Can I Buy a Vowel?

This is the first in a series called “Building MnmlRdr”, where I’ll be discussing the ins and outs of building and marketing a feed reader.

When I first started building MnmlRdr, I was exploring a lot of domain names. I wanted something simple. The product’s core was to be centered around fewer distractions and a “minimal” feel, so I tried to incorporate that into the domain. I ultimately settled with mnmlrdr.com.

My first thought was, “Neat. No vowels. How minimal.”

What I didn’t realize at the time (and I should have if I had talked to anyone…) was that mnmlrdr.com was hard to communicate.

Here’s how the dialog usually went:

"Your product sounds interesting. What's the website?" 
"m-n-m-l-r-d-r-dot-com… That's "minimal reader" without any of the vowels."
"Uhh…I'll just Google you…"

After a few months of having to explain the domain like this, I decided to get in touch with the owner of “minimalreader.com”. David, was responsive, was interested in selling, and had a little bit of leverage since the domain is an exact match for my product.

A little negotiation later and I purchased the domain for $50 more than I would have on “Wheel of Fortune”. (Vowels are expensive.)

What does this mean for you?

  • You can use either domain.
  • MnmlRdr.com is the canonical domain.
  • All bookmarks and links will work for either domain.
  • The product is still called MnmlRdr.
  • In the future, branding might dictate whether or not the “MnmlRdr” or “Minimal Reader” domain/name sticks. I’m undecided here…

Next time I’ll talk a little more in-depth on the domain purchase and negotiation.

In the meantime, happy reading and enjoy the vowels!

Image adapted from original by “Atom Smasher” (CC BY-SA)