Rather than showing a scribbled sticky note with my learned knowledge for the week, I decided to show my decoration for Mardi Gras.
A color photo of a new air filter for my car is not going to compel me any further to have it replaced when all I wanted today is an oil change.
Watching the Stadium Series game played at Chicago’s Soldier Field, the home of football’s Bears, between hockey’s Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins was a lot of fun, even as I was watching it on TV. With the snow falling, it gave me a déjà vu moment to a few years ago when Boston University played Boston College at Fenway Park a week after the pro-hockey game there. In this case, I was there in stands at Fenway for this amazing experience.
If you find yourself in New York City and need a good laugh, check out my friend Andrew Cornelius’ Web site to see when he is next performing.
In the process of troubleshooting a technical problem with my podcast app on my mobile device, I unsubscribed to all 6 of the podcasts I had in my queue. Rather than resubscribe at once, I decided to subscribe as I had time to listen to something new. First I subscribed to No Agenda and after several weeks I finally subscribed to another, The Voicemail. Not sure when I’ll get back to 6 or what my number will be.
I almost snorted my coffee out of my nose the other morning when reading my favorite Web comic, Questionable Content when Angus called out Faye for saying ‘wicked.’ The comic takes place in Northampton, MA, not far from where I grew up and a tell-tale sign of a “Masshole” is if they say wicked a lot.
Life won’t be the same in my house after the DVD for the movie Frozen comes out on March 18.
Not a meeting goes by where someone is saying they are looking at something from their ‘perspective’ or that of their team or function. But who is looking at the big picture?
Not a day goes by when I am not telling someone about the blog Leadership Freak by Dan Rockwell. Each day he posts extremely usable prose on leadership, all under 300 words. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t subscribe to it by email or RSS. Special thanks to Dr. Dietmar Schloesser for being the source of knowledge on this great blog.
Tickets are now for sale for the Spring Benefit for Chicago’s South Loop Elementary School on Friday, May 16 at 6pm at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile. This year marks the silver anniversary of the school, and the red carpet will be rolled out for all who wish to have a great time while supporting this great community school.
In preparation for their activities at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas which starts today, my friends a Name.com wanted to show how they will promote small businesses at the conference, so they used me as an example. Jared, their social media director, is an amazing actor and video producer as well as keenly in tune with the needs of their community and made this awesome video which is embedded below or you can watch on the Name.com channel on YouTube. And when I say friends, I mean it – it is because of a personal connection that I learned about Name.com over 6 years ago and their team applies the personal touch, plus strong business and technical acumen, to all they do. And I am not just saying this because Jared pronounced Maddaloni correctly.
This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.
Yet over 2 weeks after the announcement, there is no outward sign the store is opening. As you can see in the accompanying photo, there is no sign or bullseye logo at the corner of State and Madison Streets – only an exhibit by the School of the Art Institute is in the window.
When I heard of the name CityTarget, the first thing that popped into my mind was if Target had the domain name citytarget.com. It does, and wisely registered the name back in 2004. But if you go to www.citytarget.com, there is only a blank Web page. What does the normally boastful retailer have to hide?
Though no official date has been set for CityTarget’s opening, I do hope it’s soon, and I do hope they make some effort to promote it – the long empty windows of this historic building could use a little color.
As a Web consultant with Dunkirk Systems, LLC, I manage domain names for my active clients. Whether it's a new domain name or one that has been registered for years, I recommend to my clients they extend the registration of their domains for several years out.
Why? There are 2 primary reasons.
The first is a domain name whose 'age' is beyond 1 year has a higher ranking than a newly registered domain name for 1 year. This comes from both computers and humans. Some search engines, namely Bing, use the age of a domain in its search results algorithm. As well, people can give more credence to an 'older' domain name if they are questioning a Web site tied to a domain name or valuing the price of a Web site and its domain name.
The second reason is administrative. If a domain name is registered for multiple years you do not have to worry about renewing it every year. Of course you should have your domain name registered with a reliable and ICANN-approved registrar or through a domain name reseller like Dunkirk who does so and monitors your domain names as well.
You can register a domain name for up to 10 years in advance, why not do so? If you have any questions on domain names, feel free to comment here or contact me at Dunkirk directly.
Should a blog have its own domain name? The answer to this is obviously "it depends" as no solution fits for everybody. Let's take the idea of branding a blog step-by-step.
