Brand Me a Journalist

Using Social Media to Create a Professional Niche

www.yournamehere.com

with 5 comments

I just got a tweet from a fellow grad student announcing that he got a job at NPR. When I went to his Twitter page to check out his profile, I wasn’t surprised to see that as a journalist specializing in digital media, he’s taken the strategic step to create a portfolio web page with his name as the domain name. In this age of the journalist as a brand, he’s making it easy to find him and his work online.

Dan Gillmor, our digital entrepreneurship professor, has urged us more than once to do as he has and purchase our names as domain names. For the price of three frappacinos, you can secure your name for a personal web site for a year. This proactive move is particularly important if you aren’t the only person with your name. (See my earlier post about the classics scholar named Jennifer Hellum.) Once the name is taken by someone else– especially a published author– it can be tough to get it back. Even if you aren’t quite ready to build your personal site, securing your name is worth the small financial investment.

Interestingly, one of my classmates vaguely recalled that her dad had purchased her name as a domain name. Sure enough, by doing a quick search on www.godaddy.com, she saw that he’d bought it in 2008 and kept the payments current. In fact, my sister actually gave my techie son his domain name for his 12th birthday. What a brilliant gift for anyone who may care someday to have a say in his or her online identity.

But don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. Skip Starbucks and instead go online like I just did and buy your eponymous domain name. It’s a must-have for an entrepreneurial journalist and it takes all of ten minutes.

5 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Thanks for a great post. Love this website 🙂 Btw, your site looks a little weird in opera browser. Works fine in firefox. Dentist Kent WA

    Ellsworth Hochhalter

    March 6, 2010 at 2:42 pm

  2. […] my Facebook page, email signature, and eventually, a personal website (at least I already own http://www.jenniferhellum.com) with a well-crafted tagline, I’ll have the chance to tell the rest of my […]

  3. […] the field now with so many social media tools at their fingertips. “Number one, you have to own your own domain name and Twitter ID and be conscious of what you’re doing with them.” He recommends using […]

  4. […] my previous post, Regret the Error’s Craig Silverman advised journalists “to own your own domain name and Twitter ID and be conscious of what you’re doing with them.” I own my domain name and have […]

  5. […] always told journalists to purchase custom domain names for personal branding purposes after Dan Gillmor urged each of us grad students to buy our vanity URLs. But the “claim your name” approach also applies to […]


Leave a Reply