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Media Scholar and TED superstar, Sherry Turkle, wowed me and over 5 million other people with her brilliant talk “Connected, but are we alone?” In its aftermath, she wrote Alone, Together, which fleshes the thesis of her Ted Talk: technology is silencing us. Reclaiming Conversation follows up to Alone Together—less robot discussion, more investigation of dissatisfaction with technology—and is equally important. What is our most basic tool for staying connected? According to Turkle, face-to-face conversation. Since EP was founded with face-to-face meetings, and intentionally chose not to have an online social media presence, the book underscores the importance of IRL communities where people commune. Although much of the narrative includes research, Turkle offers practical advice. She is not a Luddite and doesn’t suggest we should be one either. I loved this book for the simple reasons that it confirmed my distains towards technology, while also empowering me with solutions to use it in more meaningful ways. Perhaps too, it helped me to bridge the technological generation gap I experience around Tweens, and that, most of all, is a win!

After my first year living in Hanoi, I was going mad. I went from living beneath sapphire skies to everyday gray. Trees were another problem. There just weren’t any. I was convinced my funk was a result of the lack of nature around me. According to The Nature Fix, my hunch was right. Williams is not a researcher herself, but a journalist who experienced a similar low when she moved from tree-drenched Colorado to drab Washington D.C. Although Hanoi offered a slew of environmental issues to bog me down, there was one thing I realized I could fix. From stories about research on the Redwoods in the American West to the forests of Korea where people practice forest bathing, Williams concludes that we all need more of one thing: nature. Her keen investigation reveals something else. People need a specific amount to be happy. To find out the dose, I recommend that you get this book, and go read it under a tree.

The short answer: Yes, you do.

Over the years, I've helped people and companies craft websites to tell the story of who they are. Whether they were launching their business or revamping it, they had one thing in common. They already owned their domain name.

Your domain name is your digital address. If you live abroad as I do, it just might be your most permanent address, too. It’s also the only online identity you can control 100%. So when I say you need a website, what I'm talking about is your domain name.

Here's why:

Nearly a decade ago, when I was just starting out consulting I began putting together a website. I built a beautiful website that I was proud of and was ready to publish it. And then I hit a snag. The domain I wanted——was not available. Someone else owned it and they wanted to extort a handsome fee from me.

I considered my options. I could:

  • Buy another domain name alluding to my name like;

  • Create a domain under my business name; or,

  • Just pay the guy.

In the end, I paid the guy.

Now, there are times when you should not pay the guy, like when they are cyber-squatting—but I neither had the time to come up with another perfect name other than the one given me at birth, nor the patience to check against the more than 350 million domain names registered online.

And this leads me to my point. Website domains are the new real estate. Prospecting skyrocketed with the tech boom of the Nineties, and today, there are even brokerages who handle domain name acquisitions. As more and more domains are registered on the internet, it is becoming increasingly harder to create a unique and digital home online unaffiliated with a social media company.

So why not own your name? If you use the Internet, are entrepreneurial, creative, or just like collecting things, buy your domain name. You’ll thank me when you don’t have to settle on

If you happen to be born a Smith or Warner, there's a good chance your name in every iteration will be taken. As a published writer, practicing artist, and someone highly entrepreneurial, I knew I would use a name-based domain so I was willing to pay whatever the price.

If you aren't willing to pay the squatter, here are my tips for coming up with a memorable domain name:

Keep it simple.

Avoid very long website address. We chose because was already being used, but we also thought it was too long.

Consider an action word in your domain.

A fun website domain for a writer name Sue Bee might be or You get the idea.

Use your catchphrase.

A therapist I know didn't want to use her name and instead chose the phrase "deep dive", which she uses to describe her work with clients in her domain

Don't settle!

You really should like your domain name. I LOVE both of mine. If you can't come up with an alternative to the domain you want, consider investing in it. In the US, domain name registration for businesses can be tax-deductible. (Do check with your accountant first). And it's money well spent. I was relieved when I finally received the confirmation of my domain name. I would always be the one to control my name in the world. And so should you!

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