Start With The Brand
It is good practice to brand your blog. By giving it a name other than "company's blog" a brand name helps the blog stand on its own, which many times is the case. Many people come to read a blog based on its own content and not necessarily linked from your company's Web site. RSS feeds and social bookmarking sites may guide many readers to your blog, and people may be more likely to read it if they think there's a level of independence to the blog, and that it isn't just a mouthpiece for the company. If you are adding a blog to your existing Web mix, this is a way to add some energy and buzz from the blog, and to your Web presence overall.
The brand name for a blog can be something completely new to your company, or it could be something you already have. Many blogs are given clever names (like The Hot Iron!) or they can use the company's tag line for the blog name.
This also depends on how you may be marketing or positioning the blog. Many times a blog is the official company blog. In some cases, it is a company blog, but designated it is the opinion of an employee of the company. If you market your key people as individuals, you may want the blogs to have their name as the domain name, or some other phrase or moniker they may use. This will build upon their individual branding.
Then Add A Domain Name
If you go through the effort to brand the blog, ideally you want to acquire a domain name for that brand name, as you should for, at a minimum, to protect the brand. A unique domain name, separate from your company's main domain name, builds upon the momentum of brand name you have given the blog. This is not to say that if you call your blog companyname.com/blog it will not be popular or successful. A domain name also allows for additional blogs down the road.
Many times when a blog is added to a Web site, it may not be hosted along with the site and reside on different servers. If your company has the ability to manage the DNS of its domain name (if you don't know what this means, you probably don't have that ability!) you can add a unique domain name to the blog wherever it is hosted. If your blog is hosted at a blog service like WordPress, you can add a domain name or subdomain (e.g. blogname.companyname.com) and it is recommended to do so - otherwise the blog will have an address of blogname.wordpress.com; if down the road you want to host the blog itself or move it to another service, then its Web address will have to change. When a blog is added to a Web site, it may be running different technology than the Web site. Thus a simple way to manage this is to have a unique domain name for the blog. This actually reduces DNS management for the company's main domain name.
In some cases, you may not be able to add a domain name to a blog, and the reasons can vary. Some companies may have it as policy that you cannot use another domain name other than the main one for the company's Web site. Seriously, this can happen, and was the case with a former employer. Even though we owned domain names for all of our branded products and services, they were not used - yes, the domain names did not resolve to anything! They did not want the brand to be splintered at all, even though in reality the company itself was heavily siloed into separate business units. Other companies may have other policies about managing DNS you will need to be aware of before making such a decision.
Another nuance to consider is the continuously blurring line between Web site and blog. In some cases, the Web site is a blog. A good example is the blog Dunkirk Systems, LLC and Visible Logic, Inc. recently build for the soon-to-be-bestselling book OUIJA - For The Record. This site has a few content pages, but it is primarily a blog and forum. It has one domain name and this is all it needs. There are a few content pages, but the overall goal and design were about conversation about the book, so as it is structured it works well to achieve this goal.
The Brand Beyond The Domain Name
If you do choose a domain name for your blog, ensure to carry it through in your other uses of social media. You can use the domain name in association with Google Feedburner to aggregate and promote your blog feed. Register accounts with associated social media sites - Twitter, etc. - and social bookmarking sites - StumbleUpon, etc. - to carry through and reinforce the blog's brand.
Whether you use a unique domain name or not, the design of the blog may or may not be consistent with the company's Web site. As the flow of a blog can differ from a traditional Web site, the current Web site's design and layout may have to be modified to be used for the blog. If you want the blog to be highly integrated into the Web site, then you may want a consistent design. If you do not, or are not sure, then you may want a unique look for the blog, although the company's brand would be present in the new design. There is a lot more to consider with design, though this post is about the brand name more than the look.
Whichever direction you choose, it in itself will not determine the success of your blog. Unique, interesting and relevant content published for readers published on a regular schedule is still the sweet spot of any blog!
There’s plenty of conversation out there about the new XFINITY name and Comcast’s reputation, and I am not seeking to contribute to that at this point. However, it is not known if Comcast plans on retiring the comcast.net domain name for its customer’s email addresses. As previously stated, they have done this before, eliminating the attbi.com when they acquired AT&T Broadband. From a technical standpoint, they can support any number of domain names for email – Yahoo! still supports rocketmail.com for its Yahoo! Mail service – however from past history they have decided not to. If they continue their past practices, many people will be forced to change their email addresses.
