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Friday, October 16, 2009

Please Welcome www.DickDavies.com

Over the weekend I put up www.DickDavies.com. I had planned to build my web presence on this blog, LinkedIn, and a few other specialized public sites.

I had someone get exercised that I was using my gmail email rather than a custom domain. Frankly, I am a rabid GOOG fanbois. It's their engineering and I suspect the future is in open source development and the power of the open source community.

 But I knew about the hotmail prejudice from years past and figured if one person still had it, probably more (and maybe most) did, too.

When I see a domain on an email, I usually check it...and want to see something other than a squatter's placeholder. What should I put?

Over ten years ago I built an AOL-hosted website using notepad, laboriously checking content, spelling, code, and links for what became an extensive series of essays and observations. I remember some unreasonable pride when I learned how to code “curly quotes.” I downloaded all kinds of steadily improving html editors, clip art, and at one point had burning flame letters. I had more enthusiasm than taste. 

This time I started with Google Apps standard edition, so I have capacity for a website, 50 email addresses and 500 aliases at no cost, all sitting on Google servers. The biggest hurdle is understanding the Apps paradigm, and that was minor, just like switching from Wordstar to Wordperfect, to Word, to Writer.

The manual is fantastic. It's the Google box. I would type in Google Apps and whatever I wanted to do, and get back Google help, Squidoo lenses, blog posts, and generally I had my answer within the first three results.

As always, architecture was 75% of the battle. I decided that this site should bind together all my web real estate, and for the first time provide the handouts from presentations over the years. (I have been admiring how Tom Peters posts his slides, and learning how Web 2.0 is about contributing so we can get more done over the web.)
Slideshare was where I placed documents, handouts and slide shows.

Yeah, I do slides when hobbled by webinar technology.

For background information about me, I could never write (heck, I've never seen) anything as good as the recommendations my friends have written on my LinkedIn site. When I started doing LinkedIn, I had no idea how it was going to turn out, but the recommendations on LinkedIn are where the awesome power of crowdsourcing really hit me.

One nagging detail was that I hate the repetitious emails at custom domains, like dickdavies@dickdavies.com. I think that's silly. Actually, I wonder who has gmail@gmail.com? That would be the height of cool! I figured for brochures and collateral I would put “Dick Davies, present@dickdavies.com.” And we were off!

What do you think? Sure would appreciate your comments. Thank you!