I'm a geek dad. My occupation and long-standing love for tinkering with computers clearly identifies my fairly high geek acumen. I don't try to hide that fact. In fact I literally shout it from the rooftops via this blog on a pulpit that's heard by maybe half a dozen people each week.
Being a dad, I'm always looking out for my children's best interests. Being a geek, I'm always looking out for shiny, blinky objects with Internet connectivity. Merge the two together and it was inevitable that I'd come to the realization that I had to do my part to protect the inalienable online rights that my children so richly deserve. So I got them both email addresses.
Granted, they can't read yet. And then there's the small technicality that one of them hasn't even actually been born yet (which I found to be a bit of a sticking point when trying to register for an account on one service.) But when I see the long, convoluted email addresses at the major providers that some poor people now have to settle for (email@example.com) it made me realize that I don't want my children to be subjected to such trauma. So in true Sooner fashion, I decided to stake our claim while there was still real estate available.
But where to get the accounts? What companies will still even be in existence 10 years from now? Gmail is currently the hot online property while some people scoff at the idea of Hotmail accounts. Yahoo was the only major portal to survive the tech crash and has thus far managed to hang on against Google (I still prefer Yahoo mail over Gmail actually.) Is Live.com going to gain traction now that Vista is out? I decided to hedge my bets by going with Gmail and Yahoo Mail since the former seems to have the brightest future while the latter has had the most staying power to-date. What the heck, it's free right?
Rather than divulging the full email accounts here and also subjecting my children to their first doses of spam, I'll just say that the email addresses are basically their full names in the following form: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. I figure those of you who know them and might be remotely inclined to send them an email (I'm looking at you grandmas and Uncle Adam) should probably be able to piece together this highly cryptic puzzle.
A normal dad might stop there and be content with his efforts. But that was too easy. I was actually surprised/thrilled that I was able to snag both of their names in the preferred syntax. Surely there had to be a greater challenge waiting somewhere that required some more meaningful commitment. Ah yes, something I deal with regularly at my office - domain names. A land where cyber-squatters greedily gobble up full name combinations by the thousands in the hopes of reselling them for profit. Well not if super geek dad can prevent it.
Fortunately domain names can now be bought for dirt cheap and I was able to secure the full names of both girls for several years for a surprisingly modest price. My wife was not so lucky, but she still manages to sleep in spite of it. These names currently don't point anywhere and likely won't for the foreseeable future. But they're ours now and that's what counts.