teh hayley

[Originally written on tumblr]

I have a tendency to snatch up domains with the best of intentions.... and then do absolutely nothing with them.

I'm trying to stop that.

I built an earthquake site that was one of the fallen in last month's Google EMD (exact match domain) update. Overnight, the site basically became unfindable since "earthquakes today" isn't exactly a unique phrase.

I never did like the fact that I had a .org domain. I figure it's too confusing. People will remember the name, but they're unlikely to remember that you had the .org and not the .com. And in the wake of the EMD update, it became clear that "brandable" domains were the way to go from here on out.

I love brandable domains. It's the thing that stops me from starting projects because I haven't thought of just the right name.

I had a couple of names lined up to rename earthquakes today, but had no clue which was stronger. So I thought... hey, I'll actually try to get some feedback.

The two names are:

And I have this list of pros and cons for each of them. So here's where the feedback was supposed to help. But as it stands, I haven't (and probably never will) get a clear answer on which name is the winner.

For the record, here's what I tried. First, on cyclocane, I've got an Optimizely A/B test going to see how many people clicked on either term. I already knew going into it, that few people were clicking the link that had been there so, as expected, I didn't/haven't gotten enough clicks for the results to be conclusive.

The second test was to do a "cheap" poll. I put up a really bare "coming soon" page on both sites and put analytics code on there to track visitors. Next, I just flat out asked people to vote on which name they preferred by clicking on the link. No polls, no feedback widgets. Just a normal link.

And as was kind of expected, since my traffic has tapered off so dramatically, there haven't been enough "votes" there to pick a clear winner either.

So back to the domain squatting. I decided I was going to spin-off Earthquakes Today by doing a nearly identical site, save that all of its data would be based on 7 days instead of 24 hours.

I figure the spin-off site is better than a "coming soon" page. Plus, I'm interested to see if I can get the page to rank for its own term because, hey, the whole point is to come up with a name that is "brandable" so that I can actually rank #1 for my own term.

So, Earthquake Storm is now live. Hurray for anti-procrastination.

I'm trying to procrastinate less, which is why I'm writing this. Writing is something I procrastinate on constantly.

I have all of these little tech tips that, at the very least, I'd like to share with my future forgetful self.

But I've never found quite the right blogging system. Or the right name.

So I can already say. This site is doomed.

teh hayley