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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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October 7, 2011

5 Ways Your Site is Probably Breaking the Law Right Now

Handcuffs ImageMost sites don’t try to break the law. Only a few actively make an effort to violate any kind of law and most of those are generally shut down fairly quickly, either by aggressive hosts or, in worst-case scenarios, law enforcement.

But this doesn’t mean everyone is perfect either. Most sites, at the very least, bend the law and sometimes outright break it.

This isn’t because they are run by bad people but because of the nature of the law itself. Sometimes it’s poorly-written law that is almost impossible to not break (at least technically) and sometimes it’s lack of knowledge about the law itself.

So what are some of the ways you’re probably breaking the law online? There are too many to choose from but here are five you should definitely take a look at. read more

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June 12, 2009

Land Grabs and Count Downs

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Facebook Countdown

Facebook Countdown

Ever feel like you are being manipulated into herd behavior?

Facebook is getting a lot of publicity right now about their vanity name deal. I am sure you have seen this already, if not check out this great post by the Facebook Queen, Mari Smith.

And then there is the domain name grab of top level domain extension liberalization which essentially means soon you might be seeing .coke, .apple, .microsoft and .garrett … well, maybe not the last one.

How do you spot a real gold rush? Which should we get up at early hours for and which should we let slide? read more

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May 3, 2009

Great Blog Domain Names…Wasted

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Folks who own a Web site know how difficult it is to find that perfect name. While a great .com moniker does not guarantee success – it certainly doesn’t hurt.

So isn’t it a shame when you search for your dream domain only to find that it’s already owned. Worse yet, you visit the site only to find out that the owner is not utilizing the name well…or at all! 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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August 18, 2008

10 Rules for Finding Good Domain Hosting

I purchased my first domain in the year 1998, almost ten years to the day. I set up my site with a small but now-defunct hosting service called 9NetAve. Though I had been creating Web sites for three years up to that point, it was a major step forward and new territory for me.

Since then, I have worked with over 2 dozen hosts (not counting copyright issues) and have set up a variety of sites and blogs for me, my friends and my clients. Most of my experiences have been good though I have, on a few occasions, been severely burned.

But for anyone looking to host their own blog, perhaps to move up from a free hosting solution, finding a good host can be a daunting decision. Many simply go with the first name that comes to mind and hope for the best while others make their decision purely on price and take a serious gamble with their site.

For those seeking hosting for the first time or looking to move to a new service, I am offering my ten rules of finding a good host. read more

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