Tatsuhiko Miyagawa's Blog


July 07, 2023

Last month, Medium silently decided to kill the legacy custom domains for free tier users, and broke my blog (weblog.bulknews.net) without any notice. Since this happened during my trip to Europe, I decided to sign up for their paid plan just for one month as a temporary solution. Now that I’ve returned from my trip, I successfully imported all my articles from Medium to Jekyll using the excellent tool called medium-to-jekyll importer, and now this site is hosted on GitHub Pages.

Fast forward to this week, Meta launched Threads and it uses the same username as Instagram. Because Instagram originally launched just for iPhones, and by the time it became available on Android, it was too late to secure my preferred username 1. I initially registered with bulknews, but because Instagram prominently displays the username in the timeline feed I changed it to a little more readable: miyagawa_.

At first, the existence of the underscore didn’t bother much. However, now that it’s also used in Threads and as with IG it’s always displayed in the timeline, it started to bother me. The same thing happened to my secondary Instagram account for my podcast Rebuild. I initially tried rebuildfm which I use elsewhere, but it was already taken. Luckily, Instagram allows the use of dots in the username, so I settled for rebuild.fm which somehow felt reasonable. This got me thinking: What if I could do the same for my main account, like a domain name?

For a while, I’ve wanted a new online identity that isn’t tied to a toy website that I built 25 years ago: bulknews.net. It’s often a little awkward to explain what that name means, and it’s also my primary email address and is challenging to pronounce over the phone.

So, yesterday I acquired a new domain, miyagawa.co from Gandi, and migrated the traffic to the old blog URL (https://weblog.bulknews.net/) to this new domain using redirects through Fastly. Setting up the redirects was pretty simple with a custom VCL snippet. (Disclosure: I work for Fastly)

And yes, I also changed the username on Instagram/Threads to match my new domain.

It’s not perfect, but is a good compromise. And it feels good that I have a short, memorable, and easy-to-pronounce domain that I can use for various purposes.

  1. Interestingly, whoever had the username miyagawa apparently changed their username at some point, so the current holder is a different account. Maybe I should’ve written a scraper to periodically check the availability of the username!