Websites and Blogs, Where Does One Start? [en]

[fr] Petite prise de tête (j'aime bien ça!) au sujet du site pour Going Solo et l'entreprise (pas encore existante légalement) qui est derrière. Quel nom de domaine utiliser? (J'en ai enregistré toute une série autour de cette idée de conférences, ça m'a d'ailleurs coûté un saladier.) Il va me falloir une identité visuelle. Que bloguer où? Créer déjà un site pour l'entreprise? Bienvenue dans les méandres de mes questionnements.

Along the lines of rediscovering some aspects of blogging, I’m rediscovering some tricky online presence questions which I’m more used to hearing in the mouths of my clients than in my head.

Questions like: do I create a separate blog for my company? for my event? how? when? who will blog on them? what will we blog on them?

To be honest, those questions aren’t actually all that tricky. For example, of course I’m going to create a site-blog (website with a blog) for Going Solo. Is it too early to create a site for the company, though? I’ve got a good mind for the moment to hold off incorporating it until the first event is done. I mean, not to be pessimistic, but if Going Solo doesn’t work out as well as I hope, and I decide to leave the event business at that, it will have saved me the trouble and grief of setting up the company “for nothing”, right? Other opinions on the topic?

A few weeks ago, I booked a pile of domain names (my poor credit card can testify). For the company, for Going Solo, for other events I already have in mind. I got .nets, .coms, .orgs, and even .co.uks. You don’t want a porn site as a neighbour, right? And if you’re going to build a name or a brand, who knows what you might want to do with the other TLDs 3 years from now? Better have them handy. Well, this isn’t really the topic of this post, but gosh, does it add up to a pile of money.

Of course, to make things easy, one of the .coms I didn’t manage to get is (it’s an insulin pump, so not much to do with what I’m plotting). Which leaves me with a choice of, .ch, .net, .org. I’d say .org is out, as this is a commercial venture. As the event is going to take place in Switzerland, .ch would make sense, but then what happens when we reproduce the event in other countries? (I’ve actually already been talking about that with a few people — and can you imagine: the first event hasn’t even happened yet that they are already showing interest…)

Leaves us with .net and, the latter making sense if the mother company is indeed incorporated in the UK as I plan, but as it hasn’t actually happened yet, it could change. So, I guess for the moment I’d go with and set up a blog there, to start with.

I don’t have any visual identity yet so that means it would be pretty bland at first. (This is where I really regret not being a bit of a designer myself.) I’m half-tempted to try and recruit Bread and Butter (look at the beautiful art they did for Adsclick), but they’re already doing LIFT (maybe a bit of a conflict) and as they’re already nicely established, I’m a bit afraid about the price tag. My more realistic idea is to try to find a small design shop in Lausanne which could use the visibility (local and international) Going Solo will bring them, or see if anything could be set up involving students from the ECAL.

As for the company, should I set up a website already, even if it doesn’t “legally” exist? (God, I wish I were a lawyer and understood all this stuff.) I’ll need a visual identity (at least a logo) and some content. I guess there will be a lot of cross-posting between the Going Solo blog and this one, at least at the start.

Also, languages! Oh my! Actually, no. Going Solo will be held in English, therefore the site will be in English. I’ll provide some French content for local sponsors to dig through, but I’m not going to do the whole multilingual space thing yet for it. Could be an idea in the long run, though… hmm.

Well, thanks for following my thought process. I’ll be setting up soon and cross-posting relevant content there so that we can all start linking to it! 🙂

6 thoughts on “Websites and Blogs, Where Does One Start? [en]

  1. Le nom de ta conférence peut ne pas être le même que celui de ta société. Ta conférence est un “produit” de ta société. Ainsi tu trouveras peut-être deux noms. Attention “Going Solo” a déjà beaucoup de références selon google. Peut-être que pour certains publics, le nom pourrait porter à confusion.
    L’enregistrement du nom du site web, à mon avis, doit intervenir de manière quasi simultanée dans la théorie. Enfin, ce serait dangereux de créer le site web après la société, car quelqu’un pourrait vouloir te le prendre juste avant toi dès la parution dans le registre du commerce (à mon avis, tu dois avoir une entité juridique en Suisse, qui peut-être une filiale de ta société UK, si tu fais des activités en Suisse, les fournisseurs ne voudront peut-être pas signé avec une entreprise au capital dérisoire aux UK, cette entité peut-être par exemple “Going Solo – Booth” si tu es en nom propre, si tu ne veux pas placer 20k dans une sàrl, à ne pas considérer comme un coût, mais un placement, une sàrl ou SA alors tu peux utiliser un “nom de fantaisie”) Si tu es seule, crée simplement “Stephanie Booth sàrl”, ce sera plus clair et personne ne peut te piquer ce nom.
    Enregistre alors séparément les noms de produits… mais là, il y a aussi le registre des marques… lol… tu vas encore te marrer un moment si tu veux vraiment bien protéger un nom…
    Bonne chance!

    (Pense à, je pense que c’est fait entre autre pour des personnes comme toi, tu en apprendras bcp!)

  2. “Going Solo will be held in English”. Not sure if it makes sense for an event targeting local freelance workers + that’s going to take place in Lausanne…

  3. Actually, it’s not targeting local freelance workers. It’s targeting European freelance workers. Sorry if that point wasn’t clear.

  4. Given the unknown and the number of questions. I’d first go for a biz plan, at least a short version of it. It will help you to clarify and to define the different dimensions of your activities / projects / products: consulting (CTTS), events (Going Solo), trainings (apprendre à bloguer), etc.

    Leave the details + practical issues such as domain names, legal status, etc, aside until you have a rough idea of what the biz plan is based upon.

  5. Pour un site international, je m’accrocherai au .com, pour ne pas avoir un aspect “pays” (ce qui a aussi un impact dans le référencement).
    Après, quant à choisir, il vaut mieux que going-solo , les – sont moins intuitifs que les noms attachés.

    Puisque tu veux gérer plusieurs événements, tu peux par exemple faire un avec des sous-domaines comme (sauf qu’il faudrait chercher quelque chose de plus simple pour le nom de domaine),

  6. I agree with Olivier. Forget the legal stuff right now except for these two things:
    a) up to Sfr. 70,000 of annual revenue no trouble, if more you have to make sure that the VAT issue is covered ….
    b) up to Sfr. 110,000 …. no commercial register entry needed

    What does it mean? just sell and keep a nice accounting system for the tax man with your income and expenses. A program I can recommend for your accounting working in CH (any language including English) making your tax advisor happy as well you find here: (banana)

    So just keep on working and yes we were forced to ‘incorporate’ to satisfy a big Swiss client

    And for trust, credibility and more there is no reason why you need a UK Inc. whilst having your ‘home’ base in CH. Talk to us at Going Solo. We had a UK Inc. and it was not worth it since we operate out of CH. But the GmbH works nicely and saves you a bundle of taxes as well 🙂

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