Changing an email address is a pain. So why not make one final change, to an email address with your own domain name? Another advantage of using your own domain name is you can change email service providers, but not change your email address. There’s no time like the present to look up the availability of a domain name and make it happen!
Here’s your opportunity to get a great domain name - SaucyPans.com. I have decided to sell this domain name, and am using Bido.com, the social domain name auction service.
SaucyPans.com is a fun name for a food-related, cooking and/or culinary Web site targeted to those who seek excitement in cooking. It is a play on the descriptive term "sauce pans" and the term "saucy" brings a touch of fun into it.
There is no reserve for the auction of SaucyPans.com, and the opening bid starts at US$28. The auction will be on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm ET, 1:00 pm CT. You must register with Bido to participate in the auction. Even if you’re just interested in watching it, the Bido site has some unique features.
See you at Bido on January 20, and bid early and often on SaucyPans.com!
Here’s your opportunity to get a great domain name - BostonPoint.com. I have decided to sell this domain name, and am using Bido.com, the social domain name auction service.
BostonPoint.com is a great geographic domain name, or commonly referred to as a “geo-domain.” In reference to Boston it can have many uses, and accompanied by the word “point” it can be used for mapping, tourist destinations or any business to highlight.
There is no reserve for the auction of BostonPoint.com, and the opening bud starts at US$28. The auction will be on Wednesday, December 16 at 2:00 pm ET, 1:00 pm CT. You must register with Bido to participate in the auction. Even if you’re just interested in watching it, the Bido site has some unique features.
See you at Bido on December 16, and bid early and often on BostonPoint.com!
Transferring domain names between people, businesses or entities is a common practice today and something I do quite a bit at my Internet consulting firm Dunkirk Systems, LLC. Where it may be common for myself, for those involved it takes a little understanding, especially as it is something may not do too often. The following is the overall process for transferring a domain name. There may be nuances with each domain name registrar, to which they can help you.
Before We Begin
Domain names are registered through a registrar. In order to do anything with the domain name, you should have a login and password to an account with them. In some cases you may be going through a reseller who will handle much of this for you. If not, the process describes the overall transaction.
You should know who you are transferring the domain name to, their email address and their registrar, which I’ll refer to as the receiving registrar, or receiver. Other information may also be pertinent depending on the receiver. You will ideally get an email or two from the receiver and it should have identifying information to verify to whom you are transferring the domain name. The registrar the domain name is leaving is sometimes referred to as the losing registrar, but we’ll never call them losers! With regards to email messages being sent to the person who is transferring a domain name to someone else, the messages will be sent to the email address which is listed in the contact information of the domain name. Therefore, you should verify the contact information on the domain name is accurate before the process begins. It is also a good practice to ensure all of the contact information for all of your domains is correct as well!
In some cases you may be transferring a domain name to an escrow service, which usually happens when you sell a domain name. Escrow services serve as a middleman between a buyer and a seller. The buyer will pay the escrow service and the seller will transfer the domain name to the escrow service. Once both have been done, the escrow service will transfer the domain name to the buyer and pay the seller, minus some fee. If you are selling a domain name and don’t know to whom you are selling it, it is best to use an escrow service.
There are 2 ways to transfer a domain name to someone else – to another registrar or within the same registrar.
Transferring To Another Registrar
Transferring a domain name to another registrar is initiated by a request from the receiving person. They will do this within their registrar account. The process of transferring a domain name will involve renewing the domain name for an additional year, which will be added to the domain name once it has been received into your account at the receiver. There will most always be a cost for transferring a domain name.
An authorization code is needed from the losing registrar to give to the person initiating the request. Every registrar has their own way of providing you with the auth code. Some, like name.com, make it very easy and it is visible on a domain name’s detail page. Others like GoDaddy.com require you to request it and it is sent by email. Registrar.com requires you to call them to request it by email, which is totally obnoxious in my opinion, but so are their prices! Once received, pass it along to the requestor and they will enter the code on their end during the initiation.
As well as the auth code, the domain name must be “unlocked.” A registrar lock is a preventative measure so a domain name isn’t inadvertently or fraudulently transferred to someone else. You will have to click a link at the losing registrar’s page for the domain name to unlock it. If a domain name is locked and a transfer is initiated, some receiver’s automatically reject it before an order is placed, and if it is placed the losing registrar will definitely reject it.
