Johnathan.org

January 10, 2015

Finding a Short Domain Based on a Name is Harder Than Ever

I’ve always really enjoyed having a short address to rely upon when I tell people where to find my sites. I’m personally of the idea that the shorter you can get your address and have it still make sense, the better, especially on mobile devices. Not everyone is willing to type in myreallycoolmobileapp.com when having appname.com is much better, or even app.co, if it’s available.

Update: I wrote this post a couple years ago. Some things have changed since then. A lot of the two-letter TLDs belong to countries and some have rules or restrictions on who can register with them. The ones that don’t have rules or restrictions typically still charge an arm and a leg. For example, we all know the URL shortener bit.ly. Would you believe me if I told you that the .ly TLD goes for $150 for the first year on 101domains.com? Renewals are $230 for a single year. That’s a lot. There are TLDs that are much cheaper, like .co, .io, .is, .me, and whatnot, which is great! Some however aren’t…

The Differences

There are several acronyms for the various top-level domains you see:

  1. gTLD – Generic. (.com, .net, .org, .ws)
  2. ccTLD – Country Code. (.us, .uk, .ir, .br)
  3. IDN – Internationalized (.中国 / .xn–fiqs8s)

The Struggle is Real

My problem is, however, that when I want to register a short domain that uses my name with a short TLD, I’m limited on options, unless I’d like it to make zero sense. My first name is Johnathan, and that right there is too long for my tastes (hence why I currently use jlyman.net; 6+3 is better than 9+3) I I now own johnathan.org. I’d like to register a john.TLD domain but all the cheap ones are taken. Not surprising though, since John is an incredibly popular name. In 2017 I ended up doing just that, snagging john.ly, which makes this next section almost irrelevant, but I’ll keep it for posterity’s sake.

Varying Difficult.ly

With the proliferation of the Internet and everyone having an app, service, blog or portfolio, short addresses are harder to come by and the ones that are free will cost you. In the grand scheme of things, if I were to register a .ly address (for example), $150 a year isn’t too bad, and if I went straight to the source for the .ly TLD, I could save a lot of money. Finding “the source” wasn’t as easy as some are, however. With .ly, the country is Libya. Libya isn’t necessarily known for being the number one country for technological ease of use or freedoms. However, their NIC (Network Information Center) at nic.ly provides a link to another site, ltt.ly (Libya Telecom and Technology), which gives a list of approved vendors of .ly domain names. On this list, is LibyanSpider.com, a Libyan hosting and domain name registrar. They say I can register a .ly domain for 40 LYD, but since I’m an international customer, I have to use Register.ly. Now four levels in, I finally find a registrar that doesn’t charge as much as 101domains. At $75, while still a serious markup (one LYD is $0.84 as I’m writing this) over the 40 LYD ($33.48 USD), it’s about as good as I’m going to get. I can’t reasonably expect to get a foreign domain name that hasn’t been completely mainstreamed by the Internet for the price of a .com or .co.

.An(d) it’s gone.

There are other registrar setups like this one out there for other countries, too. Some are harder to get into, like .an, which isn’t even available anymore, since the Netherlands Antilles dissolved in 2010 and became the distinct countries of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten, along with three smaller still-Dutch-owned municipalities Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba.

.is This Just Fantasy?

The TLD .is is gaining in popularity, too, but isn’t dead easy (unless you want to pay the 101domains price). Iceland owns this TLD and can be registered directly via their NIC site at isnic.is. At roughly $36 USD, it’s not a bad price, but their site isn’t very intuitive. Sometimes, paying a bit more makes the whole process that much easier. I could go on for days talking about all the different gTLDs out there, but I think you’d have a lot more fun looking them all up yourself. Luckily, Wikipedia has pretty much every TLD out there in one list.

New gTLDs

With the launch of newer topic-based gTLDs like .photos and .club, a lot of sites will eventually transfer over and older ccTLD and gTLD domains will eventually expire, unless a company chooses to keep renewing it and use it as a redirect. I’ve thought about having something like john.blog or jltech.blog, but I haven’t been able to make up my mind. There are a lot more options in the word-based TLD space. I think this’ll forever be an ongoing battle. People with short names will always have the one-up on me.

Half-Way There

This site has served many purposes over the last couple of years, and none of them have really taken off. Looking back on how my routines have changed and what I am spending more time focusing on, I can really tell that at some point in the future that I can’t determine (yet), this site will finally become a permanent and consistent place for me to write and share my voice and thoughts.

One thing I’ve always thought about doing is starting a full-on tech blog, but the work involved is greater than the amount of time I have to spend, right now. I’m sure that’ll change in the future, and when it does, I’ll revisit the idea. In the mean time, I’m content with this one property.

While thinking about how my routines have changed, I know I still have a small struggle with the weekends. Over the last few days, I’ve been writing early in the morning before I leave for work and it’s been helping me start my day in a more gradual and stimulating fashion. The weekend is still a struggle though because subconsciously I know I don’t have anywhere to be in particular so why should I bother getting up early? Since hindsight is always 20/20, I can tell my 8 hour-past self that I wouldn’t feel like crap for sleeping 14 hours and my day wouldn’t be half-wasted away. I could have done a ton of stuff in the 5-7 hours I could have had as extra if I stuck to the routine I set up during the week.

With any new habit, it takes time to break out of the old one and build up a new one, so tomorrow is always another opportunity to try again.

