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5 Tips to Get Personal on the World Wide Web


The .ME team getting personal. Photo Credit: domain.me.

You know that devastating feeling when you’ve poured your heart, soul and coffee-infused brain into a piece of writing, just to find out that it’s been read by your mom (hey, mom!), aunt Gertrude, her book club and your cat  – and this last bit is purely based on speculation. Not only does it happen to the best of us, but it happens to most of us: very few Internet Gods have been able to achieve a following so strong that even (hilarious and amazing) taxidermy adventures can garner as much attention as a U.S. presidential debate – yes, I’m looking at you, Jenny Lawson.

This may be due to the fact that we’re all just small fish in the big Internet pond, and that it’s really hard to stand out in the blogging crowd. Or perhaps you’re writing about proper ways of brewing tea. Either way, one of the essential tricks to get people’s attention, in the blogging world just like in life, is to show your personality. You don’t have to just trust us on this; just take a look at the personal approach of pretty much any relevant brand ever. Yes, this one. This one, too. See, all the cool kids are doing it and, as an individual, so should you! There are really no excuses; instead, I’ll give you a few tips:

1. Personalize the look of your blog.

It’s not that much of an investment to pick a neat WordPress template, and make it your own. Because, let’s face it, every time I see a page that looks like it’s been pulled out of a blank notebook and glued onto the Interwebs, no matter how awesome the content, it just makes me a tad bit sad. I know you can do better! So customize, customize, customize – if the guys and girls on Project Runway can make it work, so can you

2. Personalize your blog’s domain name.

We’re past the point when .com was the be all and end all of internet domain names. There are so many cool ones around that’ll make you stick out – in a good way. A .me domain name, for example, is as personal as you can get, and chances are the one you’re looking for is available. Plus, you can make it work like whoa – CoffeeIsOn.Me, if you’re a coffee aficionado, or BrewingTeaWith.Me, if you’re that tea person. If you’re not up for a .me, there are many others to choose from (did someone say .im?)

3. Get an email address with your name, because you can (therefore should).

How cool would it be to have me@name.me as your email address? Very cool. Again, you can chose among a variety of extensions and between several registrars offering this service – currently, Blacknight’s promotion is one to consider.

4. Find your niche and stick with it!

Show some genuine interest and knowledge about a certain topic (alright, fine, it can be about tea brewing), and you’re bound to find a following in the community.  A great example of this is Mike Vardy, writer, podcaster, speaker and productivity enthusiast (“productivityist”), whose personal blog vardy.me is among my favorites.

5. Find your voice. Apply liberally.

This is one of the hardest and most important parts of a good online presence and sometimes takes years to master. Just when you’ve achieved that perfect blend of wit and sarcasm in real life, here comes the Internet with its funny ways to pose another challenge. However, once you master that unique voice, and are channeling the REAL you – not projecting an imaginary persona, your readers will know and will respond to that. That recognizable voice may even become your main online feature – again, looking at you, Ms. Lawson. All you have to do? Practice. It’s often hard to address an imaginary, and undoubtedly varied group of people who don’t know how awesome (and not weird at all) you are. I found that pretending to write to a friend – or to your cat – helps.

The take away points: be sincere, develop your own style and do everything in your power to channel your inner “me.” If it takes a few formal tweaks to your blog or your email – so be it. Your cat will be proud of you. And more importantly, you’ll find the right audience that’ll appreciate the writing and the person behind it!

A Glimpse of the Future Internet [Infographic]


Earlier this week, I wrote about choosing an extension for your website, and .com remains the most popular option for a variety of reasons, other extensions (.net, .ly, .me, etc.) might also make sense depending on your specific needs.

The Internet is about to get a lot more complicated, though. The new global program to expand your choices is going to start rolling out as early as next year and there were nearly two thousand applications for vanity names submitted. Some major companies, like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft actually submitted multiple applications. Other companies, like Facebook, eBay, and Disney, were notably missing from the list of applicants.

So here’s a look at what is coming in an inforgraphic from Visual.ly. When new extensions are introduced, will you be on board or will you stick to buying .com addresses?


Is a .com the Best Choice for Your Website?


Whether you’re a blogger, a podcaster, a web TV producer, or a business, you probably have your own website. Or, at the very least, are interested in getting your own domain name so you have have a website. For most people, tons of thought goes into choosing your domain name. One of the elements you definitely need to think about is the extension (.com, .net, .org, etc.).

Novel names are coming as soon as next year, reports the BBC. But today, you already have several choices, including not only some of the more commonly used choices, but also options such as .me, .es, and .in to name a few.

Why .com Domain Names Rock

There are a lot of compelling arguments out there for purchasing a .com domain name over any other type of domain. At the end of the day, this is the most common type of domain name for a reason. Here are some of the biggest advantages to choosing a .com for your website:

  • People can most easily remember .com since it is so common.
  • When people do not know, .com is the thing they most common type in the address bar.
  • You can often more easily sell a .com name (if you want to do this someday).

