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WTF is the Right Domain Question

I must thank Todd Bishop, whose tweet about a GeekWire story alerted me to the then forthcoming .wtf domain extension, which is now available. Generally, I think these dot-com wannabes are just plain stupid, but someone wants them—or ICANN decision-makers believe so. I ignored every domain registrar solicitation to grab one until .wtf.

My first concern is brand protection. I’ve pissed off more than a few fanboys over the years and I worried about someone snagging joewilcox.wtf and using that as a platform against me. You should worry, too, if you have any kind of brand to protect. “What the fuck?” is right. If your name is your brand, grab .wtf before someone else does.

Last month, I preordered joewilcox.wtf, with some uncertainty of obtaining it. Today my registrar informed me that the domain is mine. So I went back for more and collected a bounty: editor.wtf, editors.wtf, and journalism.wtf.

My first domain, registered in August 1995, was editors.com. I sold it during a cash crisis nine years ago for about $3,000 and regretted the decision. Now I’ve got something better and platform for asking either “Editors, what the fuck?” or even better “Journalism, what the fuck?”

Earlier this year I wrote ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers. For a reason. The Fourth Estate is in a state of crisis; financially and responsibly. Too many news gatherers violate the Prime Directive: “Write what you know to be true in the moment”. Don’t spread unsourced rumors, and don’t source someone’s post citing anonymous sources as your primary or only source.

I see opportunity in my new domains to set the record straight. My plans are obviously nascent at best—hey, I only just got them—but will grow. I have too many projects on the fire right now but would love to put together a site calling out bad reporting practices. If you’d like to contribute, please let me know.

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