Mastering One's Domain

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I own a ton of domain names.

Most of them I’ll never use. I bought them–and pay for them–because I don’t want anyone else to have them. Many contain “teabaggers.” Many contain “teaparty.” Many contain “Hennessy,” although the cognac people had sucked up quite a few of those already.

Everyone should invest in domains containing their surname. Anyone who is even mildly famous should own the domains containing their full name. It’s how life goes in the internet era.

Because I work in social media and marketing, I laugh at the silliness over people registering domains with their name in them. I laugh, unkindly, at the ignorance of people who try read something into a domain registration.

I had a good laugh at the ignorance of many folks last week. A few people on Facebook got all atwitter (see what I did there?) because Eric Greitens registered some domains in 2009. (Poor, ignorant fools.)

If you don’t know Eric Greitens, start here.

I don’t know for sure why Greitens registered then, but I can guess: Eric Greitens is a Navy SEAL.

Marines and SEALs Have Secret Weapons #

The Marine Corp’s secret weapon isn’t toughness or courage. Marines ooze those qualities, but so do a lot of people wearing the enemy’s uniform.

The Marine Corp’s secret weapon is discipline. To build that discipline, Marines in boot camp on Parris Island stand at perfect attention in the sand while gnats and fleas and mosquitoes harvest their flesh. They’re learning to overcome their brain’s knee-jerk response to slap away pests and scratch itches. In combat, this skill allows the Marine to overcome his basic instinct to return insult for insult, blow for blow while executing a plan that will result in victory. The Marine might lose all the battles in the process of winning the war. That takes discipline.

The SEAL’s secret weapon isn’t advanced machinery and crazy bravery and fitness. Like the Marines, SEALs drip strength and courage from their pores, but those are not the SEALs’ secret weapon. The SEALs' secret weapon is preparation.

The SEALs who invaded bin Laden’s compound could navigate the buildings blindfolded, because they lived in a replica of the compound for a year before the raid. They rehearsed the raid hundreds of times in every possible condition with every possible anomaly and surprise. They practiced the raid under so many scenarios so many times that nothing could possible take them by surprise. When the real raid went down, those SEALs were as prepared like Lee J. Cobb doing his 1,000th performance of Death of a Salesman.

Be the Master of Your Domain #

Every PR director knows the first thing you do for a client who might become famous is to secure all the domains that surround the client’s name. Every social media consultant buys up every domain name related to her client’s potential business interests.

In the internet era, being master of your domain is step one of survival. It’s like knowing the mailing address of bin Laden’s compound.

In 2009, people approached Eric Greitens about running for some office someday. If Greitens had failed to secure all the domains surrounding his name and potential offices, I’d be tempted to question his claims of SEAL qualification.

Anyone who questions Greitens’s integrity based on his domain purchases doesn’t know much about being a SEAL. Nor does he know much about PR and social strategy in the internet age.