But .com domain names are not going to rule forever, and already we see quite popular sites using different names, especially when the extension makes sense with the rest of the domain name. A good example is Visual.ly, which uses the .ly extension.

An Argument for Other Extensions

While .com makes sense for many, other extensions should be considered for your website as well. At BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2012, I had the chance to talk to the folks at .ME, and there are some very compelling reasons to choose this extension (or another non-.com extension):

  • Chances are pretty good that the .com domain name you want is already taken.
  • You can do a play on words. Some .me success stories include About.me, Call.me, and the ever-popular Formspring.me.
  • Having something other than .com as your extension can make your domain name memorable.

A slightly shorter extension (three characters instead of two, like is possible with .me and others like .ly and .co) is also better if you’ll be using the domain name as a link shortener. For example, Facebook uses fb.me. Every character counts!

The Bottom Line

So should you go for a .com or choose a more unique extension? There’s no right or wrong answer to that question. For some website owners, the best choice is .com hands down, but for others, .me or another extension might make more sense. If you’re in the process of choosing a domain name for your next website, don’t rule out non-.com choices.

Check out .ME for more information about why this type of extension might be right for you!

Survival Guide to Domain Names


From the time when the Internet was invented until today, with all different technologies developed in the mean time, domain names and DNS remained strictly structured and fairly easy to understand, which is amazing since everything else changed so much. It is true that sometimes an average user doesn’t even want to know what holds a website together because it looks too complicated. But, in the domain name industry a complicated part actually comes with human minds and things like commercial purposes, marketing tricks, different evaluations etc. Here is what you should be aware of when thinking about domain name registration.

The Basics: Know the basics

“Every computer on the Internet has a unique address called its “IP address” (Internet Protocol address). Since, IP addresses (strings of numbers) are hard to remember, the DNS (domain name system) allows a familiar string of letters (the “domain name”) to be used instead. So, rather than typing “,” you can type www.icann.org. The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users find their way around the Internet.”

Survival First Aid: Understanding domains

The organization that coordinates all of these unique identifiers across the world is called ICANN. They are in charge of delegation of Top-Level Domain names (TLDs). Some TLDs are delegated to companies or organizations (generic top-level domains or gTLDs,), and some to countries and regions (country code top-level domains or ccTLDs).  In general, .com stands for the company, .org is for the organization, .us is for the USA, .uk is for the United Kingdom, .ru is for Russia, and .me is for Montenegro.

Beyond the Basics: Types of domains (TLDs) and their real meaning

Although ICANN decided to assign a purpose to every TLD in the world, the domain history has shown that TLDs sometimes have a life of their own. What happens is that users decide what they want to do with a particular TLD. Take a .com for example – for a long time it was (and it might still be), unofficial domain of the USA, although the US has its own country code top-level domain.

.COM was intended to be used for a commercial purposes only. However, you’ll find many more uses for .com as well as for .org and .net. Somehow, along all these years the usage of top-level domains made them lost their original purpose. Some TLDs faded away, some gained unexpected popularity. Contrary to the original concept, some ccTLDs gained more global appeal than certain gTLDs. When you think about .travel, and the purpose it was supposed to have, a various usage in the tourism industry is first what comes to mind. Many would say “what a great idea!” Well, it failed, especially when you compare it to the success of the .de or .uk.

This brings us to the point where it seems that actually the combination of meaning and length might affect the popularity. Therefore, it is understandable that due to the multiple meanings certain ccTLDs like .me, .tv, .fm exceeded their country borders. After all, what is a better choice for a radio channel than .fm or .am, and what is more personal for a blog than .me?

New TLDs, or how to choose wisely?

Recently ICANN has accepted a new policy that allows virtually anyone to start a TLD. If we have over 200 TLDs, will this decision result in a better organization or will it create chaos? Will we need a different system to decipher DNS? And ultimately, what will an end costumer need to know about new TLDs? Not much! You do not need to study marketing to realize that being memorable is the most important thing in the business world of today. It is same with domains  – you need to “feel” a domain name, to hear its jingle. Who wants a name that is difficult to pronounce or spell, like ThisIsMyCompanyNameAndThisIsWhatIDo .com?

Believe it or not, domain extensions are an important category of not only the Internet infrastructure but also advertising, and they are part of the string where you need to fit in. Everything before the extension whether it is, your name, your company name or a cool marketing message reflects your personality. But remember, the content behind a name is how you present yourself, and it is the most important aspect of the web presence for your users loyalty. “CrazyD.me” may get you some traffic, but if there is nothing else valuable behind the appealing URL, nobody will return to your website ever again.

So, when choosing a domain name, get one that fits your business or personal model best but keep in mind two things – make it short and cool.

The .Me Registry operates the .ME domain name which is available for worldwide registration and also offers special, highly valuable premium names through its development program (see details here). .ME Registry (the d.b.a. of doMEn, d.o.o.) was chosen by the government of Montenegro to operate the new .ME domain name extension. ME Registry partners include ME-net, GoDaddy.com and Afilias Limited.


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