Your Online Home

Big companies on the internet make it easy for you to just rely on them for everything you need online. But there’s value in having your own place independent of your Internet Provider (ISP) or other companies.

By having your own internet domain, and the basic services to go with it, you get at least a continuous place where your stuff lives, and where people can find you.

Your Own Domain, Step-by-Step

  1. Find and Purchase a domain name on Hover.com
  2. Setup email on Hover.com or G Suite.
  3. Setup a simple website with Squarespace.com or WordPress.com
  4. Connect other services to your domain.

Basics of setting up your own domain

Most essential is an internet domain of your own and a place to send and receive email. There are many outside services that do this, but I recommend specific companies below. The companies that get my recommendation all have excellent support and reliable service and work well for people who want an independent place of their own on the internet without having to become a web server and email guru.

Find and Purchase a Domain Name

When you buy a domain name, like dariusdunlap.com, you want to work with a reputable company that provides good technical support and an easy-to-understand system for buying and maintaining your domain.

Hover.com

My recommendation is Hover.com. It’s where I maintain all my domain names and the related administration stuff. They also have just about the best service and best technical support of any company I’ve worked with. Call them if you don’t believe me. They even have a concierge service for setting up or moving your domain.

Setup Email

Hover.com also has great email plans that make it simple to have your own email. This is what I use for my personal and business email.

Google also provides great email service in their “Google Apps.” If you like the speed, reliability and great features of gmail, consider using Google Apps for your domain. It’s a great service. As a non-profit, Square Peg Foundation uses Google Apps, including gmail, for free thanks to Google’s generosity. (If you run or are involved with a non-profit, I highly recommend Google’s non-profit programs)

Another service I should mention is Mailroute.net — they provide email filtering against Spam, viruses and scams, plus other services to keep your email secure and reliable. If you use Google for your email then Mailroute is not necessary, but for most other email providers, it’s a nice and reliable addition.

Setup a Simple Website

Lots of services have nice tools for creating your own website. I recommend Squarespace as a simple way to get yourself setup with your own website. You can even try it out without any commitment. For more advances uses, I recommend WordPress. You can use WordPress.com or one of the excellent WordPress hosting providers. I will write more on WordPress in another post.

Connect Other Services

Hover.com makes it easy to Connect various popular services to your domain, including Etsy, Shopify, Squarespace, and About.me. Their Technical Support team is also very helpful if you don’t see your favorite service on their list. Just select “Connect” in your Hover.com Control Panel for your domain.

More Info on getting yourself online

The principles of creating and owning your own presence online are well expressed by my friends at IndieWeb.org. I will be writing more on IndieWeb, Online Services, and the Open Internet in the coming weeks. I’ll also be updating and revising this article over time.

Education and Learning with Joi and Mimi Ito

This is a great listen for parents, educators, and anyone interested in how kids (and adults) learn. It’s a conversation between Joi Ito and his remarkable sister Mimi about learning, education, digital media and more. You can find it on YouTube and Soundcloud and Joi’s website:

Youtube —  https://youtu.be/P0CxCR9Uj60

SoundCloud — https://soundcloud.com/joi-ito/33-conversation-with-mimi-ito

Joi’s website — http://podcast.ito.com/33-conversation-with-mimi-ito

If you’re not familiar with Joi and Mimi, here’s a good start:

Mimi Ito — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mizuko_Ito
Joi Ito — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joi_Ito

iPhone Changed Everything

iPhone and Tea

10 years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the world to a new thing — the iPhone. Even if you are familiar with the event, have seen the video, or were there, it may not occur to you how weak the reception was in that room, that day.

With remarkable style, Steve Jobs setup the context masterfully, and then said,

… we’re introducing three revolutionary products….

(Polite clapping and a couple whoops)

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Love and Fear


Yesterday I was cleaning up around the house and enjoying the latest Tim Ferris Show, What I learned in 2016, and right in the beginning was reminded of Oprah’s idea that there are only two emotions, Love and Fear.

We push back from this sort of idea. It’s too simple, we say. “I’m not afraid of anything”, we say. But as Tim Ferris says in his rapid-fire style:

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Whiplash

My own book research has me reading even more than usual. Last week I received a new book that I had pre-ordered, Whiplash: How to Survive OurFaster Future, by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe. I set aside the several books I’m currently reading and finished this new one in just a few days.

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Hour of Code

Computers are not magical or mysterious. Their amazing abilities are built up from simple ideas. That’s what’s surprising. How did we arrive at today, with these devices in our pocket and a (nearly) global network connecting them, and with software running that allows it all to do so many useful and entertaining things?

Lady Ada, Countess of Lovelace wikipedia, was the first to get it. She understood, before any computers existed, that a machine with a few simple arithmetic abilities could do much more. (Notably, the men who were designing these calculating machines didn’t get it.) It would be about 100 years before the programmable computers she envisioned would be “invented”.

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Advice on Computer and Software Upgrades

Keeping your computer software up-to-date is important for security, and also gets you the latest great features. Computer hardware is better than ever, which also means that a computer stays useful longer than ever and is more reliable because of better chassis, connectors and electronics, and fewer moving parts.

Software

Whether you are using macOS (previously Mac OS X), Windows, or Linux, keeping your computer up-to-date gives you the latest security updates and helps keep your computer reliable and fast. We can quibble over preferences and the track records of software vendors, but keeping your software updated is always the best choice.

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Hazel is a Great Tool

Hello world!

Email Apps

I’ve been using email for over 35 years (no typo) and I’m still surprised by the clever new ideas I see in the best email apps. Email apps can add an email to a reading list, or turn it into an item in your to-do list, or add an event to your calendar. Many have features for smart sorting of your email and to “snooze” an email for later. Many are beautiful and thoughtfully designed with gestures for touch-screen devices.

But what’s best for me is not necessarily what’s best for you. Below I run through some basics about email and make some recommendations for good apps to try.

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30 Years

June 20th, 1986 I started a new adventure at a new job and in a place that would become home.

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