Mourning is just extended self-pity.
— Donald Draper

Credit: Stu Sherman
Credit: Stu Sherman

I let a domain expire yesterday. It was one of the first domains I ever registered — possibly the second or third. It was also the domain for the second blog I ever really invested any serious time or energy into.

It wasn’t a very focused blog. It didn’t really have a niche or a topic. It was founded on the belief that my reckless charm would catapult me to internet stardom.

Well, it never really got me there. In fact, the only place it ever did seem to get me was in trouble — both professionally and in my personal life. But it did teach me a few things a few things along the way.

First, it taught me that it’s not enough to try and get by on your charm and your wit. You have to have a purpose. Charm and wit can go a long way in fulfilling that purpose, but they can’t be your purpose in and of themselves.

Second, it taught me that what happens on the internet, stays on the internet… and there’s really no such thing as anonymity. Sooner or later, we all get outed, and when that happens, the best you can hope for is that, all along, you were lacking in purpose enough that no one really notices or cares when you get outed.

Third, it taught me about personal branding. About how your personal brand needs a purpose, and should be grown around that. About how you can’t put a round peg in a square hole, and no matter how good you are at some things, if your personality doesn’t fit the mould, you’re to have a hard time getting people to take you seriously.

I would like to say that “most importantly, it taught me to let go,” but it didn’t. The truth is that I kept renewing that domain long after I stopped blogging there. I even put up a custom parking page for a while. And then I took it down, put back up the blog, and tried to revive it all over again.

The thing became a time suck. A distraction from thinking about something more useful, something more meaningful, something with a purpose. It haunted me…

So when I got a renewal notice, I asked myself “do I really still want this thing in my life?” I understand that I should hold on to it for intellectual property reasons (or whatever) but don’t we bury our dead so that we can move on?

So I decided to let it go… Because its time in my life was up, I had finally learned from it what it could teach me, and that it was time to move on…

3 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. So what was the domain name?

    As much as you had an emotional tie to this name, from the objective side there are lots of reasons to hold on to such a name. “Aged” domain names have greater value than new ones. You may have been able to park it to gain some revenue from the name. Even a microsote at the domain could have gained some value for it. Rather than letting it drop, selling it may have been an option.

    So what was it?!


    1. I’m not about to give it away, Mike.

      You know, when I first read your comment, I almost registered it again. But that would’ve defeated the whole purpose.

      I know all the reasons to hold on to it. In fact, that’s how I rationalized it for the last couple years.

      But a big part of letting go of anything in life, is accepting sunken costs — whether their tangible, personal, or emotional.

      In this case, I wanted to let go of the personal. But even the tangible: that domain has cost me about $10 a year for the last few years. It’s been banned by Google Adsense. It’s page rank dropped from a 4 to a 0. And it wasn’t anything that made sense (kinda like gypsybandito).

      It wasn’t worth squat. And if someone else can make a dime off of it, I wish them the best ‘cuz I never could.

      I guess part of letting go is not hoarding. It’s not good to be a pack-rat. Nostalgia is a dangerous vice. It can creep up on you and sour your mojo.

      That, and it’s sentimental… and that’s just base.

  2. LOL, I can totally relate. I’ve registered a dozen domains over the past 5 years and let most of them go, once I realize they’re no longer useful to me. Sure, I could try to sell them, but then I’d just be an evil domain squatter, and who needs that kind of karma? It’s so discouraging when you want a domain name but it’s only available for 10K or whatever. So you say, forget that (or words to that effect), and you use a lame work-around domain instead, and the squatter gets… squat.

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