The Story of a Name

November 12, 2013 4 Comments »

A few iterations of the website and design – but always the same name!

I never know what to answer when people ask what I do.  Am I a writer, entrepreneur, freelancer, photographer, blogger, or social media influencer?  Are these even careers?  I did recently find out that my College, University of Nebraska, offers a degree now in entrepreneurship which I found fascinating.  Even though I’m never really sure how to describe myself, there’s one thing for certain – I am my own brand – the Ottsworld brand.

How to Choose A Blog Name

In the world of websites and online businesses, choosing a domain name is very important. URL has now become a part of our vocabulary, and if you are doing business online, then you know that having the right URL is very important. There are a number of ‘rules’ to follow when you choose a domain name. In general, it should be short, easy to remember, have no hyphens or numbers, and have something to do with your product. My URL name, Ottsworld, actually fits all of that. I’d like to say that it was a well-thought-out strategy on my part – but like most things in my life, it was a complete accident that I had nothing to do with.

Keep the name simple…

How I Chose

When I decided to take a career break, I quit my job and announced my big travel plans to my team. Surprisingly, most were extremely supportive (they were probably happy to get a new boss). I worked in IT, leading development teams, yet I was no technical whiz myself. However, I was good at managing technical projects and keeping people on plan. I totally relied on my tech leads to do what they did best – and I managed the budget, people issues, scope, and timelines.

When I started preparing to leave, I decided that if I was going to travel around the world for a year that I needed a way to keep in touch with my family and friends so I decided to keep an online travel journal. Yes – in 2006 the term blog wasn’t really part of our everyday vocabulary as it is now! Believe it or not, it’s actually in the dictionary now.

I searched Google for easy online travel journals that I could utilize and came across who had a great solution – they were hosting WordPress sites for travelers. Of course at the time, ‘hosting WordPress sites’ meant absolutely nothing to me but it achieved my goal of having a way to share some stories and pictures. It seemed like a perfect solution that even a low tech person like myself could manage.

I set up my travel site, (you can still see that old basic site here) put some initial posts up with pictures about my planning and I was ready to go. When I told my work team about my plans, I also provided them with my website URL so that they could follow me if they wanted to. It was a long, tedious URL with numbers and letters that were automatically generated when I set up the site on Bootsnall. However, I didn’t think anything of it since I was simply excited to have my very first website.

A few days before I left, one of my tech leads, Craig, came into my office beaming. He sat down and said, “I got you a going away present.” I immediately told him it wasn’t necessary – after all, I didn’t have room to carry anything else with me on this around-the-world journey. But he reassured me that it was light. He gave me a piece of paper – it was the confirmation of the URL he had acquired – It was Craig who taught me the lesson of how important a URL was – he chose it, and I had nothing to do with it. He even set it up for me so that would redirect to my long, tedious URL. He told me that this would be much easier for people to follow and remember.

There you go, my url and subsequent brand name was a gift – I had absolutely nothing to do with choosing it.  Like most things in my life, I had to rely on others to teach me. And when you do, good things can happen.  Who knows, maybe one of these days Ottsworld will end up in the dictionary!

If you have a website, how did you come up with your site name?

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