Thinking about Domain Names and Online Identity

February 12, 2014

I’m writing this post with no end goal in mind. No solution to these issues has been found, and no conclusion has been drawn. Not yet. I’m just simply thinking out loud.

Today, I came into possession of a new domain name: conor.photography. Don’t bother clicking it: it doesn’t go anywhere, mainly because I haven’t come up with a good use for it yet.

I bought it, as is often the reason, because why not? I learned about the upcoming .photography domain not long ago, and signed up for pre-registration at GoDaddy (yeah yeah, I know) because I wanted to claim it just in case. I like to call myself a photographer, after all. And my name, especially because it’s spelled a bit strangely, is something I’d like to claim as often as possible for any and every service just in case.

So now I’m in possession of three domain names centered around my personal identity: conormcclure.net, conormcclure.me, and the aforementioned.

What to do, what to do.

The .net—my original—also leads nowhere at the moment because I played around a bit too much with Squarespace Custom CSS and broke the website. It’s now in desperate need of a redesign. I’m stalling on that project, though. Because now I have to seriously question what exactly each of me three domain names should do.

My tentative solution that keeps floating through my head goes something like this:

  • This blog, currently sitting at .me, becomes .net. The .net domain has traditionally been used, by myself and many other geeks, as a blog-based domain. It’ll be confusing, especially for current readers, to just switch everything from .me to .net, and I’m still not sure how to pull that off. But it seems to make sense to me.
  • The .me might become a sort of “personal homepage,” a static page that consolidates my entire web presence not unlike the about.me service. I’m especially inspired by Matt Bischoff’s version of this. This would also make sense; the domain .me practically begs to be associated with me.
  • As for .photography, it’s got to go to a revamped photography portfolio that I’ve been thinking off. This is probably what my Squarespace website will become, and will require a ton of time and work. But the .photography domain is, to me, a brilliant portfolio domain.

The biggest issue I have with all of this, besides the work that I have to do to make it perfect, is the possibility of having too many different websites going on. There is certainly plenty of validity to having everything consolidated in one spot, as I used to do: people only have to go to one place to find anything about you. With the setup I’m considering, I’d now have to direct people to three different websites to find different information about me: “Oh, well, go here to read a bit about who I am, see my resume, whatnot. And if you want to check out my blog, go here. Also, I’m a photographer, so check out my portfolio here.” By now, my audience is overwhelmed and doesn’t care anymore.

Maybe. It could go the opposite way: having a dedicated space for each type of content means everything can be the best possible version of itself. And this is what I’m hoping for.

I don’t know. I’m really just thinking out loud, here. As always, feedback is appreciated.