This online thing I have has been going on for more than ten years now. It’s a hobby at best and I just like having it around to focus on whenever I don’t have anything else going on. While I haven’t gotten any significant traction throughout the years, that wasn’t the point of this whole thing. However, as time passes and I get more weighed down by responsibilities, catching more eyeballs becomes more imperative. After all, since I spend quality time pouring my soul into this thing at my leisure, perhaps it’s time I consider doing it seriously for once.
Stepping away from the old brand name has been a relief, but making the decision to do so made me so anxious that I almost didn’t do it. However, having gone through the process of doing so has made me more appreciative of having the opportunity in the first place. While I’m still very much a small-time content creation hobbyist, it’s still something I feel strongly about since it’s my own thing, and it’s hard to have your own thing in this day and age.
To start off the year 2023, let’s talk about why I did it, what I had to go through to do it, and what you can expect going forward.
Why the Rebrand to Avoider.net?
After 18 years of using Avoiderdragon unironically, I made the change at a more fortunate time in my life. I always used the shorter form of Avoider anyway, so I might as well make it official. But what convinced me to make the change was seeing that the domain name avoider.net hadn’t been taken yet. I say it’s superior and more aesthetically pleasing than avoider.com since I still dream of this thing becoming a content creation network of sorts.
Changing the brand name has always been strongly considered because I did regret promising myself to stubbornly stick to a handle back in 2004 as a response to seeing everyone else around me change theirs like underwear every week or so. From Ragnarok Online and deviantART to even using it for my primary email address, I knew that name held me back because it can barely be taken with even an ounce of seriousness.
History of Avoiderdragon
Avoiderdragon was a dumb name. It was too edgy, too long, and too weird. I came up with it back in 2004 when I was playing Ragnarok Online, trying to come up with a name for my assassin character. Upon waking up after a nap in the internet cafe I regularly hung out in, I had a eureka moment of combining the name of one of my high school best friend’s original characters and ‘dragon’. The second part was natural since my family nickname is ‘Xiao Long’ — Little Dragon. No seriously, I’m not making that up.
I then combined them into one word, like the name of one of my favorite bands at that time, Lostprophets. I used to like that band until their vocalist was arrested for pedophilia, and a really horrendous case at that. Nowadays, I can’t even stand to listen to a second of Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja without cringing and being reminded that the singer was a babyfucker.
There was a time when I thought of sprucing up the brand by truncating it to AVDR. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the problem with this is that it’s an absentee initialism. It doesn’t really stand for anything and is just a stylized spelling of Avoider. That would’ve been a lot more confusing and I eventually scrapped it. But the seed of just using Avoider was planted there.
Why Only Now?
The reason why I stuck with Avoiderdragon for so long is its uniqueness. With this rebrand, the main challenge has been getting a handle that’s both unique and memorable. Maybe I should go with ‘avoidernet’ or ‘avoiderdotnet’ instead, but I like having a separator in there as it promotes the website. Meanwhile, ‘avoider’ alone is impossible as that is usually already taken.
Thus, the variations ‘avoider.net’, ‘avoider_net’, and ‘avoider-net’. If I could, I’d change everything to just ‘avoider.net’, but some platforms don’t allow the dot, so I have to go with the underscore. And then, there are some platforms that don’t allow both the dot and the underscore, so I have to go with the hyphen. It’s a bit frustrating, but I have to deal with it.
If I’m asked about my links, my default response is to just give them Avoider.net and say everything is there, including my social media links. That’s the advantage of having a website be the hub of all your online activities, although it can be argued that it’s my Facebook page which has seen more consistent activity from me.
What really gave me difficulty wasn’t the rebrand itself since my old one was such a long edgy-ass name anyway, so this new one is a welcome change. What put my balls through a salad shooter at first was dealing with the main asset of the brand — this website.
It was certainly expensive since I had to get a new domain name — the very thing that made me consider the rebrand in the first place. If the domain weren’t available and I didn’t fall in love with it at first sight, I would’ve stayed Avoiderdragon for at least another 18 years.
The blog has a decade’s worth of posts. They’re not a lot since I couldn’t be consistent with writing posts throughout the years, but there are some bangers in there with SEO that I didn’t want to lose. I had previously paid for the old domain for the next 10 years, and I did the same for the new one. The good thing with that splurge is that I could set up a redirect.
