A Digital Investment For Your Kids

Many people are more than happy to squirrel away tens of thousands in investments for their kids education, but are you also thinking about digital investments for their futures?

I own jenny-matthews.com (live) and faye-matthews.com (currently parked).   I bought and host these domains for my daughters as a digital investment for their future.

In this post I want to talk about my thinking behind this investment.

Why I Think Personal Domains Will Be Important

The ability to own you own digital identity and use it to further your personal goals will be huge in the future.  I call it a digital persona.

If you can build a platform to support your work and life goals that you control and that can move with you through life regardless of which company you work for, or if you are self employed will be huge in the future.

You can use it as a digital resume to build authority and show you have expert knowledge in a field.  This in turn can help you to get postions or clients.

I think more and more people will move away from the broken corporate model and work for themselves.  If you can use this platform to sell you wares you are ahead of the comptetion.

If you can do all this and associate yourself and your personal brand through yourname.com you will be seen as a thought leader.

An Example In Personal Authority Building

Say my daughters love fashion design and they go to university to study in that arena.

At the same time they are running a personal site where they discuss current trends  upload videos or images of their work in progress and generally build a multi media profile showing that they understand the fashion business.

When t0 comes time to look for work, their personal site jenny-matthews.com or faye-matthews.com is indelibly linked to fashion.  They show their love for the work, their knowledge and their competence.

But They Are On Facebook/YouTube/New Site Yadda Yadda

I rant till I’m blue in the face about people claiming they are on-line because they have a Facebook page or twitter profile.  Here it comes in bold capitals.


You need to have a home base and outpost mindset,. Create your digital home base on joe-bloggs.com and then distribute your work on outpost sites such as Facebook, twitter et al.  Own you homebase and make forays into other peoples sites in an effort to attract them back to your homebase.

Imagine you are using Facebook to build an online persona, and bam! They disable your account for some spurious reason, all your hard work is gone, you have no recourse, they own the game and can kick you off at will.

Domain Scarcity

As I’m sure you know domains are scarce, if you can get a high quality domain for your children they will thank you (perhaps 🙂 )

Registering and keeping hold of your children’s name on a dot com is a great investment.  I’m offered versions of my name.com on a regular basis and people are asking thousands of dollars, get it now for ten dollars.

The scarcity is only going to get worse do you really want your kids to be using me@mynameversion12312312312312.co.west.some.other.town.

Good domain names are a luxury item not a commodity.

Educational Aspect

I think it’s great to teach your kids about the technical side of the internet.  My kids have taken to online life with ease.  They browse the net, use my iPhone and are pretty savvy tech users.

They can use the internet but have no concept of the underlying technologies.  I hope building their own sites will give them an understanding of these technologies.

I’m 100% sure that sites such as Facebook will obfuscate all technology from people in the future, making them tech illiterate and at the mercy of internet giants instead of having the skills to make their own little online paradise. They will be stuck in the online eqivalent of the projects with no way out.

I’m slowly but surely showing them things like linking to other sites, uploading YouTube videos and embedding them and swapping out themes.  I’m not the pushy parent type but if they show interest in something I will show them how to do it.

Remember the Geeks shall inherit the earth and the Jocks will be hacked into silence.

Online Security

My daughters are young, so I want to protect them from the darker side of the internet, so I have put a number of security controls.

disabled comments – there are no comments on Jenny’s site, I have used this plugin to disable them site wide http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/disable-comments/

All emails come to me – all domain emails are setup to redirect to me so I can monitor all activity.

No contact forms or other inbound communication – this is very much a push website for Jenny, there is no two way traffic until she is a little older and understands trolling, grooming and other insidious acts that go in in the dark corners of the net.

I review the content – I make sure she is not sending out personal information to the www.

I’m pretty low key about all this, I have put theses controls in place, but I let my daughter do what she likes on her site.  I’ll talk about the darker side when she is older, but for now exposure to cialis comment spam, trolls and other nastys is something she can do without while writing cute stories about Hansel and Gretel.

Future Google Juice

The online land grab will continue for years to come, there will be more sites, more people and more noise. It will be increasingly difficult to sort the wheat from the online chaff. This is the real reason I’ve made the digital investment for my kids.

If they can start to build a site, gather some low key links and make inroads now,  into the beast that is Google, when they really need it in the future it will be a platform for their life’s work.

Some of things that are thought to help SEO are:

  • Age of domain – their domains will be 10+ years old by the time they are in their late teens
  • Amount of content & regularity of updates – if they slowly build up a series of posts this will contribute to their archive
  • Links – a link is a link, even if it’s their school chums linking to party photos or story this helps to build momentum
  • Social links – this will become huge in the future, if someone is liking a post on social this will become part of the algorithm and this is something kids will do naturally.

Neil-Matthew.com & Daughters

I have a little dream of my own, and that is for one day to take down the digital shingle at neil-matthews.com and upload a new banner neil-matthews.com & Daughters.

If we can bring together three digital properries in one e-family business that will make me a happy man.  Cross promotion and building onlne businesses as a familyrather than having them start from a blank canvas.

This is probably content for a future post, but it is something I am thinking about.  Why make your kids struggle in the corporate world when they can become online entrpreneurs.   If you can give them a leg up by giving them access to your digital audience I think that is eNepotism in the best fashion.

This is all new territory, there has always been a route to bring kids into bricks and mortar businesses, but how do you bring them into an online business.  Time will tell.

Wrap Up

WordPress may not be around when my kids eventually start ploughing their digital furrow, but I’m pretty sure some other product will be that does a similar things.  Digital ownership of their name where they can show authority will be a huge thing in the future employment marketplace, be it self employed or as a candidate at corporations.

Are you planning for your kids digital future?

Image by r80

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