Happy 25th Birthday Scalzi.com

Scalzi.com entrance page, September, 2001.
John Scalzi

Fun fact: 25 years ago today, I registered Scalzi.com as domain. Why? Because I was about to get laid off from America Online and I needed a new email address, and I figured, what the hell, get my own domain because that way I would never have to change my email again. And guess what? I never have! Well done, me.

Also I figured having my own domain would be useful to point potential freelance clients at, to show them various writing samples I had from the time: Humor and opinion columns from my time at AOL and the Fresno Bee, movie and music reviews and other stuff. It was a real hodgepodge (not like today, harumph, harumph), and all present in grand, hand-rolled HTML. Web 1.0 at its finest! No tables, however. I wasn’t a monster.

This also worked; I started getting freelance work almost immediately after being laid off from AOL, much to my relief. A lot of that work was from AOL, mind you; I was laid off and then people there started wondering how they were going to get the writing they needed done. But some of it was from outside people, too, and the site came in handy for that.

Whatever itself started in September of ’98 and once it got going, the rest of the site became sort of an afterthought to it, enough so that at the moment Scalzi.com goes directly to Whatever rather than having its own landing page. As this is where nearly everyone was coming anyway, it seemed to make sense. Be that as it may, Scalzi.com was and is its own entity, and it’s served me very well for a quarter of a century. Securing that domain name way back in 1998 was one of my smarter professional decisions. Good job, 28-year-old me! You did all right by us both.

— JS

17 Comments on “Happy 25th Birthday Scalzi.com”

  1. Happy Birthday to Whatever! Hope it gets a nice present and some yummy chocolate cake.

    No tables? Probably used iframe then… These days it’s all “ul” and “float:left”, I guess.

  2. @Jo. We’re the same age in internet years.

    Happy birthday John (or whatever), that worked out very well.

  3. It is good to be master of your domain.

    For anyone thinking of getting their own, remember it brings the bonus of being able to provide neat email addresses for family as well. And indeed webpages for them. You can get deals for surprisingly little money.

  4. Congratulations on being master if your own domain even longer than George Costanza.

  5. Definitely one smart 28-year-old. Also, it shows that laziness (the desire never to change an e-mail again) can lead to productivity!

  6. Congrats on another year! Boy, no wonder you are such a good science fiction writer, you really can sense how the future will go… ;-) That young Scalzi, making those good decisions! I can see it now, “Apple stock… nah, that’s hit a plateau, my own doman… yes!”

    Oh what? The door, see myself out… Okay. I get it. You have writing to do… Lol.

    Again, congratulations on 25 years. I love that inbetween books I get to read your words here. :-)

  7. Congrats on the 25 year anniversary!

    You registered about 6 months before Jerry Pournelle … who sadly passed in 2017.

  8. In defense of tables (wait, hear me out) … the problem was that people would code the tables to a fixed width, not as a percentage of the screen.

    I’ve only recently settled on a domain name I like, so your site’s birthday are now my goals.

  9. Way to go! I’ll brag, too. I registered hand2mouse.com on Sep 21, 1995, and I still own & use it.

    Did you know that was the day domain registration stopped being free? $200/year! Of course, they couldn’t announce it in advance. And I’d been dithering for days over spelling, when I could’ve registered many alternative spellings for free.

    A geeky friend had grabbed a bunch of free ones early. I think it was wine.com that he later sold. I don’t know how much he got, but he suddenly went from a renter to a homeowner (!)

  10. The truly amazing thing, beyond being a brilliant future seeing 28 year old, is in how much creativeness you keep putting into it.

    It has been phenomenal, and I thank you for it.

  11. Happy Birthday, scalzi.com!!!! A quarter century on the intrawebz is quite momentous especially in the dotcoms of the late 90s/00s. Let’s break open some champagne!!!

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