But hopefully none of you have noticed. If you look at the address bar of your browser, you’ll notice that this site is now at the url www.alanbaxteronline.com rather than where it used to be at www.alanbaxter.info. This has happened for a couple of reasons, but primarily because a lot of sites like MySpace started to automatically delete any sites with a .info address. Probably because they were preceded by things like tightasianasses(.info) or casinomillions(.info) and the like. I suppose I can understand their thinking, but as my perfectly legitimate site was also a .info address it became a sudden pain in the arse.
But I’m not one to stand in the way of progress. Like a reed, I’ll bend in the wind rather than be snapped like an old oak tree. So I went out seeking a new name. A new address. A new online identity. I asked lots of friends and family what they thought might be a good idea for a domain name. Obviously, alanbaxter.com would be ideal, but it’s not available. My namesake won’t give it up, the selfish bastard, so I needed something else.
I had a lot of responses from people. There were a number of suggestions that used my name in various ways, such as:
The problem with things like alan-baxter and alan.baxter is that the dash or the dot are likely to be missed and then the potential site visitor doesn’t make it and stops bothering. He would, of course, end up at alanbaxter.com. I’m not giving that tight bugger any traffic. (Don’t you dare go there now for a look! You’ll be disappointed, as it’s a really crappy site.)
Anyway, a few people were suggesting www.realmshift.com and then just link that back to alanbaxter.info. The problem there is that realmshift.com is already gone (check it out, it’s also horrible) plus the name is a little bit specific. RealmShift was my first novel, but I don’t want it to define me forever more as a writer. I plan to move on. The sequel will be out in the next few months.
A few people focussed on the fact that I’m a Kung Fu Instructor, even though this is all about me as an author. In the words of one friend, “I was thinking more along the lines of an overall attitude to life” when he suggested alanbaxterkicksarse.com. Nice sentiment. Another suggestion along those lines was alaneatskaratestudentsforbreakfast.com, but that’s just too inflammatory. Some that bridged the gap between writing and Kung Fu were things like thoughtsofthetiger.com or wordsofthedragon.com. I quite like these, but referring to myself as a tiger or a dragon is a little pretentious. Even for me.
Then came a selection of suggestions based around the dark, fantastical and horror styled nature of my writing. Things like:
And so on. Some of these I thought were quite good, but I just couldn’t get away from the seeming pretentiousness of them all. I mean, Robert Jordon has managed to mesmerise the world with his Wheel Of Time saga. His ability to write the same book twelve times and sell millions of copies is astounding, so he can get away with a website called dragonmount.com. But I’m just a lowly fantasist, trying to get noticed in the world. Calling my internet portal prosemaster or dragonquill smacks of being a wanker.
Interestingly, I also got a lot of suggestions for fuckyoumyspace.com or a variation thereof. There do seem to be a large number of people out there with deep seated MySpace issues. I’m sure there’s a support group somewhere. You can probably find it on Facebook.
So, in the end, I went with the simple, clear and (hopefully) effective alanbaxteronline.com. Be sure to update your bookmarks and, for any of you out there that link back to me, I would greatly appreciate it if you could update your links. There’s as redirect on for now, but it won’t last forever. My email address is also changed. It’s now alan(@)alanbaxteronline(.)com – without the ( )s obviously.
And finally, I want to thank my good friend James Frost. I’m no net wizard, but James is. Without his help this would never have happened so smoothly, if at all. In fact, without James’s help, this site would be very crappy indeed. So, cheers Jim. If anyone needs any help with their business IT needs, you can check out James at his site Bring IT On Consulting.