Are You a Domain Elitist?
The what now?
Well, I’ve found myself looking at the URL field in the web browser, and if it isn’t a dedicated domain for the blog in question, then I’m a bit less forgiving. Basically, let’s say I give the average blog 60 seconds to convince me that I should stick around. Well, then a Blogger hosted blog would probably get just 30 seconds… Silly, but there you go.
Obviously, I’m a domain elitist.
I’m basing this course of action on the fact that if you’re not committed enough to buy a $6 domain, then you probably haven’t got the right commitment in you content-wise either.
Am I wrong?
Sometimes, absolutely! Then again, it’s hard to argue with this course of actions since 99% of all Blogger hosted blogs suck (actual percentage may vary), and although the level of quality is a bit higher on WordPress.com, Vox, and some others (not MySpace’s nor Facebook’s bloggy parts), it sure doesn’t reach the same height as the ones who actually cash out for a domain.
Which is, again, silly, since it’s $6/year – or less!
I don’t mind people hosting their blogs with, say, WordPress.com, and points their domain there. In my book they’ve showed dedication and a course of “seriousness” or whatever. Quality and commitment isn’t in the hosting account, it’s in the fact that you value your content, brand, writing, everything.
That being said, some Blogger hosted blogs do catch me in those 30 seconds. Sometimes that enough.
Are you a domain elitist, or how do you tackle these things?
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.
I got flamed by some Blogger folks last time I said it, but I’ll repeat it again. Having a .blogspot.com URL is about as serious as having an @aol.com e-mail address.
It doesn’t matter to me for the most part. I hate Blogger, but I don’t necessarily dislike those who use the service. The only time I really notice is when I go to leave a comment. Then the fact that it’s Blogger hosted slaps you in the face.
Several of the blogs that I read on a semi-regular basis are hosted on Blogger or WordPress.com. I doubt that I would like their content any better if they had their own domain.
I rarely notice nowadays unless I comment since I tend to read the same couple hundred sites over and over again from Google Reader. When I comment, I do notice that a lot are on Blogger, but it doesn’t bother me since then I know I can check the box to email responses and I don’t have to create a separate profile for the site.
Of course, I like that I have the domain names for my sites — especially when I tell people my URLs or give them a card.
I tend to agree. A blog with it’s own domain carries more weight with me, if only because it tells me that the owner is serious about blogging. Disclaimer: I subscribe to and enjoy reading several .blogspot and wordpress.com blogs. However, they’ve had to earn my respect first.
WOOT! Finally someone elaborates on this. However, I’m also a host elitist. I must have full access to my host. I bought http:///www.TrumpTheNiche.com just a couple of weeks ago and it’s doing well for me.
Last year I bought a total of 51 domains, and did very little if anything with them. However, 6 of them (2 sets of .com,.net,.org) I have plans for this year.
If you are serious about building your brand, get a domain name. Period.
I started off writing at WordPress.com, but eventually I wanted to learn more about customizing the page, so I decided to get the domain and figure everything out on my own (Well, not the template design. I’m not THAT elitist)
As a result, I guess I’ve become an elitist too. And all this time, I just thought I was just arrogant. Whew!
Absolutely, you must have your own domain, why get locked into someone else’s brand and hosting rules? The exception to the “you must have your own domain” rule is Seth Godin. Why he is still blogging at typepad instead of http://www.sethgodin.com is anyone’s guess.
Im with you!~
Cool.. Joey A.
Round of applause over here as well.
To me it has always been a non-starter, getting a descriptive domain name is crucial. Trying to find one that is unique and doesn’t sound corny is another matter.
It’s not coincidence that all these Web 2.0 start-ups have the most amazing ‘made-up’ names going, they have to in order to be different. I don’t need to point out how hard it is nowadays getting a domain to match your business.
Hence when I do a rebrand job, I always use domain names as a reference. If the .com or .uk is already taken, I’ll move onto the next name.
Ideally I need both .com and .co.uk to be available. As yet I have not had to get the leftovers. What is the point of taking a .co.uk when the .com is taken or vice versa. Asking for trouble.
So my business names are based on domain availability and this just means you need to be more creative with your thinking. It’s good forward thinking sense to snap up however many of the ‘dot whatsits’ you can possible afford to keep the value of the brand.
So at the end of this long day, I am also a domain Elitist and proud of it.
There are some decent Blog solutions with decent URL’s: SquareSpace to name but one. I have an account here as well as my hosted WordPress account and am happy in this instance to have to have ‘www.blah.squarespace.com’ sounds OK to me.
“On: Creativity within Life”
I don’t see why having the “wrong” URL should automatically discredit or invalidate someone’s posting. Comparing a blogger account to AOL or Geocities is not only ignorant snobbery, but it’s an invalid argument. The sites function differently, the blogger domains are of much higher quality and it allows anyone who wants to, to create a site.
Or is that what’s really the issue? Perhaps the fact that free internet is such a great equalizer, allowing anyone to have a voice and their fifteen minutes is the problem?
“just” six dollars really is relative, isn’t it? One needs a credit card to be able to pay for hosting in most instances. Many of us either don’t want a credit card, or can’t use their credit card because of debt and ridiculous interest rates. Some of us have poor credit ratings and can’t even get a card. As to secured credit cards, they aren’t legal in all jurisdictions, either. Does that mean people with poor credit ratings don’t have anything worthwhile to say? Or that people who choose to live without endenturing themselves to Visa, MasterCard or Amex are somehow less worthy of being listened to?
You say I somehow lack credibility for having a blogger account. That sort of ignorant snobbery gives you a lot less credibility in my mind.
Steve, I think you already proved everyone else’s point:
“The sites function differently, the blogger domains are of much higher quality and it allows anyone who wants to, to create a site.”
The last part is the key there. That’s just it — anyone can create a Blogspot blog, and people often do — and then they don’t take it seriously and abandon it. The fact of the matter is that those who have their own domain name (even if they map it to a Blogger blog) have shown demonstrable interest in their brand and what they are saying. $6-$10, even if you don’t make money from your blog, is not that much in the grand scheme of things (lay off 2 Starbucks for the year). And if you don’t want a credit card, I’m sure you can find a friend to buy it for you.
I’m not saying you lack credibility for having a Blogspot account. I’m saying you have to work that much harder to prove what you’re writing is worth my time reading it if even you don’t think its worth a couple of dollars.
@Steve; I suppose having a free blog site could be akin to a writer submitting a hand written manuscript to a publisher; they might reject it not because of the amazing content, but the format in which it is presented. I think the same thing applies to blogs.
I go a little further then that.
When I do a Google search, I often use “-blogspot” to filter our some of the search results.
Granted I loose some valuable stuff, but often times, I find the results to be a little more relevant.
I’m a PR elitist – I’ll check PR and see if the site has any weight before deciding if I should invest any time into it. Then, I moved my blog to the root level of my site and am waiting for the PR update to come – in the meantime, I’m a “0”. Which made me realize that I hope there aren’t other PR elitists like me. :-)
Got to laugh at the last comment as they have a blinding domain name!!
Domains and extensions definitely play a part in the overall browsing experience for me personally. However, this happens generally before I even click a link or type an address in on a website. There are plenty of businesses around which I’m sure are genuine but have a huge whiff of ‘scam’ emitting from them due to a poor domain name or website. Certainly something to think about for those who are in business for the long term and not to ‘get rich quick’…