Several readers were offended by this post, in which I snarked a bit on my old friend Kyle Baker for letting his name domain lapse. Although I know Kyle well enough to know he wouldn’t have been bothered, I took down the post and contacted Kyle on Facebook (since his firstname.lastname@example.org email no longer worked) and we had a brief correspondence. And then he posted Whatever Happened To Kylebaker.com? which is a total history of the portfolio website and the internet in one. Basically he felt the website was out of date and supplanted by social media, and newer ventures were more business targeted:
Last but not least was the kylebaker.com mailing list. Rendered obsolete by Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. I was even going to launch a message board a few years back, and realized there was no reason. Folks can either communicate through a social network or even post a comment on my blogs.
And all of these sites are free! I’m not paying for design, programming or maintenance. I’ve got more free e-mail accounts than I know what to do with, and even have a mac blog and FTP site I don’t use. It’s been ten years! Shit changes!
So the only reason to keep Kylebaker.com going was for the name. That’s like maintaining real estate on an eroding cliff. Why bother?
I still disagree with this fundamentally — for $10 a year you keep your name under your control and if your website is out of date…well, that’s what DNS pointers are for. However, Kyle points out some other aspects of the name I hadn’t considered:
Last but not least, I found that naming my website and business after myself was a hindrance in pursuing partnerships such as distributors and licensees. More than once I’d hear, “We don’t deal with self-publishers.” It didn’t matter that I was moving thousands of units, and that some properties such as “Nat Turner” had been very profitable when I was handling the marketing. Moving my cartoon properties to publishers such as Image Comics and Harry Abrams actually increased the properties’ value in the eyes of potential business partners. In retrospect, I should have named my company something besides Kyle Baker.
Which brings us to today. I’m currently an executive at a new entertainment company I co-founded, tentatively named after one of our planned properties. Over the next few months we’re releasing an animated comedy series and an online adventure game. There will be websites for the company, game, and comedy. I assume the sites will bear the names of the properties, not the personnel. We’re market-testing the names, among other elements of the enterprise.
Kyle’s main website can be found at qualityjollity.com.
Bottom line, who am I to argue with the creator of such things as this?
While we’re talking style, check out Kyle’s new “Das Reingold” look:
Finally, the sizzle reel for Kyle’s new venture is above and it contains some interesting business proposals. More later…
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.