Ready to run for public office? If you haven’t registered your campaign domain name yet you might want to get that done first. Even more important, have you registered your full-name domain yet? That’s “yourfullname.com!” ”JohnJones.com” or “AlbertSmith.Com,” for example. A politician’s name is his brand name and if you don’t have that brand name under your control you could have serious problems later. If someone seeking to find out more about you–maybe because they are making up their mind about who to vote for or where to send a check–types your name into the address bar of their browser and your smiling face doesn’t appear on their screen, you don’t have control of either your brand or your destiny.
In fact, it might be a good idea to register all three “yourfullname” domains, dot-com, dot-net, and dot-org. Michele Bachmann, one of those on the Republican presidential short-list for 2012 apparently didn’t think she needed all three when running for Congress, and now when her full-name dot-net is called up it resolves into a website touting her opponent in the last election, Tarryl Clark. Even now, years later, it still resolves to Tarryl Clark. Jane Corwin, running for Congress in New York failed to register the dot-org of her name and a very clever political enemy turned it into an entertaining parody of her dot-com site. Talk about an example of letting your opponent define you! Guess who won the race? Right, it wasn’t Jane Corwin…
And if your opponents don’t get you, the cybersquatters will. Meg Whitman, running for governor of California took her cybersquatting tormentors to court over a number of domain names they had registered early in anticipation: megwhitman2010.com, meg2010.com, whitmanforgovernor.com, and whitman2010.com. What she discovered was that having a famous name is no protection against cybersquatting for politicians and she had to bring out her checkbook. In 2000 the Bush campaign bought up every domain they could think of including Bushsucks.com. Now that is smart!
Don’t make the mistake of throwing your hat into the ring until you have your brand fastened down. Register your name. Register it in at least the three most common extensions, Com, Net and Org. All three can be registered for a year for less than thirty dollars. That’s some of the cheapest insurance you’ll ever need. Or you can relinquish the initiative to your opponents and let them define you.
As should be made obvious by the accompanying photo, Mike Nardine (aka Cheap Mike) is plain vanilla and old as dirt. He is Secret Laboratory’s Technology Editor and has been writing since before the invention of the electric typewriter. His first computer was a 1kb Sinclair; his love-affair with computers began with a Kaypro. He has sold short stories to women’s magazines and has published several books, which are available in Amazon’s Kindle Store. Mr. Nardine has also written a whole slug of book reviews, play reviews, news articles, and consumer-tech stuff for various ezines and The Reader Weekly of Duluth, Minnesota. He presently lives in Rochester, Minnesota with his wife of many years and a fifteen-year-old Jack Russel Terrier named Chloe. Still writing as he circles the drain, he also sells domains and web hosting at CheapMikes.com. Visit Mike and view all of his titles at booksonkindle.com.
Email Mr. Nardine at firstname.lastname@example.org.