Last month, in a surprise move, Google became Alphabet. Now, this is the Internet’s biggest brand and the largest Internet-focused company. You would assume that their homepage would be Alphabet.com, right? Wrong. Google, or Alphabet, doesn’t think the .com is essential any more and set its global domain at abc.xyz.
A while back, Internet regulator ICANN opened new extensions – beyond the familiar .Com, .Net, .Org and so on. These extensions, called top-level domains (TLD), will allow Internet users to get more personalized and meaningful names, while not being restricted by whatever is available as a .Com.
However, there are still many who believe the .Com address is invaluable and these other TLDs are n0t a good idea.
When people first construct a “personal brand,” the last thing they’re concerned about is juggling the content, data, monitoring and associated analytics that come along for the ride. Personal branding sounds like a great idea on the surface. It allows you to control ownership of your voice, create thought leadership and add credibility to your professional outreach.
Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with.
And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes.
And the changes are what you become.
Change the outcome by changing your circle.
…then having a tool isn’t much of an advantage.
The industrial age, the age of scarcity, depended in part on the advantages that came with owning tools others didn’t own.
Time for a new advantage. It might be your network, the connections that trust you. And it might be your expertise. But most of all, I’m betting it’s your attitude.
Few employers have training budgets for new employees – to use their training budgets more efficiently, employers want to hire new employees who already have the necessary training. While there are exceptions, you should consider this the rule.
… As a Digital Strategist I help individuals & organizations effectively leverage digital technology and apply limited resources to achieve their online goals. And one of the best ways to be accessible to all of the 3+ billion global Internet users (3,079,339,857 as of 12/31/14, internetworldstats.com), and not just the walled 1 billion Facebook users, is to have my own branded personal website/blog & email (CraigBarry.com). For the cost of a couple of beers ($12USD/yr.) I can offer whatever content I choose and have complete control over privacy, context and monetization – I can’t do that using Facebook.
If time is really short – I just say − I just noticed that the number of worldwide Facebook user and smokers both just passed the 1 billion mark!
Do you smoke? Why not? Everyone else is doing it.
Maybe it is time to separate yourself from the rest of the pack!
Can’t I just rely on LinkedIn, About.me, Twitter and all those other “free” services?
In a word – NO! The reason is that you want to own your online assets as much as possible, not rent them.
There are a number of disadvantages to using these free services:
- They can lock you out. There is no guarantee of service with these free accounts. All of their terms of service state that they can shut down on a moment’s notice. And most of them stipulate that they don’t have to give you your content back.
- They can evict you. Your account can be removed at any time, for any reason, and usually without recourse. There are numerous stories of Facebook, Twitter and blog accounts that get shut off and even deleted. Sometimes these are accidental, other times they are due to alleged violations of terms of service, but every so often there is no explanation.
- They can use your stuff. On most of these networks, their terms of service state that while you maintain ownership of your content, you also grant them a universal right to reuse your content for their own purposes.
- They can relocate you. If a service gets acquired, its domain name might change, which means that your URL would change. The most valuable online currency is inbound links. If your domain changes, those links get broken and you have no power to repair them.
- They own your improvements. Search engine rankings are always maintained at the domain level. If your personal website is “you.facebook.com,” then all the search engine “juice” allocates to “facebook.com.” You can’t really earn any ranking for yourself.
Register Your Personal Domain Name Today!
Before you can build your house, you’ll need a plot of land on which to construct it. That Internet land is a domain name. You can register a domain for less than $12USD per year. I use Name.com and NameCheap.com. (affiliate link).