Own your digital identity.

I am amazed when I see somebody applying for a development job with us and they have a shaw.ca, hotmail or yahoo address. It sort of makes me sad right away - because it shows me that they don’t really take their digital identity seriously.

I think that you need to own and control your digital identity.

It costs about $10 / year to own a domain name - buy one and use it - make it your identity for as long as possible. I am lucky that I was able to snag froese.org a long time ago - as a result, my email address will be darron@froese.org for the foreseeable future.

When your email provider shuts down - like home.com did a while ago when it got bought by Excite - it’s no big deal. When you move, it doesn’t matter - a new ISP doesn’t mean a new email address. Actually if you want to baffle somebody at an ISP, refuse to sign up for their email accounts - just say that you don’t need it - that usually doesn’t compute.

When your blog provider shuts down, it’s less of a deal, because your blog is located at your own domain name - mine is at blog.froese.org. You just export, and move to the new provider - in this case it’s Octopress hosted on Heroku. It’s possible that some links will be broken, but with enough discipline that doesn’t have to happen - and if it’s just too painful, you can work around those problems.

When your website provider shuts down / gets acquired / sunsets / whatever - it doesn’t matter if it’s your domain name - you just move you files and presto - you’re up again.

Own your digital identity - it’s a little bit of pain and setup up front - but it’s worth it in the long run.