If you don’t care about web hosting, jump down to the bottom of this post (after the bullet points).

Bluefur.com is offering a free domain name if you review their new site. They’re a web hosting service and they had to change the name because it was a little too close to some big US company’s name so they’re giving them away to get link backs from bloggers. Not a bad idea for building up your search engine status. Here’s some thoughts on their site:

  • They’re from Canada, the great white north. That means you should have good service all winter long since what else is there to do up there but work. Also the decreasing value of the US dollar might result in cheaper service.
  • Their new mascot seems a little weird, I would have made him a little more Incredible Hulk looking (but blue of course since greenfur.com was taken already).
  • Their blog loads insanely fast and it seems like the number one complaint from people who hate their web hosts is that they load so slowly that visitors just give up.
  • Their rates seem pretty good $5 a month for the UNIX mini plan. And that’s for a single month. It seems like the other places I’ve researched make you pay for a whole year before you get that cheap.
  • Their monthly deals doesn’t seem to change every month since it’s the 7th of Feb and they’re still celebrating the new year. But, then again, I’d prefer my hosting company work on their servers than update their deals page.
  • They will also register domain names, but at $16.95 Canadian dollars, that seems a little high ($14.40 US assuming Google is accurate today…turns out its $12.95 US, still not the cheapest).
  • They have a domain name twist tool that should give you suggestions on other domain names if yours is taken. For some reason it doesn’t seem to work for me. It flashes something and then goes back to the main page. Maybe it works with Flash and I have Flashblock on my Firefox browser.

Now here’s the question for you. What should I do with my free domain name? I’ve been thinking about trying to make some money from blogging because a side job sounds good with 5 mouths to feed. Here’s my 3 ideas:

  1. A blog for San Diego families-basically, it would contain info on stuff for families to do in and around San Diego. Since San Diego is a tourist destination, I think it would get a lot of search engine traffic which, from my limited reading of articles on blogging for money, seems to be the limiting factor for whether you get enough people to click on ads or not.
  2. A blog about biotechnology-I’m leaning towards analyzing companies as potential stock investments since I think non-scientist would be interested in understanding more of the science before they invest. I’m hoping that it would lead to a job outside of the lab (perhaps at a venture capital fund) since I could then put it on my resume, so ad revenue wouldn’t be most important (although it would be helpful if it paid the hosting bills).
  3. Move this blog to it’s own domain-This seems like the silliest of the 3. I’m fairly certain that there’s no way to make money from a blog like this (I can’t seem to break through the 100 page views/day on a consistent basis) and wordpress.com is a pretty good (free) host. The best reason for doing this is to have more control of the layout and be able to use java script in posts, both of which are pretty low on my to do list.

Thoughts anyone (especially from those that run a self-hosted blog)? Which one would you be most likely to read? Feel free to tell me I’m crazy or make additional suggestions.

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