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Friday, June 10. 2011
I'll say. I cringe at the mere thought.
Like a lot of people, my friend always assumed that because his last name is somewhat unusual, he'd always be able to pick up his "name.com" domain whenever he wanted.
He also thought he'd never actually have a use for it, in the sense that he doesn't have any kids, so it's doubtful he'll be posting pics of his cute grandkids a few years down the road, plus he doesn't have any interest in blogging.
Then he went to some kind of 'crafts school' for a month and is now gearing up to sell online some of the nifty things he's turning out, like lamps and chandeliers. But he doesn't want to commit himself to any one genre in a business sense, like using "JimsCustomLighting.com" for the domain, so what he really wants to do is — you guessed it — use his real name.
And — you guessed it — the domain is gone, gobbled up by the domain harvesters. It just goes to some "This domain is for sale" page. And, in many cases, you don't actually get to buy it from them for a mere $4,999.99, you lease it from them on a yearly basis extending from now until the end of eternity.
And then there's this (names have been changed to protect the innocent):
Ya got me. You wouldn't think that Bing (Microsoft) would actually sell its list of searches with the word ".com" in them to some domain harvester, but, on the other hand, it's not illegal to harvest domains, so it probably wouldn't be surprising to find out the domain harvester in this case is owned by Microsoft.
As it is, my friend isn't sure what the hell he's going to do. Probably end up using "JimsCustomDoodads.com".
So if you ever think you might want your own domain name, now's the time. Nor do you have to actually do anything with it, like build a temporary web site to 'hold' it. And most web hosting companies will automatically re-bill you each year so you don't lose it.
I've been designing web pages since the web was one month old, have used a lot of web hosting companies over the years, and my pick of the litter these days is BlueHost. Unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage space, unlimited email boxes, a whole shitload of helper programs, and all for a lousy $6.95 a month.
The direct link is here. If you want to read a bit more about BlueHost and get some ideas on conjuring up an available domain name (like using hyphens), read this, then use the link on the page to get to BlueHost. If the domain's available, GET IT. You're not signing up for a 1-year contract or anything. If you later decide you don't want it, they'll pro-rate it back and refund you the difference with no 'disconnect fee'.
If you're interested in firing up a blog site (elections are coming up!) or web site, please...
WordPress is one of the coolest programs in the galaxy. It's the 'themes' that make it so spectacular. One click of the mouse and the entire look of your site can go from ultra-hip to executive businesslike. And there are zillions of them out there, most of them free for the downloading. I include a whole ton of them in the customized WordPress download on my site. You can look at a bunch of them here.
Anther clever thing about WordPress is that it isn't just blogging software. With a couple of adjustments and some tweaking (like getting rid of the blog-y stuff like 'Categories', 'Posted by', etc), it'll turn out a 100% Grade-A web site. I currently have about eight sites and they're all set up as web sites.
As far as the upcoming election goes, if you want to play a role, now's the time to start. A year from now, there'll be fifty million election blogs out there, but the only ones the A-List bloggers will pay attention to (and link to) will be the established ones. So now's the time to get your foot in the door.
Any specific questions, just give a holler.
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Having two of the most common names in the Western World - Thomas and Francis, it was impossible from the git go to get a domain with my name, initials, whatever.
However, I do have one unique identifier - my FCC license call sign. And there is no way in hell anybody can make a claim to it. :>)
Plus, it makes for an adorable nickname.
"Hey, Doc, have you seen Tom around?"
"Oh, you mean ol' oh-two-five-eight-niner? Yeah, he was in this thread just a minute ago."
His friends just call him "Niney".
It's funny how nicknames are evolving. My son(s) chose an XBox name that utilizes a mix of both their names, rather than having unique identifiers of their own. This way, they play with one account, and don't worry about naming conventions. As time went on, only my younger son played video games regularly.
As a result, he's now known around town as "Trackee". It's a portion of his XBox moniker that people have latched onto.
And wasn't it "Peanuts" that gave us the child named "Five" and his twin sisters "Three and Four"?
I just locked it in for you, Tom: ThomasFrancis.xxx
I'll sell it to you for a paltry $600. But if you don't act now, I'll start posting stuff and then the blackmail cost goes up!
Could a different domain ending work for your friend? .biz for instance?
Yeah, but '.com' has really become the extension-of-choice for businesses, and even for bloggers and such who aren't actually com-mercial enterprises. And he might want to use it for something non-businessy some day, so '.biz' or the others would look kind of weird. He'll probably end up with something like "JimsCustomFixtures.com", which I guess would be okay. Is a stained glass lampshade a 'fixture'?
Yes - a stained glass lamp or shade or window would be called a phixture.
To your larger point, do you do a search for a name or the product you are looking for.
I thought when they expanded the domain identifiers, they missed one important one - .per for personal.
Maybe next time.
Good article at wiki about "cybersquatting."
I had an unfortunate experience with this a few years ago. I was setting up a combination yellow pages ad and website with Verizon. Came up with a catchy .com name, and verified its availability.
Verizon didn't lock it in in time, and--you guessed it--somebody stole it. It was a unique name, with about zero chance of someone else thinking of it at the same time as me. So yes, Dr. Mercury, somehow there are people out there with access to these searches or whatever.
(The squatter tried to sell the name to me for $600. I gave him a piece of my mind, and came up with another name. After a couple years, when he hadn't sold it, he let it drop. Glad it cost him a few bucks at least.)
Frequently the company that sells the domain name will buy any domain that is searched for, but not bought immediately. So, if you find your domain open, buy it during the search session.
Thanks for the interesting info. I sort of figured that out, in my own roundabout way. Never will I look for a domain name again without being ready to lock it in immediately.
yup. The companies handling the registration for you (except the very largest ones maybe) are themselves the domain squatters (using different corporate identities of course, so it's not immediately obvious) and thus make a nice bit of extra income from anyone foolish enough to use their "services" to look for available domains to register in the future (and if you register now for future use, they still make money out of you because they charge a "parking fee" on top of the lease you have to pay (which is higher than the lease they have to pay to the actual registrar, far better to cut out the middle man if you know what you're doing).
Big A -
Interesting article, and interesting story. From the Wiki post:
"Court systems can also be used to sort out claims of cybersquatting, but jurisdiction is often a problem, as different courts have ruled that the proper location for a trial is that of the plaintiff, the defendant, or the location of the server through which the name is registered."
What a mess.
BlueHost might be good and cheap and all, but do they have Danica Patrick or anything remotely like her as a mascot?
Didn't think so.
Dr. M.: what happened to the video you posted last night?
I have a spam fighter comment on the Orvieto thread.
I decided late last night to add another video to the post, but since I had already set up today's post, I figured I'd post the two videos tomorrow.
That spam business is weird. I've never seen that message, just the "session hash" one. 'Tis a puzzle!
You do a whois on a domain name, and if some cybersquatter is sitting on it, I'll bet you 10 bucks the squatter is Go Daddy. I lost my old domain name to them because the bastards basically cheat. What they do may not be illegal, but it is unethical.
Thanks for the tip about Blue Host. I, too, have been warning people about this for over a decade now. Last month I performed a domain name search on a made-up word (not findable in Google). A week later went to register it. Gone.
Ouch! I blog on this every few months or so, but next time I'm going to have to include a few of the above ugly stories. It's really hard to believe the bigger search engines would be party to this, but possibly so. You do, however, give me an idea. Maybe I'll perform my own little experient. I just hope that when the real James Bellywhumper comes along and finds his domain taken, that he'll find it in his heart to forgive me. It's for science, James!