Last night, I decided to finally take the plunge and buy a short vanity domain I had been considering for several years (2b1.me), only to find it had been purchased just 48 hours beforehand, at the very registrar I was planning to use (Porkbun). I had been putting it off because of questions of whether it’s really worth getting a “vanity” domain, which domain makes the most sense, difficulty choosing a registry and registrar, and perceived problems with the whole domain registration system.
I wanted the short domain because mine (tobymackenzie.com) is so long. It’s hard to spell out email addresses over the phone, long to type on touch screens, as well as the many other good reasons given on the IndieWeb short domains page for having one.
I have heard of domains getting swooped up by domain investors after being searched in some registrar interfaces, presumably due to some leak of information, to be put on the market in the hopes that the searcher will pay extra for them. I hadn’t looked up the availability of the domain recently, but believe I had a month or two ago. I’m not sure if I just did a whois lookup or checked through a registrar, which would’ve either been Porkbun, Gandi, or Dreamhost, but I know I had at some point in the past. I would hope these reputable registrars or the whois system itself would not have shared my information in this case, and the long time periods involved suggest probably not, but I do wonder.
So I guess it’s back to the drawing board in choosing one, or deciding if I even want one. There are plenty available if I’m willing to add one more character to the length. May have to.