Nickel and Diming

Seth Godin: Nickel and diming. (As an aside, it drives me crazy that people like Seth Godin and John Moore are pouring countless hours into creating priceless content as sharecroppers on domains they don’t own. To clarify, I have no problem that they’re using Typepad, but for goodness sake put it on your own domain. When someone Google’s you the first hit shouldn’t be Your name is the most valuable thing you have, and every day you put it off is more links to someplace you can never truly control.)

24 thoughts on “Nickel and Diming

  1. I agree totally. When you are blogger (especially if you are a ‘big fish’) your domain is much more than just a link, it’s your identity.

  2. Yes! I am so on that wavelength! At the price of domains these days, its not unreachable at all. A few bucks and your name is now yours online. Then you have a virtual home. Pay your internic fees and keep on trucking! I think that there’s a problem with the database that may cause a bit of problem (check out Wil Wheaton’s site as an example of a failed upgrade which was set by the wayside) when upgrading. Perhaps that is why Typepad bloggers are having a hard time parting with what they already have (regardless of the fine export tools available). Perhaps they have reasons like that. Perhaps they don’t.

  3. It really shouldn’t be a problem to export your database on Typepad and similar services (they pay for that), and if so, it’s one more reason to host your own domain.

  4. It’s ironic that it’s Seth Godin, of all people, who makes this sort of mistake. Isn’t this exactly the mistake he’d write about NOT making?

  5. Funny, I always wondered if Seth had a specific reason for doing so – he’s clearly a smart guy and has great insights on his blog, but using your ‘free’ domain rather than having something personalised for 10 bucks just makes no sense. Maybe it is an issue with Typepad – but if that’s the case you just gotta move platforms!

  6. “Would you be as fussed if it was”

    Yes, nearly all our largest blogs have their own domain, which is why a lot of our traffic isn’t counted by Alexa/Comscore.

    Like I said, it isn’t about platform (though who wouldn’t want Seth on theirs) but just about building your house on a solid foundation, which I believe you can do equally well on either platform.

  7. The reason is simple: when I started blogging, it was actually a whole lot easier to be on Typepad (and it wasn’t much of a big deal either way)

    many years later, the cost of switching in terms of links is just too high. I’ve got literally hundreds of thousands of links out there in various search engines, and it’s just too painful

    my mistake

    the good news is that the cost of being wrong is tiny. there are very few negative side effects.

  8. Thanks for stopping by Seth! What you describe is what I imagined was the situation.

    We both started our blogs in 2002, you in January and me in June. I switched my domain from to earlier this week, and the good news is that it’s not that bad. I’m 99% sure that Typepad does the proper 301 redirects. (I’ll double-check that.) You don’t lose any traffic because everyone going to your old domain in search results (or links) is just redirected. The listed Pagerank takes about 1-2 weeks to transfer to the new domain, but like I said earlier you don’t lose any traffic during that time, because the old URLs still work.

    Even though you’ve been blogging for many years I hope that that there are more years ahead of your blog than behind it, so it’s a good long-term investment. When all else changes, your name stays the same.

  9. Uh, Matt, some people aren’t programmers or tech savvy people. WordPress is nice and easy, but it ain’t that easy. Maintaining your own domain is a lot of tech work that some people just can’t or shouldn’t do.

    Now, maybe those people, when their names are as big as Seth’s, should hire someone to do that, but really, it’s no big deal…

    And what’s this about names staying the same? You’re obviously speaking from a male perspective because women often anticipate name changes.

    Besides, we can all change our names if we want. It’s just a simple, legal process. I was thinking of changing my legal name to something really plain, like Chris Johnson. What do you think?

  10. I was blogging over at blogspot, and a friend offered to set me up at WordPress with my own name. Now, I was a little embarrassed to tell you the truth – a domain with my name seemed kind of vain or something – though I never thought that about other people’s domain names . . .

    But I’ve certainly gathered more readers over here. It seems to be paying off. 😉

    Blessings to all of you at WordPress!

  11. I registered my name years ago – even though i never did anything with the URL for a while – I realized it was important having a semi unique name.

    I recommend everyone do the same – I even put aside my niece’s name last year when she was born.

  12. The power of owning your own domain, is like owning your own house. You can decide what kind of redecoration might be needed.
    Owning your content is becoming more and more important.

  13. I did something similar with one of my blogs. I had a blog on one of my domains/sites and then decided that it really needed a site/domain of its own. The transfer was a nightmare. Oh the wordpress part of the transfer was sweet; it was the traffic situation. But in the end transfering the blog to its own domain was one of the best decissions I made last year.

  14. OK, I assume you mean that people should have control over their blogs, not that they should have a domain, right? Typepad, Blogger,, etc all allow you to have the blog on your own domain (I’m not sure how that works exactly, but I’ve seen it).

    I, on the other hand, don’t have a domain: I’ve tried to get one, but I guess my technical ability goes that far. I can administer the remote database, customize themes and plugins, and set permissions, but not get a domain. Gasp! Though I don’t have a domain, I have pretty good control of my blog. I use WordPress and I don’t think I’d have more control if I were able to get a domain.

  15. This is a great topic. As an author, I firmly believe having domain name creates a professional appearance. Which, though I’m an amateur blogger compared to some of you guys (and gals), I would think would help lend credence to your blogs. And, this croses out of the blogosphere and into authors, and others who produce content, just maybe not completely through a blog.