One of my end goals with this blog is to be able to write about one particular complete topic related to the previous day. I know there are so many different things that happen all the time that I could have enough content for years, but a lot of it I don’t keep record of or even remember. I can’t remember where I read it but a statistic stated that we only remember roughly 6% of what happened the day before. Maybe that number is higher, but I also remember that within a week, that number drops to 1%. I know I can agree on the second number because this time last weekend, I remember very little of what I was doing…

I don’t want to just write about a random smattering of things, though. I want to keep it to topics I find interesting and relevant… stuff that describes myself and my interests, not just what I ate for breakfast, yesterday (oatmeal). It’ll take a bit of time to build up, but I’ll get there. Keeping my self writing everyday will help do that.

January 8, 2015

The Space in Which I Craft

Updated: a lot of changes have taken place since I wrote this post over two years ago. My most current desk setup is here. One thing I’ve come to learn is that having a good writing space is important. For some, the room has to be just right. Darkness, music, closed doors. For others, like myself, I don’t need as much. I think it’s worth breaking down to a more manageable conversation.

Lights

Some folks like to keep the room dark, some like it brightly lit. I’m in between. I have a free-standing lamp from IKEA that uses two bulbs and the shades are a fogged white. The bulbs themselves are hybrid 75-watt-incandescent-20-watt-cfl. This allows the lamp to be immediately lit with bright, warm light from the incandescent bulbs while the CFLs are warming up. When they have, the bulbs automagically switch over and you notice little change. At first I thought this was awesome but I’ve come to find out that GE makes simple CFLs that don’t need any warming in 75w-equivalent sizes for roughly $7 bucks a piece. Future lights in that lamp will be of that variety, for sure. Until then, I’m content with my moderate lighting setup. It’s not too bright (like an office), which I hate, because I feel it’s distracting, and it’s not super dark, because that would put me to sleep. Plus, I feel staring at an LCD screen in the pitch dark is more traumatizing to my eyes than it’s worth, really.

Coffee

This is my first post in this challenge and on my blog in particular where I wrote it before 6AM. I decided yesterday to hack my morning routine and start getting up earlier, to the more natural rhythm of my sleep cycles. I’ve almost got it down, already, just need a few more tweaks. To assist in the morning energization of my mind, a nice hot cup of coffee from my no-fuss Keurig coffee maker is a must. I don’t have time to grind and crap.

Music

I like listening to classical music while I’m at work. It keeps me in a calm state, so I figured I’d give it a try while writing. As I write this post, I’m listing to a rather even playlist of classical music deemed for concentration on Spotify, the best $10/month investment in the world. Seriously, if you’re not in the market to spend a ton on music (classical is super cheap, anyway, so perhaps you should just go buy a few compilation albums for a couple bucks each on Amazon), Spotify is the way to go. I have so much classical music in several locations: roughly 4 days worth, end-to-end, from Amazon Music, that I spent a grand total of $6 on, a few albums from iTunes, and a half-dozen playlists on Spotify.

Past Struggles

In the past, I’ve had bouts where I haven’t written in months, and this point of this exercise is to reflect on wether my environment is the reason for it. In my case, I’m pretty happy with where I’m sitting, in my 2nd-bedroom-turned-office. My struggle hasn’t really been with my environment, but more with my dedication to writing, and just doing it more. I get bored with things, easily, if I stop having motivation to do them, including writing. I’ve written several things in the past that I thought were really good but shortly thereafter, I stopped feeling like writing, in favor of doing other things. This time around, writing will be a part of my daily routine, no matter what I haven’t quite figured out what time of day yet, as this morning I started this at 5AM, but yesterday I started at 5:30PM. I guess so long as I’m writing every day, I can hammer out the finer points of my routine as I find a rhythm that I like. Until then, I just need to keep putting words to paper.

January 7, 2015

Why I Write

Part of this newfound journey I’m on to blog better is to look inward at myself and try to figure out why I write. It’s more difficult than it sounds because I feel I have two thoughts that form some sort of answer. I have a thought, maybe two.

Sometimes there are topics and ideas that just sound interesting. Sometimes things are utterly stupid. Certain situations make stupid stuff interesting. I like to look at writing as me telling you what I think. By reading these words, you’re telling me you have at least a small interest in what I think.

Making money from blogging is a fine line to walk.

People don’t get rich off of blogging. People make money from ads. There’s a little part of me that hopes that some day I’ll strike it big, become famous, and my words will carry weight in the form of money bags, to the bank. I know this is a long shot and in the grand scheme of things, this is a terrible idea and hope to have as it might skew my writing. I want to be honest. Now that it’s out there, perhaps I’ll change my ways… only time will tell. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have mashed potatoes calling my name…. get your own you damn dirty ape.

January 6, 2015

You Really Just Would not Understand!

Screenshot 2015-01-06 20.14.21

I’m hoping that someone can explain to me why in the literal hell I would think this is something I would wear.

It’s just a Johnathan thing. You wouldn’t understand!

Are you sure? At what point did I become such a pompous @$$ that everything I do, every action I take and word that comes out of my mouth raised to such a level that nobody on God’s green earth would understand it, even to a fraction of a degree?

At least they spelled my name right… spammers have a tendency to misspell my name at least a dozen times a day, according to my spam filter. Perhaps it’s time to make a new rule to filter out those who just don’t understand: If you email me, tweet me, or otherwise try to talk to me and you don’t spell my name right, I’m going to wear this god-forsaken sweatshirt, take a photo, send it to you, tell you go pound sand, and then run away laughing.

That sounds crazy, right? Well it’s a Johnathan thing… you wouldn’t understand.

Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography