The Hot Iron

A journal on business, technology and occasional diversions by Mike Maddaloni

Domain Names

Thursday, August 07, 2014

What I Learned This Week For August 1 2014

photo of Neiman Marcus window in Chicago promoting pre-fall

Writing a catchy opening to the presentation of what really resonated with me over the last week isn’t always as rewarding as the things I learn, so this time I won’t dwell on it.

  • It’s one thing to accuse Hallmark or other greeting card makers of creating holidays to sell more cards, but I never thought retailers would go to the depths of segmenting seasons. Granted the cooler temperatures here in the Windy City may cause some to think about what to wear in a couple of months, but I am not one of them.
  • Feedback is a dish best served hot and fresh, right out of the over, and not several months later, as it sits on the counter, covered with something but allowed to rot and not satisfy anybody.
  • A while back ago I registered the domain name SayMyNameRight.com, with the idea of having a Web site where people could post videos of themselves saying their name. If I recall correctly, it was after having lunch with my good friend Tom Ordonez that the idea came to mind. If you click the link it’s clear I didn’t do anything with the domain name other than point it right back to this very blog. Yet for some reason over the past several weeks it has been getting a noticeable amount of traffic. Maybe now is the time to act?
  • I was reminded not everybody knows what a “hashtag” is.
  • Where the bidding wars over the potential mergers of “dollar” stores is going on, one thing piqued my attention, that the “activist investor” Carl Ichan was involved. Personally, I don’t get the guy. Granted, I am no student of finance or investment wiz, but is someone who buys a ton of stock in a company and tries to get them to merge really an activist, as in the same term that can be prefaced with the phrase “civil rights?”
  • Keeper Security, the Chicago-based app for secure password storage, just announced file storage. It is being pitched as a way to store images of a driver’s license or passport in case it is lost or stolen, or any other important personal files. As a current user I can get 5 free file uploads and then pay an annual fee from $10 a year and up, depending on the space used. I need to think about this, and where to best spend money on “cloud” services, or on my own server.
  • In my quest to try new restaurants I finally went to Protein Bar, a Chicago-based chain of healthy quick-serve food. And I have to say, upon my first visit I have become a fan. I was impressed with the store, the menu selections and most importantly the taste. The price is comparable to even Subway and other restaurants in the city. They also have locations in the Washington DC area and in Colorado.
  • For as many times as I have referred family, friends and complete strangers to get from point A to B with my friend Rashid, Chicago’s premier cabbie and expert on customer service, who goes by the trademarked name of ChicaGoCabbie™, for reasons that I don’t quite know for sure, I have never ridden in his cab. Granted, because of his work with cab-hailing service Hailo I am a loyal customer. Perhaps it is timing, I am not quite sure. But he has delivered both pizza and cupcakes to me in his chariot!
  • This past week Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was traded to the Oakland A’s. For several weeks leading up to it, my sports mobile app was buzzing non-stop with alerts on rumors and speculation around the trade. It got so bad I almost turned off the alerts altogether. Unfortunately that is the business of sports today. When I was a kid, I had no idea what any of the players on the Red Sox made, nor did I care.
  • One of my favorite blogs is Brand New which features logo, design and branding, especially changes to brands. They recently featured a YouTube video interview of the creator of the Hartford Whalers logo. For those not familiar, the New England Whalers hockey team moved from Boston to the capital city of Connecticut in the 1970’s, then moved to North Carolina in the late 1990’s and became the Carolina Hurricanes. They played not too far from where I grew up, so I was familiar with the team and got to go to many games. Though the team is long gone, the defunct team’s logo is almost a cultural icon and is being worn by trendy celebrities. The interview on Hartford’s Channel 3 is embedded below or follow the link above to watch it. Note the mention about who really owns the logo, which is something that I wouldn’t be surprised would end up in court someday.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 08/07/14 at 10:20 PM
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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why I Registered A .UNO Domain Name

photo of Pizzeria Uno signSo I got me a dotUNO domain name. And some of you, reading that sentence, are probably wondering what I am talking about. I mentioned in a previous post I was going to be writing about generic top-level domain names – and I will – but in the meantime I felt it more important to talk about this new addition to my digital identity.

The domain name is maddaloni.uno.

The .UNO domain name extension, commonly referred to as a generic top-level domain or gTLD, was just recently released as part of a mass expansion of extensions to join the likes of .COM, .N ET, .ORG and others. As the word “uno” means “one” in Spanish, Italian and other languages, it is targeted towards to businesses and entities – including individuals – to use for a unique domain name for their presence and branding on the Internet targeting those who speak those languages.

So why did I register maddaloni.uno? The reasons are many, and I’ll start with the base which are more qualifying for the gTLD.

  • I am a second-generation Italian-American and my ancestry is 100% Italian
  • My surname, Maddaloni, is Italian
  • I have had these qualities for all of my life, which has at least gone for 40 years.
  • My wife and children also have this same surname, carrying it along for another generation
  • I do know some Italian, and especially know when I am being insulted in Italian

Though I did not have to apply or provide these qualifications, I am proud to present them here. Where all of this is well and good, what am I going to do with the domain name you may ask? Where I am still developing the high-level and detailed personal branding plan, in general I will be using it for identifying me on the Web. As an interim step, I am pointing the domain name to this very blog.

Size Matters

There are many gTLDs on the marketplace today, and this list from Name.com shows many of the gTLDs. If you look at this list, you will see extensions of varying sizes. What I like about .UNO is that it is short – only 3 letters – and easy to spell. As .UNO will be competing primarily with the “Big 3” of .COM, .NET and .ORG primarily, it is unique enough and should not bring confusion like, for example, a .CO domain name (known as a country-code TLD or ccTLD as it is for Columbia) as many may add an “M” to a .CO.

This is not to say that nobody will register or use a longer domain name, but many have been out there for years, like .MUSEUM, .AERO and .JOBS. How many of these have you ever seen or typed? I have probably seen 3 or 4 uses of a .JOBS domain name – one that comes to mind is hyatt.jobs for the eponymous hotel chain. In general I am bearish on the widespread usage of some of the longer gTLDs, but only time will tell how successful they will be.

Congrats on the Launch of .UNO

With the launch of .UNO I am proud to say congratulations to Shaul Jolles, the CEO of Dot Latin, LLC, the company behind .UNO. He is also the co-founder and co-owner of OfficePort, the facility that I worked from for many years and continue to use as my workspace away from home. His hard work and leadership has paid off in his firm being awarded the opportunity to launch .UNO, and though I registered the domain name like everyone else, I am thrilled for his success. #FFL

Capise?

Does .UNO or what I talked about here make sense to you? Do you think maddaloni.uno will be unique and successful as part of my personal brand on the Internet? I welcome your thoughts and questions in the comments to this post.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 03/27/14 at 03:11 PM
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Friday, March 21, 2014

What I Learned This Week For March 14 2014

screenshot of the CentUp newsletter

Though today is March 21, 2014, I am finally publishing what I learned for the previous week. Just as I was about to pass on the list from last week and focus on this week to be current, I get the latest newsletter from CentUp, which featured several items from the last few What I Learned posts! Needless to say this piqued my interest in finally typing up last week’s list. And the ego stroke wasn’t bad either.

  • The Pringles brand of potato “crisps” is now owned by cereal giant Kellogg’s and has been since 2012. Is it only a matter of time when the Pringles breakfast cereal comes out?
  • I pre-ordered a domain name with one of the new global top-level domain names (gTLD). I won’t say what it is as I don’t want to jinx it in case others registered it. But if I get it, it will be put to major use.
  • I don’t know who Victoria Carpenter is, but I have no idea why or how she is liking my Facebook status as being “so cute” over and over and over again, especially as I quit Facebook over a year ago. Yes, I realize it is spam, and it’s clearly not working.
  • A new app was announced to pay for parking meters in Chicago. Where it will offer the convenience of adding more time to your parking from the app remotely (aka not running back to the car), I can only imagine the problems that will come from this. Currently in Chicago you buy a paper receipt to put on your dashboard for your time to park. Even with this “foolproof” system, many parking tickets are issued to people who have paid for parking – I know some personally. The only way to fight it is to go to court. I have no idea what the app or software that the meter checkers will use, but I can only see more headaches for parkers.
  • Most people do not know how to take a screenshot or screen capture from an iPhone, let alone a PC or a Mac.
  • Despite what Dr. Seuss wrote in his first children’s book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” Bliss Street does not intersect with Mulberry. I know, as I used to live near THE Mulberry Street in Springfield, MA.
  • The domain name digital.com is up for auction. It’s last major use was as the primary domain name for Digital Electronics Corporation, or DEC for short, the former mini-computer and PC manufacturer based in Maynard, MA. As someone whose first mini-computer was a DEC PDP/11 and grew up knowing many people who worked for DEC, it is sad to see it for sale. At an opening bid of US$100,000 I am not sad enough to buy it myself.
  • I have been asked to be part of a career-mentoring group for a trade organization in Chicago. The group is one of several “pillars” the group is building to work with young people starting in their careers. I am excited to get started with it and will surely report more on it soon.
  • The week before I mentioned my good friend Andrew Cornelius who is a talented actor, comedian and improviser. He has created a new demo reel of his work, and present it for your viewing pleasure. I would have included it in the last installment, but it was trumped by the Name.com video featuring me. There’s that ego again.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 03/21/14 at 07:50 AM
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Friday, March 07, 2014

What I Learned This Week For March 7 2014

photo of Mardi Gras mask

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.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 03/07/14 at 01:00 AM
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Saturday, March 05, 2011

Empty Storefront And Blank Web Page Only Signs Of New Chicago CityTarget

Last month there was joy in downtown Chicago as Target finally announced it would open a small-format store in the Sullivan Center, the former location of Carson Pirie Scott, called CityTarget. I say finally as the rumors of this move by the Minneapolis-based discount retailer have been around for over a year. As someone who both lives and works in the Loop, this is very welcome news.

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.

photo of Sullivan Center, Chicago

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.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 03/05/11 at 04:00 AM
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Reasons For Extending Domain Name Registrations

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.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 04/27/10 at 04:00 AM
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Branding A Blog With Its Own Domain Name

Blog name badgeShould 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!


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 03/18/10 at 04:00 AM
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Comcast Rebranding As XFINITY And Your Email

XFINITY logoFor years I have professed here at The Hot Iron about getting your own domain name for your personal email. As products and services are bought and sold and rebranded, the main domain names for the email service may change, and as a result your email address may be forced to change. As low-cost as it is to own a domain name and straightforward as it is to use as an email address, many still do not.

If what I have said already is not enough reason, here’s another reason why you should do this. Last week Comcast announced it is rebranding its TV, phone and Internet services as XFINITY. Seriously. They say the company name will remain Comcast, but these services will have the new moniker.

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!


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 02/11/10 at 08:25 AM
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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

SaucyPans.com Domain Name For Sale By Bido.com Auction On January 20

photo of sauce pan for saucypans.comHere’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!


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 01/05/10 at 04:00 AM
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Monday, December 14, 2009

BostonPoint.com Domain Name For Sale By Bido.com Auction On December 16

photo of Boston’s Back Bay for BostonPoint.comHere’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!


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 12/14/09 at 11:15 AM
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The Hot Iron strives to present unique content and perspective on business, technology and other topics by Mike Maddaloni, a Web and business strategist based in Chicago.

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