
Most of us already have hosting accounts and email accounts and the set up and maintainence and fees are minimal.
The biggest thing is we know how to do it so it is no hardship to anyone.
Forgetful? then do a 3-5 year registration.
Then, no matter where any family member, friend, or associate is, they will always have a “home” on the internet.
My sister got married about 9 years ago. Last year, I noticed that her married last name became avaiable in .com, so I registered it (at reg fee). When I told her the “great news”, her response was, “so, what am I supposed to do with that”. I explained how it’s more than just a domain name, and lots of people would love to have their last name in .com. She still didn’t understand the benefit, but I’m sure my niece and nephew will appreciate it one day!
Another great post Elliot. My family gets together every Thanksgiving and we celebrate the first night of Hanukkah (this has been the tradition for about 30 years now). Everyone gets everyone a present. This year I think I will try to register everyones name in .com and that will be my gift.
Another idea I had was a month or 2 ago when I registered my lastname.Tel. I was going to use it for personal use, but have decided to make it a directory for all the family contact info. Since everyone is spread out and phone nubmer/email addys/address change…I think it will be a good way for everyone to stay up to date.
Cool idea 🙂
great idea to register your own name but i don’t get it – i’m sure your friends have the mental capacity and $8 to register their own name – and if they chose not to, who gives a flying fig – that’s their problem.
are you ghandi, changing the world, one domain at a time? free free to trademark this tagline as i do not have the cash or mental capacity to see it thru.
My friends don’t look at domain names the same way I look at them.
There have been a few obvious financial and legal things I overlooked in the past, and I changed things up based on the advice of a couple of my friends. Maybe it was obvious to them, but the things weren’t obvious to me at the time and I am glad they helped.
No I am not changing the world, but I am helping my friends out. Instead of having to buy a domain name for $1k (the price I was quoted a year ago for my .com), they can have theirs for free because I was looking out for them.
Sorry that you don’t have the cash or mental capacity.
This is a nice (and worthwhile) thing to do.
A relative of mine with a “common enough” first/last name didn’t think much of it when I hand-reg’d her name about 10 years ago…until someone w/the same name wanted it.
Cool post Elliot. I was talking with a coworker the other day who mentioned he buys .com domains as baby shower presents for family and friends who recently had a new addition to their family. At the time it may seem like a weird gift, but in the future it could prove to be very handy for all the future professionals 🙂
Anyone looking for a free .com domain should take a look at Microsoft’s Office Live Small Business, as they are offering free domain registration and site hosting for a year, and then it is $15/year after that to maintain the site on their servers.
MSFT Office Live Outreach
I don’t know if you know but dot tel is exactly what was created for: better than dot com for anyone as no hosting, no web design knowledge… just as easy as 123 to setup and is community friendly since .tel (telnic) have partnership with the biggest social community (myspace) also still available names and firstname .tel but of course that firstname .tel are already taken.