Thursday 19 May 2011

building your web-empire - 1. Setting up a Blogsite

People sometimes wonder why I spend so much money on a personal website and private email-addresses. They are referring to my own domain (you're on it now). When I tell them it only costs me a couple of euros a year they're always surprised.

Somehow a lot of people think a decent website and email-address must cost over a 1000 euro's, but in facet it's almost for free. All you need to pay for is the (yearly) registration fee for a domain name (which for most common domains is around € 10,-/yr). If all you need is a not too complicated website, let's say a blog where you want to put some personal stuff, some pictures, maybe some videos, a template-based Blog-site will do. For the email I use Google Apps FREE since a couple of months and I am very pleased with it. Not only email, but also a calendar, an address-book and even documents (Google Docs). All for free!

There are many ways to register a domain name. Via Google you could register a .com for just US$ 10,- per year. But if you prefer a website ending on .nl, .eu, .it or whatever you will have to find a local partner. Just Google (in your local language) for domain registration and many (sponsored) hits will lead you to many companies willing to provide you with your own domain. You do not need any services from them, no hosting, no server-storage or space, just the domain-registration and full control over the DNS, this last one is vary important because you will need to reroute to the various applications (blog, email, calendar, etc.)

Once you have registered your domain-name you can start setting up the blog and email. From here on I divided this blog into two parts:

  1. how to set up your blog and give it a domain-name (this blog);
  2. how to use Google Apps for your own email domain (coming soon)

creating your blog
There are several blog-apps on the internet, the most used/popular ones are:
Just Google for "Blogger Wordpress Tumblr compare" and you'll find enough tests and comparisons and why you should choose one above the others (som many bloggers, so many opinions). I choose Blogger some time ago and I do not regret it; Blogger is easy to set up, hosting is for free, there are a lot of templates available out there in case you might not like the build-in ones, scripts & applets to spicy your blog, etc., etc. I haven't come across something I was not able to implement.

setting up your blog on Blogger
Once you decided for Blogger the first steps are pretty easy. Just go to, register and follow the steps in which you choose a name for the blog and one of the default templates. Afterwards you can always rename your blog, choose another template.

giving the blog your own domain-name
Blogger Publishing Settings
Now you're blog will have an URL in the blogspot-domain (mine used to be you can replace it with the one you registered. Since I registered the domain "" I chose "" to replace the "". When logged in on Blogger (the back-end) go to the Settings TAB, click Publishing and click on Switch to: Custom Domain, then on the right click on Already own a domain? Switch to advanced settings here you can enter the domain you registered (for example, but also is possible). At this point we have to be patient, before we can access the blog on this new URL you need to make add and edit some records in your domain's DNS which Google explains in an easy step-by-step guide on their site. Once these modifications are made to the DNS you need to wait at least 12 hours, but sometimes it can last up to 2-3 days before these modifications are known to all DNS-servers. In the meantime you can work on the content of the blog or set up Google Apps (also here some DNS-modifications are required).

Once the DNS-servers are updated the domain is forwarded to Google's servers and your blog is reachable under the desired URL!

Spaghetti Tonno & Capperi

I just posted 2 pics on twitter of me preparing Spaghetti Tonno & Capperi (spaghetti with tuna and capers) that I decided to quickly share this recipe with you!

First a warning concerning the most important ingredient: the tuna! Do not buy the cheaper canned ones but spend a few euro more and buy the much better tasting fillets in a glass container conserved in olive oil (not on water or sunflower oil), and of course buy dolphin friendly tuna.

ingredients (for 2-4 people):
  • a can of tomato-cubes (400g)
  • a glass of tuna
  • capers (15-30)
  • an onion
  • a garlic clove
  • spaghetti (80g p.p.)

Now slice the onion, divide the garlic clove into two and put some olive oil (I use the one that conserved the tuna) in a pan. Gently fry the onions, add the garlic (careful it doesn't burn) and then the capers. Next you add the tuna. You could now take away the garlic but I love it and leave it in. Now add the tomato-cubes and leave it simmering for a while. Add salt & pepper (careful with the salt in combination with the capers)

The water for the pasta should be boiling by now, add the spaghetti and cook it al dente.

When the pasta is ready serve it with the sauce on top.


PS: and please let me know how you liked it or how you prepare it (with black olives maybe?)

Tuesday 17 May 2011

@DagmarSporck turns into @daggy72

Today I changed my Twitter-ID from @DagmarSporck into @daggy72. Suddenly a lot of people wonder and ask me why I did this. Hence this blog!

When I created my Twitter-ID @DagmarSporck over 2 years ago I didn't realize this ID would consume 10% of a tweet (@ + 12characters + 1space = 14positions = 10% of 140) when mentioning me or when RTing me. Also my last name is a bit too strange for Italians to pronounce and to recall the exact spelling. So I wanted a shorter, more catchy, easier to recall ID.

Soon after I came to Italy (for a 6 months trainee-ship) in 1995 my (Italian) friends started abbreviating Dagmar to Daggy and they still do. Some might not even know how to spell my real name. And I kind of liked it too. So when considering a shorter ID on Twitter, Daggy was the most logical option, unfortunately @Daggy was already used by someone else; who's not even making use of it, but Twitter is not doing anything about inactive accounts at the moment. Also @Dagmar was already taken so both logical 5- and 6-character alternatives where out of reach. I don't like @Daggy4 (or any other random number), @4Daggy (for Daggy) nor @_Daggy (people always have to search for the underscore on a smartphone) so @Daggy72 was the one I came up with: catchy, short (consuming only 9 vs 14 positions in a tweet), easier to remind, etc. 1972 is my birth-year by the way...

There is a potential downside to it of course (every advantage has it's disadvantage -- J.Cruijf 1994): it doesn't really sound like a serious consultant, does it?! Well... I haven't really been using Twitter for business yet, and if... explaining the story behind @Daggy72 could lead to an interesting conversation whereas the formal @DagmarSporck will not raise any discussion nor questions. And besides, I don't want like a serious (=boring) image, I want to be seen as a fresh, hip and ready-for-the-future type of person, that's why I (would like to) drive Alfa or BMW in stead of Opel or VW, it's all about image!  ;-)

In the meantime I also registered the domain "" (.gy is French Gyana by the way) and connected it to my so from now on the URLs I tweet are shortened into DAGGY-Style (watch it, I'm going to be the next Google).

I took the risk and turned @DagmarSporck into @Daggy72!
Of course I also re-registerred @DagmarSporck to avoid someone else making use of it...

now what to do with my wife's twittername @Maddalena71, way too long..