I recently aquired jlericson.com to be the new location of this blog. It's almost entirely a vanity thing as jericson.github.io (which still works just fine) is plenty good enough for my purposes. Arguably it's better since I didn't need to throw in an l to get a unique user name on GitHub.

One benefit that isn't vanity is that I can take my URLs with me should I ever leave GitHub Pages. It's annoying when content moves and breaks links on the internet. For less than $10 a year, I can keep that from happening. (Unless I forget to renew the domain or purposely break links.) An abstraction layer means that from now on that my content lives at jlericson.com.

Another benefit of the domain abstraction layer is that I can switch to an email that will follow me around too. I'm using Porkbun as my registrar, which includes email forwarding. If I ever move away from Gmail or just want to set up my own email server, I won't have to contact everyone I know. (Or rather, I'll only need to do that one more time since I'm not planning on telling everyone to use my new address given my old one still works.) And I can set up email forwarding for other people in my family, if they want it.

Gallons of digital ink are regularly spilt on selecting a perfect domain. To distill what I've read, domains should be:

  1. short and
  2. memorable

Arguably #1 is implied by #2. Although I do like the idea of a .net or .org domain, .com is the default top-level domain and has an edge when it comes to people remembering it. The tradition of internet start-ups is to take a short word and remove a silent e to make it even shorter: Flickr, Tumblr, Grindr and Scribd. We've probably reached Peak Weirdness so those names are unfashionable.

Since the domain is about hosting my content, I wanted something related to my name. Someone already uses jonericson.com and the Ericson Manufacturing Company has my last name. Next I thought jericson would be good, because it was my first computer username and is pretty easy to derive from the name I usually go by. But whoever owns it right now wants almost $3,000 for it. So just like I did for my Yahoo username in the 90s, I decided to add my middle initial.

To reiterate: getting a personal domain is mostly an exercise in vanity. While there is some value in having a permanent address on the internet, it's not worth buying a cool domain for thousands of dollars. A lot of perfectly serviceable domains are there for the taking even in the .com TLD. In all things, moderation.