Help me find a good domain name
November 11, 2005 6:04 AM   Subscribe

How do I pick a good domain name for my blog and email?

I'd like to have my own clever .com name. Everytime I come up with something find it's already taken, either by a spammy domain parking service that wants thousands of dollars for the name or else some long dead site whose contact doesn't answer email. How do I find a name that's memorable, and clever, and available for not much money? .com only, which is a bit limiting.

I just bought nelsonminar.com, but that's really uncreative. How do I be a cool kid like waxy.org or megnut.com or the like? I guess what would be ideal is a list of available names that don't cost thousands of dollars.
posted by Nelson to Computers & Internet (37 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I looked on an Ordinance Survey map of my area. It had lots of obscure, short names on it - farms, backroads, forests and stuff that nobody really uses anyway. Memorable 5 and 6 word names and they were all available. Might depends on where you are, but this works in the UK.
posted by fire&wings at 6:10 AM on November 11, 2005


Nelson: "I guess what would be ideal is a list of available names that don't cost thousands of dollars."

So you want a list of all available domains? Dude, that's a list of length aleph-one. There's nothing wrong with your name (viz kottke). Waxy is a modification of his handle (waxpancake), do you have a handle that you use here or elsewhere? Megnut is a modification of her name, do you have a real-life nickname or something that you can use?

You also have to think about how easy it is to communicate in Real Life. I used to own wsvw1u.com, and let me tell you, that was a hoot to tell people. Even my current domain isn't quite effortless.
posted by Plutor at 6:13 AM on November 11, 2005


My wife and I were flipping through the dictionary one night looking for weird words, and we found a bunch that would've made good domain names. You might try that out.

My wife's domain name is based on a misspelling of a word she got in a spam mail once.
posted by selfnoise at 6:13 AM on November 11, 2005


fire&wings: "I looked on an Ordinance Survey map of my area."

Ooh, that's a good one, too. A friend of mine used his street name.

(Do you want gometric.org? It's a self-link now, but I think it's expiring within the next month and I don't intend to renew it.)
posted by Plutor at 6:14 AM on November 11, 2005


Splorp.com's Available Domain Name of the Week.
posted by matildaben at 6:16 AM on November 11, 2005


ifyouseenelson.com is available...
posted by kenaman at 6:18 AM on November 11, 2005


The domains I've owned have been invented names for myself. So, I'm Polly Stark because I registered pollystark.com for my domain. Same for susiedown. Try combining the name you wish you were called by your parents with a cool last name, and there's a reasonable chance that it's free. Perhaps a last name that says something about your personality.
posted by pollystark at 6:18 AM on November 11, 2005


matildaben: "Splorp.com's Available Domain Name of the Week."

That's awesome. That deserves an FPP, almost.
posted by Plutor at 6:26 AM on November 11, 2005


matildaben: Excellent link. Thanks!

Why not an FPP? It's certainly better than...[grumble, grumble]...
posted by cribcage at 6:42 AM on November 11, 2005


You can search Whois.net for available domains containing "nelson" or whatever other words float your boat. Just enter it in the "search through deleted domains" field. You can also narrow the search by specifying that the domain has to begin or end with your chosen string, instead of just pulling up every domain that contains that string somewhere in it.
posted by Gator at 6:43 AM on November 11, 2005


How about www.scolumn.com: then you could have nelson@scolumn.com as an e-mail address. Or www.schmelson.com?
posted by misteraitch at 6:47 AM on November 11, 2005


How to Find a Great Domain Name has a number of links that, if this were an FPP instead of a comment, I would link to individually.
posted by revgeorge at 6:47 AM on November 11, 2005


If you have a basic idea what your blog might be about, if you're going for something topical instead of a personal blog, you could word your way around different phrases that relate.

When I was at Gizmodo, I once asked one of the higher-ups where they came up with all the crazy blog names they had... (Kotaku and Jalopnik spring to mind...)

They said they literally just sat around in a room, throwing out weird words together until something stuck, and they ran with it.

I wanted a domain for my blog, and ended up nabbing Utter Sarcasm, which I'm pretty proud of, personally. (I also enjoy alliteration.)

Just mess around with works, make sure it's phonetic and easy to explain aloud and something that you'll like. Fortunately, the investment is low enough that it's not such a big deal if you think of something better down the road.
posted by disillusioned at 7:13 AM on November 11, 2005


I'd advise picking something that can easily be communicated verbally or in writing. Stuff like http://slashdot.org is difficult to communicate intentionally - try and do the opposite. Also stay away from words that sound like something else, like be4.com, which could be confused for b4.com or before.com, if you were trying to tell someone over the phone.
posted by odinsdream at 7:15 AM on November 11, 2005


Available as of moments ago:

FULLNELSON.ORG
NELSONIC.ORG
--- the two above I prefer, the others I mention 'cause I looked them up ---
MINARMIRACLE.COM
MINARCELEBRITY.COM
NELSONOFAGUN.COM

Of course, a couple violate some sound advice given above.
posted by safetyfork at 7:31 AM on November 11, 2005


Phone books are good. Pringles potato chips were named using a phone book (Pringles is a street in a Cincinnati suburb).
posted by words1 at 7:44 AM on November 11, 2005


I never considered posting splorp.com as an FPP because I've been reading it since 1999, so I figured it was old news. If someone wants to get together an FPP, go for it.
posted by matildaben at 7:46 AM on November 11, 2005


So you want a list of all available domains? Dude, that's a list of length aleph-one.

