I’ve been pretty busy with client work and my own sites recently – and managed to commit a cardinal sin in forgetting to renew the hosting package on one of my oldest projects, 140char.com.
I still own the domain, which I registered back in 2008 to give me a place to write about Twitter and Microblogging as it started to gain interest from early adopters and a wider audience, and over time I included the likes of Tumblr, Posterous, Plurk, Yammer etc, with whatever insight and analysis I could provide, as well as covering the bigger news stories.
Over time it proved reasonably popular, and a few articles got some great links from prominent bloggers such as Stowe Boyd, and prominent tech sites such as Engadget – but I always saw it as a smaller side project alongside this blog and my day job at the time. Move onto the 2010 and having seen traffic level off, and given the launch of other projects which seemed more viable, I decided to effectively park it for a while, and operated it as just a link blog, reposting everything on the subject which came into my Google Reader via Diigo, while I considered what to do with it, and whether or not to keep it or sell it etc. At the same time, I saw the deserved success of virtual friend Shea Bennett when he launched the far more focused Twittercism, which has now become AllTwitter after acquisition by MediaBistro
Traffic obviously dropped due to the linkposting, to the point where it was steadyish at around 1000 uniques a month, but in terms of priority, it’s dropped below all my client work, this site, and 3 others I’m currently working on… So when the hosting account was coming up for renewal, I planned to transfer it over to my main reseller account, and at the same time, work out the best use of the domain for the future…
And whereas I always set-up all client and current projects with multiple reminders to ensure this never happens, as an older project from the days before I was so diligent, it didn’t have any of that in place.
So the question is what I do with the domain and content now?
And at the same time, it seems like a good chance to re-evaluate all of my websites, profiles and web activity to ensure that I’m practising what I preach when it comes to an effective, efficient and productive internet strategy.
So be prepared for a bit of soul searching over the next couple of days as I review everything I do. And at least I’m not alone in a hosting slip-up, considering Disney managed to forget to renew the Club Penguin domain and leave several million users without a site!
In the process of re-evaluating everything, I’ve also started to tidy up my old accounts on places like Tumblr and Posterous, and start using them with a bit of actual purpose, so if you’re interested in the somewhat esoteric interests I have in cult books, music, films and comics, then you can always see what I’ve been enjoying at http://badgergravling.tumblr.com/.
So the question is whether I pay to just renew my hosting with all the original links intact, and then start transferring everything over to another site with the appropriate 301 redirects to maintain most of the value of the original links, which would be time consuming, but would retain something from the 3 years of posting, and would be generally what I’d do with clients. Or in the interest of time, just nuke my past like Steve Rubel.
Do I set myself up to continue a half-hearted attempt at updating by linkposting for the sake of it, or is there a more valuable use for that domain?
I could probably sell it for a tiny amount, considering that although it has respectable page rank, I’ve never really monetised it effectively.
Or is there another way to utilise it which would mean that it’s providing value to people – considering that Twitter coverage in particular has spread to mainstream traditional news publications?
In the meantime, my current main sites are:
TheWayoftheWeb – you’re here, so should have an idea what I do. Hopefully. But it’s all around freelance digital content, marketing and running that business.
OnlineRaceDriver.com – online race games. Currently growing by over 20% every month, and getting to a good, solid traffic level.
FPSPrestige.com – FPS games – i.e. Call of Duty, Battlefield etc. Far newer, but growing faster than ORD, and again, getting to a decent traffic level already.
MyDpip.com – the site for Digital People in Peterborough. Slightly neglected due to the fact that both of the people originally involved have been a bit distracted recently, but getting a bit of a reboot in the near future.
Jodanma.com – and this is why we’ve both been a bit distracted. As the non-designer in the company, it’s been slightly frustrating to be waiting with a holding page whilst we’ve been working on client projects, but we’re building in some space soon to finish our own site, which will be a relief.
Not a bad tally, even without 140char.com, and without including a few smaller, more experimental ideas…