Wednesday, July 30, 2008 is already taken?!

At the start of my domain name exploration, I checked with just to make sure my favorite domain was still available. I had used the name to everybody I talked to about the idea, and apparently one of them listened rather well, because in that first year someone registered the domain. I was astounded. The site wasn’t being developed, just parked (and still is), but when I got a message to the nameless owner and asked what the website was going to be about, the response was clear: it was going to be about casting current movie stars in books. I felt committed to the website - I had already spoken to a few web-savvy relatives about coming in with me on the idea - and so I started to try other alternatives. I registered both CastTheStory and VirtualCastingDirector, but I was also looking at the idea of “story casting”. A key discovery for me was that, although the domain name was being used by Scott Smith for his blog about books and writers, it was semi-inactive. Also, I was looking at branding, and no one had registered the trademark or service mark of “storycasting” with the Patent Office (USPTO). Google searches of this and many other potential names had turned up the excellent teen filmmaker program at the University of New Mexico, but they had not registered the name either, and I didn’t really see any overlap – they didn’t have a website about books, and I didn’t have any young adults with cameras.

I had also noticed that, as a term, there was the feeling that "storycasting" was somewhat tied to the broadcasting function of “podcasting”. There was some question in my mind whether I could overcome the (limited) current usage to make the term mean what I wanted it to mean – using a website to create and post a fantasy cast. I decided that, with the right kind of promotion, I could turn the sense of the term my way. Soon, Storycasting came to be the thing that fit the best in my head, and so I wrote to Scott about perhaps obtaining the rights to the domain. We reached an agreement on price (which was also a kind of turning-point commitment for me), and I was suddenly the proud owner of as the core of a new kind of web-based hobby.

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