Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Repeat after me: Domain is not God

It seems I can’t avoid metablogging themes... Last week we had a DNS lecture at school. I’m finally starting to understand these things. Anyway. DNS stands for Domain Name System and that led me to think custom domains and blogging.

All the big metablogs preach us that domain is the God. You must have your own domain. I agree and disagree with this claim. I think it is important to have your own domain if you’re creating a brand. It’s like a part of a good product and good service.

But if you blog only because you love self-expressing and writing... Then I think it’s perfectly OK not to have your own domain. Domain is just a line of easily remembered characters pointing to a specific IP address. Since when did that have anything to do with the urge to write?

And I have never thought that a blog without own domain is somehow untrustworthy. I’ve been writing and reading blogs for years and all these different blogging platforms are like my old friends. I think that a blog hosted on Blog*Spot, for example, is as trustworthy as all the other blogs. I just think that the writer of the blog likes that certain blogging platform and is not bothered by the whole domain issue.

And honestly... I don’t give a rat’s ass about your domain. The content and the blog design are the only things that truly matters to me. Domain was just a substitute for a clumsy IP address... It doesn't make the blog any better. I’m not tired of reading blogspot.com in blog domains, I’m sick tired seeing Blogger default templates. Your blog should, first of all, look like your blog. Make some effort, make an outstanding blog design.

"Custom domains are easier to remember." We have heard that explanation before, and it's true. But how often do you have to remember domains? If you’re like me, you support bookmarking. I use Delicious.com to bookmark everything interesting and my browser to bookmark sites I know I’m going to visit on a daily basis.

But to blogs I subscribe.

And that is the main reason why I think blog domains doesn’t matter so much. You find a nice blog, you press subscribe. The next time you want to read that blog, you do that via your RSS reader. You don’t need to memorize hundreds of blog domains, you only have to remember the address of your (web-based) RSS reader. And that's easy.

So, in my opinion, domain names do and don't matter. If it matters to you, get one. If it doesn't, don't let some fancy metablog make you believe otherwise.

I'm perfectly happy with its-about-amoena.blogspot.com, even though it's clumsy and almost impossible to remember. I have an unique design, good content and a huge subscribe button. Fuck the domain. I trust my readers. If they want to read my blog, they subscribe.


  1. are you subscribed to my blog? do you think my blog design is good? now I'm all self-conscious ;] JK

  2. Of course I'm subscribed to your blog, Sunnie. And I think your blog design stands out nicely. You have nothing to worry about :)

  3. I agree with pretty much everything you said. However I would like to give you a different perspective.

    Some of the most interesting blogs I've come across are hosted at Blogspot, some on Blogger. I, like you, am interested in content, not URLs.

    However I would always prefer to use my own domain for my own blogging or other use. It's just a matter of preference.

    When you use your own domain, you have full control over its content. You're not restricted by whatever restrictions blogging sites have. You can post video or music that you host yourself, without linking from external sites. You can provide a live stream if you want. You can also receive email at the domain, if that is your preference.

    Lastly, but most importantly, you are not limited by the blogging software provided by the blogging site. You can upload, install, and configure Wordpress or a number of other free, open-source blogging software products. You can install plug-ins to improve performance and functionality.

    The point is, these are OPTIONS that typically, to my knowledge, are not available when you use a blogging site like Blogger. They are absolutely not necessary for anyone to have a great or interesting blog. Having your own domain simply opens up a lot more options in terms of customization.

    I own many domains, and have a reseller account so adding an extra one is only a matter of paying the 9 dollar per year registration fee. If I did not already have a reseller account, I would definitely not specifically seek a domain registration and a hosting service just to blog. That, I agree, is really unessential for most blogging purposes. For me it's just a matter of convenience.

  4. Mika: I agree with your point. Own domain gives you full control over the content and everything. I should have had that point of view mentioned in my post. That's like the biggest downside of using blogging sites for blogging: What if that site stops existing or decides to do some radical changes that you don't like?

    Btw, Blogger is the blogging platform, and Blog*Spot is the host =)

  5. amoena: I added the title under the pomegranates after you mentioned it. :]

    and thanks for the confirmation about my blog!