I let go of an old friend last Wednesday. I sold my internet domain csquared.com, which I had owned since 1996: twenty years. It was not an easy decision.
I have had many offers to buy the domain over twenty years, all of which I refused. Some were more serious than others, but I turned them all down.
Terry and I used the domain for our email for most of that time, even when we did not have an active web site. After we moved to Hemet I rebuilt the site to promote my web and writing business.
Not long ago I received an email from a domain broker asking if I would sell. He made me a fairly generous offer, but I refused. He persisted. In the end his client more than quadrupled their original offer. It was, in Godfather terms, an offer that I could not refuse.
And so I let go.
At least I won’t have to explain any longer the meaning of csquared.com (Cobb + Christie, plus the fact that Terry was a physics major at Cal State Fullerton).
When I was laid off from my job in July 2014 I bought a magicJack. A magicJack is a device that plugs into both your Internet router and your landline telephone. It allows you to use your internet connection make unlimited local and long distance calls. The technology is called VoIP – voice over internet protocol. With the magicJack you get the service for the price of the device the first year and for a low annual fee thereafter. I bought it because I knew that I would be making a lot of phone calls into Silicon Valley from Gilroy, and our phone service was metered for anything beyond our local South County area. It also meant that Terry could talk to her sister in San Diego for as long as she wanted without me worrying about her running up the phone bill. We definitely got our money’s worth. The only down side was that it was only connected to the phone in my office, and people would see that number on their caller id and call back on it when we might be downstairs.
When we moved here to Hemet we no longer needed it as our Verizon (as it was then) fios service gave us unlimited calling in the U.S. for the price of our phone service. Fortunately, devices such as my magicJack tend not to get tossed or recycled, but rather end up in my infamous “wire box,” full of wires, cords, cables, and various unused electronic devices.
I’ve been actively working on updating my freelance web site, and have been following the guidelines in a webinar at the Freelance Writers Den, to which I subscribe. One of the things that the moderator emphasized was the importance of having a phone number as a part of one’s contact information. Obviously I didn’t want our home phone number out there on the web, nor did I want to use my cell phone. The moderator said that she used a voicemail box that she checked occasionally. That’s when I thought, “magicJack!”
I pulled the magicJack out of my wire box and set it up. I paid for a year of service along with an additional $10 to change my phone number from a Silicon Valley area code to an Inland Empire area code. Done, ready, up and running.
The big difference, of course, is that while previously the magicJack was for outgoing calls, it is now called back into service for incoming calls. Still an economical, practical solution.
Reuse and repurpose.
My updated web site, by the way, is here: http://www.csquared.com
I got my first paying freelance work at the end of May. My marvelous sister-in-law connected me with a fellow who has done a lot of IT work for the Chamber of Commerce. He is growing his own IT business and no longer has time for the grunt work, as it were. He acquired a new client and enlisted me to transfer the content on their web site from the old environment to his server.
I made every effort to do a complete, through, and professional job. I worked over the Memorial Day weekend because the old IT guy was turning the lights out on the old site on June 1st.
He seemed happy with my work, and said that he anticipates having another project for me mid-June.
And I got paid. Not a lot, but I got paid. I’m using part of the proceeds to have a ceiling fan installed in my office, something I’ve wanted since we moved here.
I’m looking forward to continuing the momentum.
If you know anyone who is looking for writing or web work, my web site is at www.csquared.com.