Working with some beginning podcasters has made me realize that collecting all of what you need for protecting and
promoting your own cyber-brand isn't easy these days.
By now, most of us have the dot com routine down when we
want to establish a new brand: We go to our favorite
registrar (mine now happens to be GoDaddy.com), and
reserve that domain name the moment the idea crosses our
craniums what the right name should be. Amazingly, there
are still a few dot com names left these days.
But you might not be aware that there are other names that
you should purchase as well as the dot com. Podcasters
should probably also get a .TV domain name (those folks in
Tuvalu are happy about this), and there are also .BIZ and
.INFO names too that make sense under certain
circumstances. And if you are really desperate or have
some extra cash, you can purchase a .NET or .ORG too. I
would steer clear of the .US domains, they have never
taken off and are too much trouble to type in.
I have maintained for years that the best domain names are
aurally-pleasing, meaning that you can say them to someone
and they can remember the name and more importantly,
remember how to spell it without you having to spell it
out for them.
If you use another registrar, make sure you check out
their Web control panel interface before you plunk down
your cash on these new domains. I have seen some pretty
miserable interfaces that make it difficult to do basic
tasks such as forwarding your domain to your existing Web
site, and adding email addresses that also forward to your
existing accounts. What I like about GoDaddy (well, maybe
I am just used to their setup) is that these tasks are
fairly straightforward, and they don’t charge extra for
the forwarding details (some of their competitors do).
They also make it easier to make bulk changes without
having to go through repetitive steps.
Being master of your domain isn't the only thing you have
to worry about these days. The next issue is how you make
use of email lists. You want to make sure that you
register your brand name with as many of the popular free
service providers as you can, and certainly at least with
Google and Yahoo Groups. It doesn’t cost anything, and
took about two minutes apiece to get them set up. Both are
great places to host your mailing list and keep track of
your clients too. While we are talking about email, you
might want to sign up for a free account with Google's
Gmail service and use the same name as your brand for this
identity too. You'll need to find a friend who can send
you an electronic invite or else sign up from your cell
phone. This is all about extending your brand, and making
it easier for people to find you. I will have more to say
about Gmail in a future edition, but I have been very
happy with their service for the past year and have really
gotten to like it since being out on my own.
While you are at it, even if you haven't started blogging,
you might want to reserve your brand name ahead of time in
this arena as well. Two of the more popular blogging
service providers are Blogspot.com and WordPress.com.
Again, these are free services, and it takes just a few
minutes to sign up and register your name, but you might
as well grab this piece of cyber real estate before
someone else does.
I have been using WordPress for my blog, of course.