December 24, 2004

Procrastinating is Such a Dirty Word
A Very Last Minute Gift Suggestion

For all you gift-giving procrastinators out there here’s a very last minute item for your loved ones: their own domain name. You will keep your sanity (no vain attempts to find a mall parking spot) and the price is right.

Two nights ago, as I was kissing my eight year old good night, she blurted: “Tomorrow I’d like to register” For those without children Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh are Japanese anime characters and their trading cards are big business in the pre-teen consumer sector.

I don’t know how she even knows about registering a domain name. We rarely let her near the Net. This is what happens when you let them out of the house.

I told her I thought that name was probably already taken. Hmmm, I just checked and both iterations of the duo —with and without hyphens— are actually available. Let’s just keep that our little secret.

But it did give me an idea. I checked to see if my children’s names were available. And, lo and behold, they were. So both my girls are getting their own domain names as stocking stuffers. It’s personal with just a hint of geekiness. Perfect.

My six year old won’t quite get it (and that’s just fine with me). My oldest will now ask for her own Web site. She will have to stand in line behind my wife who’s been waiting patiently quite a while.

For those of you who have never registered a domain before, here’s a brief primer. You don’t really “own” a domain name, you rent it by paying a yearly fee to a domain name registrar sanctioned by the governing body of domain names: ICANN. There are many registrars and the yearly cost (and quality of service) varies.

Others will have recommendations but here are two I’ve used in the past: and Pairnic. Joker charges $12/year. It’s based in Germany (when you use your credit card call your issuing bank to let them know you are making a purchase in Germany via the Internet). Pairnic starts at $19/year. Sign up for multiple years and the price per year drops. Pairnic even offers you a Beginner’s Guide.

While the .com suffix was originally meant for commercial enterprises, it’s the defacto prime extension and if is available, I’d go for that. There are others, though, that are just fine (.net, .org, .info, .biz to name a few). Every country has its own domain code so, here in the States you could get Different registrars will offer different codes. You can get a .cn (China) or .ws (Samoa) from Pairnic. And .tv (from the island nation of Tuvalu) is big in Hollywood.

So don’t despair if you waited until today to come up with a good gift. You are saved —this year. But for next, may I recommend you read my patented guide for becoming a good gift giver? It’s never too early to start thinking about next Hannukah and Christmas and it will save you much heartache in the future.

Oh, that’s right. Thinking ahead isn’t quite your style.

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