This happens almost by accident. You think of a idea, product, or brand - fire up your favourite webregistrar - and *bang* there goes $10 and you've got a new domain.com or .net or whatever.
This is fine. Except that very often, very very often, nothing comes of it. It goes onto the "projects backburner" list and never comes off.
Well sometimes. And it is always "deleted" - very very rarely will a domain progress beyond the backburner to progress.
They just sit there, year after year billing $10 or whatever the renewal fee is - "ah.. one day I'll do this project" you say to yourself - but it never does.
So today is clean out day.
I've had a few domains in my time, and these two I'm getting rid of today have been with me a while, 10 years - 2004 I just checked the WHOIS for "onewaylinkexchange.com" and less for "prodmatrix.com"
I'm blogging about them because they are two special ones for me, as I did actually develop "stub" sites on them: in 2012 for onewaylinkexchange, and 2014 for prodmatrix.
They are 2 sides of my web development life - the former is a horrific HTML table based site (clone from a site that was designed in 2004 - an old even at birth), and the latter was my first foray into MVC.net
Look at all that licence-free artwork on the page. That probably took a week to grab each image and save out.
I also leant not to use *any* SEO service - at the time "any link was a link", but it soon became apparent that some links "are not good". I subscribed to some link sharing thing, only to discover that lots of links were pointing to my site, and I could not get rid of them - the linkexchange service was no longer manned, or maintained, but the links still pointed at my site!
Today you can "disavow" links, but it's a load of hassle - nobody got time for that - as they say.
Prodmatrix.com was borne out of the frustration of buying someone on impulse in hardware store, bring the equipment home, using it one or twice that season - always breaking, and generally requiring a lot of effort.
Then the thing (the first outing the following year's spring) completely breaking. Out of warranty at this stage. So I just google'd the product code - up come LOADS of review sites, like Amazon etc, with lots of people, none of which has a good word to say about the strimmer in question. AGRGGH!
I was kicking myself, because money was tight (still is!), and my daughter's birthday was coming up and the garden a mess.
This is what I wrote:
My name is Karl, and I'm just a usual guy: I'm a programmer, and a husband, and a dad. I work hard every day. I certainly don't have money that I can just throw away. Now I happend to spend a considerable chunk of money, like 2 days earnings, on some garden equipment - that turned out to be completely useless. This made me real mad, since I wasted that money, and still have an overgrown garden, but I also have bits of junk in my yard. But I was even madder when I looked up the items on the Internet, and found that lots of other people thought they were useless too! Why hadn't I checked before spending all that money?
How to do this? As a programmer, a techy, and someone who generally does things the hard way I was thinking of all sort of elaborate Apps that geolocated you in the hardware store, and other non-sense etc.
Being a Programmer I was thinking of all sorts of complicated solutions to the this problem. "How to remember when buying something of value, to check it online, before parting with the cash", yes, how indeed? Well it finally came to me while sitting on the toliet! And it costs nothing. Click the video to see how...
However sense prevailed - why not just put a damn sticker on my bank and credit cards - "Hello dufus - what are you doing?" would suffice to remind me, that if this was a big purchase, to check online and make sure that it was not a "lemon" as they say about some cars in the US.
OK, so you've at least been made to think... Are you happy to buy this product now and risk disappointment or leave it, do the proper research it justifies and come back to the store later?
Prodmatrix.com was then a set of tools that would metasearch common websites like Amazon or TripAdvisor to give specific info fast. The Windows Phone app was particularly good as it will launch 5 or 6 browsers at once, and you could just tab through the loaded pages really quick rather than having to enter search terms for each website you wanted to check.
So there is it.. in a nutshell.
I even went as far as getting some images of wallets done with that logo, from a online store where you can upload graphics and they print it on items of clothing etc.
Here is the store screen in all it's glory:
No doubt other people will register these domains again - good luck with onewaylinkexchange! and let's see what appears at prodmatrix....
I've got my new Red Planet Travel project, and it has benefited from lots I learn't along the way with these two sites - so it's not with regret that I shut them down...