Fifteen years and eleven days ago, I registered my first personal Internet domain: etherlabs.net. It was home to my own personal website, as well as the websites of several friends all under the etherlabs.net name. It was great fun, in those early days of the 'net. In the late eighties I'd been the first person I knew with an Internet email address; now I was the only person I knew with a personal Internet domain. Then someone else with an idea came to me looking for a home for their site, and it took off. Over the years I hosted many, many domains.
But inevitably I started running into problems. First, keeping everything online came with expenditures that I couldn't always afford. Back then, hosting domains was a pricey proposition, and I eventually found it cheaper to run my own hardware out of a variety of locations ranging from the offices of friends to my brother's apartment, but a second round of equipment failures eventually spelled the end of that system. Then there was the constant upkeep in helping out the people who were piggy-backing on my own domains. In the early part of the 'aughties, spam email was an enormous problem for someone like me maintaining a sendmail system out of his own pocket and time. I also had users who were exploiting systems vulnerabilities to do things they shouldn't be. It was a mess.
So I closed down the etherlabs.net experiment, and registered emuu.net.
emuu.netThe name comes from my own initials: 'mw', pronounced 'em double-yew'. emuu.net has been, ever since, my personal website. That was nine years and eight days ago. When traffic got to the three million page-view mark, I stopped counting.
Since then, etherlabs.net has served as an experimental home for a variety of projects, usually related to my day job or a business idea (such as Caritas, our online jewelry business that wasn't), or a community project. It's currently a staging ground for ideas for my employer's product suite.