Once a request is made, there are several steps. Verification of the request is done by the requestor, followed by an email address sent to the contact’s email address. In cases where there are multiple contacts, the email may be sent to all contacts or just the registrant’s email address. This email will require a confirmation in order for the transfer to be performed. In the email is commonly a link to a Web page to approve the transfer. This Web page may either be a page with a yes or no button, or it may require a login to the receiver’s account. If the latter, you should forward the email address to the receiver, thus it’s handy to have their contact information.
If approved, a follow-up email may be sent to confirm the transfer is in process. If it is not approved, a message to that effect may be sent. If the transfer email is ignored, no other emails may be sent or follow-ups may be sent, depending on the registrar. I would not ignore a transfer request, rather I would reject it if it is not desired.
Now the wait begins. It can take up to a week for a domain name to transfer. Once completed, ideally you should get an email from both the receiving and losing registrar’s that the transfer has been completed, but this also varies by registrar.
Transferring Within A Registrar
If the receiver’s registrar is the same as where you have the domain name registered, the process may be more streamlined as it is a transfer within accounts of the registrar. This is commonly referred to as a “push.” Registrars will have their own process of doing so, but it is commonly initiated by the current owner of the domain name, where they are requesting the domain name be “pushed” to another account. The domain name may or may not have to be locked. This process can usually be achieved within a short period of time, hours as compared to days. As well, pushing a domain name may not incur a fee or any renewal.
It Happens Every Day
Domain name transfers occur daily in large numbers. It is important to know the process in case any issues arise. Whether selling or buying or moving domain names of your own from one registrar to another, transfers are a large part of Internet business, and now you are in the know.
I welcome your comments on the process as I outlined it. I was detailed in my explanations, and maybe you have some thoughts on it, or any clarifications that may be helpful for others.
Redmug.com can have many uses. As pictures, it can refer to mugs that are red, or for a more general application to coffee or travel mugs. The word “red” in itself is very common on Internet-based businesses. Plus mug has other meanings, including your face.
There is no reserve for the auction of redmug.com , and the opening bud starts at US$28. The auction will be on Wednesday, September 16 at 2:00 pm ET, 1:00 pm CT. You must register with Bido to participate in the auction. Even if you’re just interested in watching it, the Bido site has some unique features, like the 2-step, secure login process, which rivals ING Direct, in my humble opinion.
See you at Bido on September 16, and bid early and often on redmug.com!
You’re probably wondering why I am suggesting this, to not be like the impeached and shamed former governor of Illinois. But I am not talking about the corrupt way he ran the Land of Lincoln, rather I am warning about the missed opportunity when the domain name for his new Web site was registered.
It was announced over this past weekend that Blago had a new Web site at GovernorRod.com. Note I provide the link but I also advise caution in clicking over to it, especially for those whose morals are on the high end, but I digress. When I heard the Web site URL, the first thing that popped into my mind, as a domain name consultant and someone who thinks about domain names more than I should, is if he – or his PR people – bought the common misspelling of the domain name, governorod.com, which only has one “r” in it. As I am writing this, you can guess they did not.
Many domain names are the combination of words or names. When you have one of those words ending with the same letter as the next word begins with, it is common for someone manually typing the domain name to type that letter only once. For example, if the world’s largest software company got into the business of making salt-water candy, they may register the domain name microsofttaffy.com. It is recommended they also register microsoftaffy.com, and it can be also taken further to account for the double “f” in taffy as well.
What often happens is if you don’t register the domain name, someone else may. It is one thing if your name contains trademarked words or names, but if it contains generic names or words and is not trademarkable, a competitor may jump on it and potentially take some of your business. As I have said many times, in the grand scheme of things, domain names are cheap – register them all and monitor traffic to them.
In the case of the narcissistic former governor, I checked to see if governorod.com was registered the morning after the announcement, and it was not. This meant I had the opportunity to register it myself, but as I am glad he is out of office, I was not interested in going there! I was not alone in my thinking though, as several hours later someone else registered the domain name, and it is now pointing to a parked domain Web page. There may be a case here for the indicted former politician and his handlers to win this domain name in a UDRP filing, but that will surely cost a heck of a lot more than registering the domain name new. As Blago is rumored to already be in debt for his legal issues to date, he may not be afford to file for the domain name as well as maintain his hair-do.
Registering misspellings of domain names is almost as important as registering the actual domain name, especially if it is prone to errors. And in case it isn’t blatantly obvious to you, I am proud to say I never, ever thought for a moment of voting for this guy to lead the state where I live.