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August 21, 2013

Why We Don’t Need More Domain Extensions

Domain Extension ImageOver the past year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit organization that is responsible for, among other things, assigning domain names on the Internet, has given initial approval for over 1,500 new “top level domains” (abbreviated as TLDs and sometimes referred to as “domain extensions”).

This means, fairly soon, you could start seeing sites like http://www.site.love, http://www.site.beauty and http://www.site.toys, among many others.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be snapping up your own .baby or .love domain any time soon, many of the extensions may wind up being controlled by private organizations, such as L’oreal’s bid to control .beauty, where there are obvious business interests in the TLD itself, not in selling new domains. As such, many of those applications are for closed registrations, meaning that the operators of the extension will be selective in who they allow to register.

This has already sparked a predictable and understandable fear of corporate control over the Internet. But while the discussion about the balance between corporate control and Internet freedom is important, it’s also important to ask why ICANN is so eager to expand the number of extensions so quickly and what the impact of that expansion could be on the Internet.

Sadly, if previous expansions have taught us anything, it’s probably the latter. read more

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May 4, 2009

If I Could Start My Blog Over Again…

In August of 2005 I sat down to write my first few posts for a new blog, Plagiarism Today. It was my first attempt at a blog and at the time, it was viewed more as a side project than anything big.

Yet, with time it grew, not just in terms of readership, but also in terms of the amount of time I spent on it. First becoming my primary site and then a full-time business. Currently, I spent about 60 hours a week on PT-related issues and am very stunned by what the site has become.

However, with this experience came a lot of lessons, many of them hard. Some things I did well from day one, many things I did not. Though I’ve been able to go back and fix many of my mistakes there are some I haven’t and probably never will.

Still, if I could do it all over again, there are many things I would change. Here’s a list of five of the more important decisions that, if given a second chance, I would not repeat. read more

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September 22, 2008

Trademark and Blogs

When Patricia Houser reserved the domain name Palintology in early 2007, Sara Palin, the blog’s subject, was the Governor of Alaska and had not risen to national prominence. Houser, who had worked with Palin on her gubernatorial campaign, had obtained permission from the Governor to both create the blog and use her name in the domain.

However, both Palin and the Palintology blog were thrust into the national spotlight in late August when John McCain selected Palin to be his candidate for Vice President. Though both the site and the candidate were suddenly a global focal point, not all of the attention was desireable.

The worst example came when Newsweek used the Palintology name on the front cover of their magazine. This prompted Houser to not only begin the process of registering her trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), but also to contact Newsweek about potential trademark infringement.

But even as Houser and Newsweek seem to be working toward an amicable agreement, the story raises the issue about what bloggers can do when it comes to the names and logos of their blog. After all, if Palintology went from being a locally-focused political blog to having its name on the cover of Newsweek, so could almost any site. read more

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