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The New Domain Name for our Community has been Chosen!

Posted by homebrewdad on 2/24/2015 at 12:37:45 AM

Last summer, when I first approached the charter member group with the idea of taking my personal blog and transforming it into a full community, an issue came up - namely, the domain name of "". The argument was that it was a fine name for one guy's blog, but that it probably wasn't the best choice for an inclusive community. Well, I was reluctant to make a change in this area; after all, I had built up my "brand", as well as some decent search engine indexing, over the previous two and a half years. The community, I reasoned, would benefit from the built in exposure that would come from this existing presence, and so, I pushed to leave things be.

Just over a month ago, we celebrated the transformation of from one guy's beer blog (plus a few odds and ends) into a full online community for homebrewers. While the response was pretty positive (we have grown to nearly four hundred members in this short time), the issue came up again. Once again, though, I was really reluctant to make a change.

Then, last week, I made my post about how homebrewing should be more friendly to women. This time, the subject came back with a vengeance. How could I claim to want to have a community for all brewers when I insisted on keeping a name that was hardly inclusive to women? The charter members laid it on pretty thick, arguing for a name change, or for me to split the sites into one domain for the community and another for my personal content. I finally came around to their way of thinking, though I had no interest in splitting things - I wanted one community for all of us.  My personal blog will continue to be named "Homebrew Dad", but it will be hosted as any community blog (anyone can blog here, after all), and the domain name will go away.

It was a very scary prospect, but I decided to "burn the ships" and press forward with a new domain name meant to embody that spirit of community. There would be no going back; this move would destroy that branding, though it would hopefully trickle down to the new domain. The hope is that a new name would be more inclusive for everyone - not only to women, but to younger brewers, to those not interested in the parent/brewer angle that my personal blog had emphasized. Something, again, that would epitomize a true community.

The charter member group exchanged a ridiculous amount of messages on our email listserv; if we considered one domain, we considered at least a hundred. In the process, we discovered just how ubiquitous domain squatting really is; the vast majority of halfway decent domain names we could think of were already reserved, though almost none of them were attached to (or ever had been attached to) actual websites. It annoys me to no end just how many people stock up on domain names for $10 a pop in the hopes of turning a few thousand dollars' worth of profit on a name alone.

Eventually, though, we settled on two choices that met our criteria - the domains would need to be reasonably short, easily remembered, related to brewing, and would embody the idea of a community. Those two choices were and

We did consider just making a decision internally in the charter members group, but after discussion, we decided that if we truly wanted a community, everyone should have a say. To this end, we set up a poll and collected votes from the membership.

Turnout was, in short, amazing! In the two days that our poll was open, we had 163, or 42.6 percent, of the entire member base come and cast a ballot. 69 of 107 members (64.5%) who have made at least one post to the site cast their vote; even 94 of 276 (34.1%) of members who have never made even a single post also shared their preference.

We did provide a third option for members to vote on; besides the two domain names listed above, we gave a choice for "I hate both of these". Predictably, this did lead to some confusion. I believe that some members felt that they were voting for one of three choices, but in all honesty, there were two choices plus a lot of write-ins. We had a spirited discussion on the forums about this, and we allowed that if someone came up with an outstanding - or popular - alternate name, that we would entertain the idea of a second vote.

However, in the end, this did not prove to be necessary. In more than a hundred posts of discussion in the forums, no potential alternate domain name was mentioned by any more than three members. More than anything, we seemed to get a lot of suggestions - most of which were not available for use, even if we had loved them. Since a clear majority (68.1% of the vote) favored one of the two provided choices, and since the winning choice received more votes than all of the "something else" votes combined, I believe that we have a definitive enough answer.

Without further adieu...

Here are the final results!

Total votes: 163 42.94% (70 votes) 25.15% (41 votes)
I hate both of these: 31.90% (52 votes)

How the vote breaks down.

Posting Member Votes: 69 49.28% (34 votes) 21.74% (15 votes)
I hate both of these: 28.99% (20 votes)

Nonposting Member Votes: 94 38.30% (36 votes) 27.66% (26 votes)
I hate both of these: 34.04% (32 votes)

In other words, the winner is pretty definitive; across all segments of our membership, is the number one choice.  Thank you again to every single one of you who did take the time to vote.

So, what's next?  Well, we will need to develop a logo to go with the domain name.  One of the recurring pieces of feedback I have heard suggests that we should look for a more modern, clean design for the site, so you can expect a full facelift to coincide with the new domain name.  If you have an idea, or would like to be involved - please drop by the forums and share your thoughts!

The timeline is not yet set in stone; I expect that this will take a few weeks.  With that being said, I am pretty excited. 

Brewers from all over the world, and from all walks of life.  Collaborating. Supporting one another.  Sharing knowledge, expertise, and experience. 

Brew United.  That has a pretty nice ring to it, if I do say so myself. 

Tags for this post: domain, name, community, voting, results

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I don't know where you find the time. Cheers!

posted by nzo on 2/24/2015 at 10:40:53 AM

In my sight you took right decision. A domain name should be descriptive string that could define the business. As you were selecting it for your community, hence discussing with other members was obligatory and I hope this selected domain will serve you better results in future.

posted by leroyklein on 3/03/2015 at 09:20:58 AM