A brief Saturday housekeeping item: you can now visit this blog at http://blog.WineryWebSiteReport.com/ - continue reading to see why you might want to do something similar for your blog. The old address (http://mikeduffy.typepad.com/wwsr/) will continue to work just fine (which is important, since people and search engines have links which use the old address).
We've done this to improve our public "face" - our blog is now definitely associated with our domain (WineryWebSiteReport.com) and product (The Winery Web Site Report). There also appears to be some anecdotal evidence that a name like blog.YourWinery.com positively affects Google's PageRank, so your blog posts are more visible in searches involving your winery's name.
This change was relatively easy to make, since TypePad (the service that hosts this blog) offers domain name mapping, which allows you to point a domain name (like blog.WineryWebSiteReport.com) to a specific blog. Not all blog hosting services offer this feature, and if you host your own blog, it will require a small bit of geekery to achieve the same effect.
Why did we wait so long to do it? Like for most small businesses, it was on our list almost from Day One (we started blogging last April). Last night, after recommending domain name mapping to a brand new winery blog, I finally decided to take care of it for our own blog. Shoemaker's children go barefoot, etc. It took less than 20 minutes of work (most of which was reading documentation), and then waiting for the changes to take effect (overnight).
[Geeky side note: Technically, blog.domain.com is a host name, i.e. the name of a computer, which hosts (provides) a service on the Internet. TypePad's documentation simply calls it a domain name, since their customers really aren't interested in the finer points of Domain Name System (DNS) terminology. For example, www.example.com is a reasonable name for the host which handles World Wide Web requests for the example.com domain. Yes, Virginia, that's where the whole dubya-dubya-budya thing originated.]