Unfortunately, the only real way for me to do that is to find a service that has better options for redirecting. My current hosting service doesn’t have one that lets its https domain redirect to my new one, so I had to route it to another service that turned out to have such an option.
I split hairs for a couple of days and spent thousands of pesos (which I can afford, so don’t worry) to finally find a way to make every URL in my old domain redirect to my new one and still be able to use whatever minuscule chunk of SEO I got for the past decade.
Perhaps this time, with a new and better brand, I’ll be motivated to write stuff that will get way more views so I won’t have to care about the SEO of the old domain anymore and I can finally put it to rest (and save some money).
The reason I really wanted a rebrand was so I could be assed enough to do something about my long-abandoned YouTube channel, which I stopped uploading to in the middle of 2018. While making videos has never stopped being fun for me, it stopped being so for that channel with that name due to mistakes I made along the way and all the toxic comments I foolishly deigned to read.
I gave it a long-delayed spring cleaning. I downloaded the old videos I uploaded there as far back as 12 years ago and then deleted them. It used to be my personal channel, so I had some really old stuff with my friends in them. As I counted down the years, it made me think that perhaps I really should’ve uploaded more, but I couldn’t do that just because I wanted to blow up because I know that would only result in shoddy work and questionable ethics.
Video is a lot of hard work, and I don’t want to fall into the trap of doing it just because I had to. This time around, I got a bunch of drafts I would like to try turning into videos I can be proud of. I think I’ll do that by starting over and redoing the videos that have remained in the channel. If I can improve on them, I know I can redeem myself.
I live in the Philippines. Therefore, I have to be on Facebook. That’s just how it goes. While I have multiple YouTube channels because I have no lick of sense, I have one Facebook page I upload all my videos and share all my blog posts to, as well as links and statuses. I don’t expect it to blow up at all since it’s neither a meme page nor full of lewds that would attract pervs.
But I’ve had a couple of videos go viral on Facebook. That brings me some hope as while the YouTube algorithm is a cruel mistress and going viral on Twitter is basically setting yourself up for public torture, the Facebook algorithm seems to be a bit more fair to small fry such as myself. I should upload more on it and see if I can find some traction with more content.
I also used to stream on Facebook because it was easier for me to acquire viewers through it, no matter how few. But there’s no way to blow up as a streamer on that platform unless you’re a pretty girl playing Mobile Legends or a known online personality. And even if you’re famous on Facebook, you get up to a few thousand viewers at best, nowhere near Twitch numbers.
While it’s a surprisingly okay platform for video, it’s being superseded by TikTok. Even if Facebook now has reels, YouTube also has Shorts now, so its a double whammy against it. Meta lost several billion dollars this year due to what now-former Meta VR consultant and executive John Carmack would describe as “inefficient and fragile”. Just give the Meta Business Suite a try and tell me it’s not a convoluted mess.
However, Facebook is the only platform I was able to properly rebrand to Avoider.net with. All other platforms don’t take the dot on either the profile or the URL, and worse is some don’t take it on both (fucking YouTube). Perhaps the one sacrifice with this rebrand is that I don’t have a consistency with URLs on every social media channel like I used to.
(I also was able to do so with TikTok, but I haven’t been there for long enough.)
And before you say, “Why not just make it avoidernet?”, I counter that by saying that the point of having the dot there is to promote the website. Perhaps in the future, I’ll get rid of that separator and just have it be ‘avoidernet’ once I get over the need to promote the website through it, but that’s not going to be for a while.
Other Social Media Channels
If I get really active, I should post on other platforms like TikTok and Instagram. However, the caveat here is that minding more than two platforms is not recommended as you’d stretch yourself too thin and won’t be able to do your best work on the platforms that actually matter more for your brand.
But if making short-form video content becomes a part of what I do, then I might as well give some priority to those platforms as well.
I can’t promise that I won’t be lazy. But so far, with this rebrand, I’ve been feeling quite motivated. Let’s see how it goes for 2023.
As far as content strategies go, the only one I really have is to make stuff I enjoy. Perhaps the one pragmatic thing I will take up is to make more content for local audiences. That’s something I aim to address this year, so stay tuned for that.
Have something to say? Do you agree or am I off-base? Did I miss a crucial detail or get something wrong? Please leave whatever reactions, questions, or suggestions you may have in the comment section below.
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