One thing we've had to do is pick a URL. The obvious choices, althouse.com and annalthouse.com, are not available. Whoever owns them is demanding a ridiculous amount of money — $33,500 and $888, respectively (with no mechanism for making a counteroffer). I don't know what is going on there, but if the point is to squat and then sell, shouldn't you make the price something within reason? I don't accept switching the .com to .net for either "althouse" or "annalthouse," because I think people would accidentally go to the .com, and who knows what horrible things someone might put there. In any case, I don't want to drive traffic to those bastards, whoever they are.
So the predicament of the unavailability of the obvious forced us to brainstorm. When I IM'd my son John about it, he immediately suggested althou.se. I didn't even know what the .se meant. Well, it means Sweden. But who cares? There's no embarrassing association with Sweden that concerns me. There's the issue of giving the false impression of being Swedish, but that's a very retro concern, I think. (Am I wrong?) The hip approach — am I right? — is to look at all those country codes as a source of letter combinations to form short, spiffy URLs like althou.se.
ADDED: In the comments, there's a lot of fretting about using .se, but check this out:
Following in Twitter (T.co) and Overstock’s (O.co’s) footsteps, Amazon has picked up the domains A.Co, Z.Co, K.Co and interestingly enough Cloud.co in a deal made with Colombia-based domain registry .Co.A.Co, Z.Co, and K.Co will probably be used for Amazon, Zappos, and Kindle. But, anyway. You see my point. The country-based top-level domains — I'm told "country codes" isn't the right term — are being used now for their letters. This is the trend. I'm on trend, people.
While .Co originally gave Twitter the T.Co domain name for free in order to spread awareness about the brand, Amazon has actually purchased these from .Co for an undisclosed price. In comparison, Overstock’s O.Co rebranding was the first negotiated .Co purchase deal, for $350K...
The genesis of the .Co domain is through Colombia, and while country codes usually take a hit in Google rankings, .Co is part of a unique set of cclds (.tv .me .co) which are treated like gtlds or generic domains like .com .net .org.
.Co is about to hit its 1 millionth domain registered in little under a year of service (.com is at over a hundred million) and is about to set up a stable pricing plan for one letter and two letter domains....