The Change I Should Have Made

April 29, 2010

New Site?Many people have asked my why my primary domain name was fastie.net instead of fastie.com and why my business site used to be a sub-domain of fastie.net.

It's a long story. Sad, too.

Way, way back, when I was first contemplating a Web presence, I went off in search of domain names. Fastie.com was available but I wasn't sure if I wanted to commit to the recurring expenses associated with a site, including my time to create and maintain it. I hesitated. Every so often I'd take a peek to see if fastie.com was still available as a domain name.

Suddenly it wasn't.

When I say "way, way back," I mean about 1997. In those days it was possible and, I learned, quite common for bulk domain name buyers to scoop up domains when they discovered interest. How did they know there was interest? Simple - they spied on the only domain name registrar at the time, Network Solutions. They watched network traffic to the Network Solutions site and when they saw repeated queries about a name with no ensuing purchase, they added the name to their list for their next purchase.

Within seconds of discovering that my name had been hijacked, I signed up for fastie.net. Shortly thereafter I was online and fastie.net became my primary (and only) domain.

During the ensuing years fastie.com changed hands several times. Each time, the new owner would send me an email offering the domain for sale. The first asking price was $3,500. Over time the price kept dropping but remained outlandish. I watched the registrations and what transpired near the expiration dates. But I ignored all these offers; I did not respond to any of the emails or give any suggestion that I was interested.

One day I received an email with an asking price of $85. Immediately suspicious because of the low price (the previous offer had been $800), I armed myself with a credit card and visited Network Solutions. Sure enough, the site was finally available. I signed up on the spot for a ten year term.

So why did I get this email if the sender did not own the site? A very careful reading of the email revealed that the sender was offering a "registration service" for $85. They would sign me up for one year. This was obviously a bulk buyer who decided that I was never going to buy and therefore did not want to invest in yet another year of domain ownership. Instead, they gambled on a service fee deal. I figure they could have made a profit of about $70, not bad for one email and five minutes of work. Of course, I ignored this offer just as I had all the others.

It was a relief to finally own the primary domain name I wanted. Even so, I continued with fastie.net as the primary. In late 2009 my friend Danny slapped me upside the head (via email but it still stung) about this stupid arrangement. Jolted back to reality, I decided to fix it, finally.

It's taken me longer than intended, but today my primary site is fastie.com (and fastie.net has been "sold" to my brother). There has been some disruption along the way, I'm sad to say. I could bore you with the technical details but it boils down to years of sloppiness. A housecleaning was in order and it wasn't pretty - I needed a dumpster and an industrial-strength vacuum. Chalk this up to my knowing a lot more about Web development now than I did ten years ago and having a clearer picture of what I want to do with my online presence.

Along with the housecleaning, I've painted the house. My good friends at Brink Media in Tucson designed my new look based on my iconic self that has graced my personal site for many years. The little graphic above is a preview of the original design concept; as you can see, I remained true to Brink's concept. You've probably seen a mix of old and new pages both here and at my personal sites during the process, for which I beg your indulgence. That should be cleared up very soon now.

I'm happy to have made these changes after so long, and I'm thrilled to have gotten the paint job from a world-class Web company.

Originally published in September, 2009.

Tags: fastie.com, Registrars, Site, Web

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