“All the News That’s Omg Lol”

Online Edition
As if we’d actually use ink for this?

Vol. 30 of 30
September 12, 2023 4:15 AM UTC

Rare lifetime address auctions supporting St. Jude

Hey, how’s it going? This post is going to be a little rambly, so here’s the key point up front: you should totally check out omg.lol’s brand new silent auction site, bids.lol, and maybe even consider bidding on one of four single-character lifetime addresses or one choose-your-own lifetime address. All of which will bolster our current “donate half of everything in September” fundraising effort for St. Jude, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. If you’ve been trying to get a lifetime address, or like the idea of a single-character address, then this is your chance to make your dreams come true while also helping St. Jude end cancer in children. ❤️

Now for the rambly stuff!

When I first launched omg.lol, I offered a lifetime address option as a way to pick up a little capital to get this tiny business puttering forward in a stable and healthy way. I sold several lifetime plans, and then later removed the option because—let’s face it—it’s just not a sustainable way to run a business.

Since then, I’ve been asked about lifetime plans at least once per week, and I always feel really bad about having to say no. I like letting people have lifetime addresses! And I really like the idea of anyone wanting to be affiliated with omg.lol for the long-term. 🥰

I’ve offered a couple of opportunities for lifetime addresses over the past couple of years, both of which involved auctions benefiting The Trevor Project. I tried to run the first auction on Twitter, which was a disaster (as you can imagine). The econd time I used eBay, and that second one went a lot better, but I heard from a few people who don’t want to use eBay (and I can totally appreciate that).

So, fast forward to the present. It’s September. Relay FM is doing their annual fundraiser for St. Jude, and friend-of-omg.lol Robb Knight (who just got married, by the way!) is helping with the Relay effort through his own campaign. When I saw what he was doing, I wanted to do it too—and now we’re doing a whole thing that includes stickers and other cool things you could win. And every evening, just after the clock turns past midnight, I count up omg.lol’s earnings for the day and I give half of it to St. Jude via Robb’s campaign. That’s been the highlight of my day over these past couple of weeks. 💛

But I’ve still been wanting to do more. Our last lifetime address auction was for a single-character address, and there was a ton of interest in it. By total coincidence, four people opted not to renew their own single-character omg.lol addresses, which put them back on the market! So I decided to round those up and auction them as lifetime addresses, with a fifth “choose-your-own” lifetime address added for good measure.

OK, cool, I’ve got some stuff I can auction, I thought. But where and how? I didn’t have a good answer, so I did the thing that I should know better than to do but always wind up doing anyway: I built my own thing.

Enter bids.lol, what might be the internet’s first and only email-powered silent auction platform. I built it over this past weekend, and polished it off this evening. I’m kind of in love with it? It solves the issue of not forcing a big corporate auction platform like eBay on anyone. It’s super easy to use (as easy as sending an email that says “I bid $5” or whatever). And because it runs on email, there’s no need for the usual account registration process. That was a big deal for me, because I didn’t want to limit these auctions to existing omg.lol members, but I also really didn’t want to have to write a new/separate account and login process. Ugh.

So, yeah, here we are. This wonderful new auction site is up and running, and just waiting for your bids. When you place a bid, you’ll get an email confirmation. You can also see your bid in the bid history on the site, which will show your emoji. Yep, that’s right, you get an emoji! To solve for the issue of making the bid history public while preserving privacy, and still making it possible to distinguish individual bidders from one another, I’m hashing email addresses into emoji. It’s a lot of fun! (And pretty much on-brand for omg.lol, I think.)

Oh, and I also just launched a new Matrix server (which lives at https://matrix.omg.lol, with accounts that map to your omg.lol address). That deserves its own post, but a mention here is better than nothing. In any case, if you’re into Matrix, Discord, or IRC, you’re welcome to come hang out in our omg.lol community chat rooms and talk about anything (like building a bespoke auction site!).

OKay, that’s all for now. This was a long one! See you soon.

— Adam