Launching A New Site

July 3, 2012
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Having a “your-name.com” domain these days popular for building a personal brand. It may not be important for a lot of people, but when you’re in an industry where your goods are meant to be consumed by the public it’s a strong way to bolster your presence.

Some of my readers may remember my first foray into this realm wherein my name domain was taken and I opted for the .co suffix, something that was new and interesting at the time. While it seemed a cool alternative to a .com, my experience has been that it’s hard for people to remember. Since it’s so close to .com, most will go there instead. When that domain was about to expire, I made the decision to abandon it while I brainstormed what to do next.

That project got put on the back burner for a series of tumultuous months. It was in designing a new site for a client and shopping for domains that a few things fell into place.

I remembered that “Brian C Watkins” has always generated better search results than without the middle initial due to the marketing efforts of brianwatkins.com. Rather than fight that, I figured “Why not leverage what’s already working?”

I had an idea for a domain, but how I wanted the site to look was still an unknown. After all, it is a personal website, so it seemed like it should reflect something different than the standard fare. I’ve built quite a few websites in the last few months and wanted a unique challenge. Rather than rely on colorful graphics and fancy sliders as many sites including my own have done, I thought an exercise in minimalism would be fun. Could I make something functional and elegant with as few frills as possible? (Read: maximizing white space.)

I toyed with a few designs over the course of the weekend that were close, but in each case there was a nitpick that became a deal breaker. Eventually, briancwatkins.com took shape.

My vision is that this website will be:

  1. a place to share a personal bio and ongoing blog
  2. an opportunity to share my professional work and encourage connections, and
  3. a launch pad for my other sites

What this will mean for Dreaming In Abstract ultimately isn’t clear to me yet. If there’s a meaningful way they can coexist and justify dividing my time, I’ll do it. If I find there’s not, I will likely shift my focus exclusively to the new site. We’ll see how things develop.

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