There are a finite number of .com domain names since each one can only be up to 63 octets in length.
posted by grouse at 7:55 AM on November 11, 2005


grouse: "There are a finite number of .com domain names since each one can only be up to 63 octets in length."

While you're correct, essentially — you can't have an infinitely long domain name since there's a finite number of particles in the universe, let alone on DNS servers. I'm not sure where 63 comes from. I'd heard 67 before, and some registrars have varying restrictions. But apparently the DNS specs say 255, although it's not clear exactly what they mean by that number.

By aleph-one, I just meant "a large enough list to be useless", and I was trying to make myself look smart at the same time. Sorry for the derail.

posted by Plutor at 8:22 AM on November 11, 2005


It'll be very hard to find short domain names that are still available. On the other hand the advantage of longer names is that you can use short phrases that can be more easily memorised and have some meaning as well as a nice sound.

Just an idea: try looking up lyrics of songs you like. Pick a short phrase that stands out to you for whatever reason but is also neutral enough to be used for a domain name, personal or professional. It works better when it's just two words. I've seen some nice examples like this. Of course you should try and avoid titles, or songs from mega popular artists, otherwise the domain name will sound like it's a music fan site.

(I suppose you could do the same with a novel or poetry).
posted by funambulist at 8:25 AM on November 11, 2005


Good Lord, FullNelson.org is awesome - jump, man, jump! Or at least let us know what you choose....
posted by deliriouscool at 8:38 AM on November 11, 2005


matildaben: I composed an FPP just a few minutes ago, but the auto-search found the splorp's domain-of-the-week in several previous posts.
posted by odinsdream at 8:39 AM on November 11, 2005


I'll echo what others have said: get one that can be communicated orally without ambiguity and with no (or minimal) explanation. Also avoid any punctuation in the name--I've got one with a hyphen, and it trips people up.

Shorter is better. Fullnelson.org is great--go with that.
posted by adamrice at 8:44 AM on November 11, 2005


I like things like anagrams and palindromes, so I put my full name in an anagram maker and picked the anagram I liked the best. My domain name has that in it.

It's different and personal.
posted by mulkey at 8:52 AM on November 11, 2005


take your favorite word, and spell it backwards!
posted by blue_beetle at 8:58 AM on November 11, 2005


My sister in law and I spent a night putting some of our favorite words together to make crazy domain names, which is how I ended up with FizzyHipster.com for a year. It makes no sense and I got tired of getting googled for hipster panties, but it sure sounded fun when I got it.

She, on the other hand, went the clever-clever route and registered thegeekshallinherit.com, and I hate her forever for it.

(not really)
posted by angeline at 9:06 AM on November 11, 2005


I personally found inspiration in band names or song names, and either appropriating them, or punning them. With the slight flaw being absurdly long domain names. This isn't even my netname ID any more!
posted by badlydubbedboy at 9:10 AM on November 11, 2005


I'd like to have my own clever .com name.

http://www.myownclever.com

Hurry.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:36 AM on November 11, 2005


Thanks for all the suggestions and help. The whois record search sites are most useful to me, since they're fodder for ideas. I appreciate all the suggestions for jokes on my name, but good lord I hate that. So no nelsonofabitch.com, thanks though :-)
posted by Nelson at 10:14 AM on November 11, 2005


If you like to search, Instant Domain Name Search is quite neat.

Name generators and others at Seventh Sanctum can also give you some inspiration.

BTW monkey.org is IMHO a good name.
posted by b. at 10:52 AM on November 11, 2005


If you choose a multiple-word name, make sure it's not ambiguous. In other words, don't make the same mistake these people did.

(Having said that, maybe you should. I bet their mistake brought them more traffic then other marketing they've done.)
posted by chrismear at 11:14 AM on November 11, 2005


Nelson's Mandala. Sort of a joke, I guess, so you probably won't care for it, but nelsonsmandala.com is available.
posted by kindall at 1:36 PM on November 11, 2005


i would say go for your name first. especially for email purposes.

Or do what I did with my first domain name. get 2 random words and gule them together...lemon + fridge. lemonfridge.com
posted by lemonfridge at 4:35 PM on November 11, 2005


Thanks for all the suggestions. I ended up rolling my own generator that generates random names of the form "adjective+noun". The words are short, common words based on lists found here and here. Then I check them via checkdomain.com.

Here, try it. creamrocket.com is still available!
posted by Nelson at 11:13 AM on November 27, 2005


Nelson, that generator is such a cool idea. Very useful.
posted by funambulist at 3:59 PM on November 28, 2005


Plutor: I'm not sure where 63 comes from.

The "DNS specs" of course. The actual RFCs, not some summary someone wrote in a mailing list somewhere.

posted by grouse at 3:59 PM on November 28, 2005


Well, my little random phrase script did the trick, and I've now settled on somebits.com. Thanks for all the help, everyone!
posted by Nelson at 7:18 PM on December 5, 2005


« Older Why are country songs so often complete sentences?   |   How much Ram can be installed into an IBM 600 X... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.