Part Five, Pointing, reading, and robots
Hey. Welcome back. Today, Part 5 of 5, we talk about a couple things. First how to point a website you’ve made with a service like I’ve mentioned to something you control. Then I’ll leave you with some thoughts on reading blogs and sites in efficient ways. Lastly, we’ll talk about robots!
If you’ve built a site or blog with one of the services I’ve mentioned, or something you’ve found outside of these posts (tell me what it is!), you’ll have a site name like something.service.com. For example, Locke-Lamora.carrd.com or yourUserName.micro.blog. Here’s how to truly own your content.
In day 2, I talked about design, specifically designing the online representation of yourself, or your services, and products. Maybe you went though that and landed on a name for yourself or small company. It would be wise to look into obtaining the website name. This is called a “domain”. There are a ton of services that let you buy a domain. I like hover and I hear Name is good too.
Regardless of which company you use to buy the domain, you’ll run into a challenge. All the good names are gone. You may have to get creative with hyphens or look at alternatives to .com and .net. I’ve had chadmoore.net for around 20 years. But it’s .net because there already was a chadmoore.com.
One of the reasons I like hover so much is because they have search that offers you options that are close to what you are seeking.
For example if you are an Actor named John Smith, you can type those words into the hover search, and they’ll list some options for you.
Maybe try the searching for the “what, how, why” and/or the “top three values” from the Brand Sprint exercise? Or the why and your name? Explore!
Keep in mind that the price you see listed is per year, so be mindful of costs. Also, some domain extensions are typically reserved for specific things. .org is for non-profits, .io is for startups, and .xxx is for pornography. Feel free to break the rules, just be aware.
So finding the domain, and purchasing it is the hard part. Next you’ll have to tell your blog or site to point to your domain. Here’s how to do it in Carrd, and Micro.blog, and blot.im
It’s also worth noting that micro.blog has an integration with name.com. When you sign up for micro.blog, you can search for, and buy a domain via name.com inside micro.blog. It’s a conveinence thing. More on that here: https://help.micro.blog/2019/domain-registration/.
So you’d sign up for micro.blog, go to the blog settings to buy the domain, then point the blog to the domain. It’s a one stop shop, really.
DNS / Domains / A and Cname records can be confusing. I’ve done this a bunch and it still puzzles me. Check out the instructions above, they can be helpful. Also, any good service will support users (you!) with this stuff. Use the support if you need to.
You may be entering a whole new world, just from your own explorations. You may be finding awesome sites, and personal blogs from people all across the world. How do you read all the things? You can’t. You’ll miss stuff. Deny FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and embrace JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). After all, these blogs will be around. The act of slow discovery is wonderful. You’ll come across an interesting post, go to the authors site, and check out the other posts and ideas that the author has shared. It’s more mindful than just scrolling endlessly through a timeline of best-self presentations, adds and distractions.
OK, so I’ll get off my soapbox. You may have a tactical consideration. You may not be able to bounce around the web to all these great sites you’ve been collecting. Sure, you could bookmark them and spend sometime going to them all. But there’s a way to bring them to you.
An RSS feed is something most websites have. You can subscribe to the feed in a reader, and when that site has a new post, your reader will know. You bring the sites to you. Remember google reader? That was the best. But google shut it down. Many other services are out there that do this kind of thing.
Feedbin is a neat RSS subscription website. It does what I described above very well. It also allows you to subscribe to newsletters, and even twitter feeds (you don’t have to go to twitter, it comes to you). It’s $50 a year or $5 a month.
I hear the app NetNewsWire is good, it’s Mac and iOS only, I beleive. I’ve never used it, but it has a strong following. Free and Open Source.
Last topic of the day is Robots. Not awesome sci-fi ones, ones that work on websites. There’s momentum building in the “no code” movement. If you go deeper into using websites and web services to help run your business, you can use services to help automate what you do. I’m not a web marketer, those folks specialize in this kind of thing. I’ve just found cool stuff along my travels as an internet weirdo.
Let’s say you would like a way for people to buy a digital book you have written. Here’s a tutorial on how to set this up with carrd and gumroad.
There are so many tools and services out there to enable automation, build communities, book online meetings, and so much more.
If your interested in this kind of thing, the first stop is zapier. It’s a tool that connects all the other things. Need a way for people to fill out a form on your website so they can book your services? Want a way to save tweets to a google doc? Zapier will enable these kinds of things. It’s great if you’re selling anything online.
For more info on all this, check out Makerpad and Indie Hackers. Or shoot me an email if you have questions.
That’s the end of the series. It’s good for me to get this all out of my head, in a way that might help someone. If you have any questions, let me know. Thanks for reading!
Go make something awesome! Let me know what you come up with.