GoDaddy hit by stop sign

It seems a hacker connected with Anonymous, but not as a collective action has turned the lights out on GoDaddy and all the sites that have their domain registered through them.
I still have some domains with GoDaddy and this has had some impact on me, but I see this differently to many other users who have been affected and are expressing their anger at the hacker. This situation should remind us all that the internet is built on some pretty flaky foundations. GoDaddy is the largest regitrar in the world 9at least in .com), but take out their name servers and the impact is widespread.
So quickly a lot of the worlds commerce and communication has become dependant on a system (the internet) that is really quite young, and is still rapidly growing and evolving. Still lots of bumps in the road to come. Today is GoDaddy and they may have been a target becuase of past support for SOPA, but they are not unique and it could easily be another large host tomorrow.


Vistaprint business card offer

I have often seen the offer of free or cheap business cards from Vistprint, but never given it serious thought. For my business cards I have used local suppliers where I know the quality of card I will get.
Recently my wife has been dipping her toes into running an events flower business with a few weddings already under her belt. For the time being it will be a side project, but hopefully a full time business in by the end of year or so. This means she has not decided on a business name or structure, and obviously has not got any logo or branding. But now she has been asked for a business card on a couple of occasions.
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Domain name madness

A client came to us for a web site, and they also needed a domain name. Even though the business is based out of Australia the preference was for a .com address. Their name was relatively generic so I knew it was unlikely to be available, and asked them to think about alternatives they would be happy with.

Now of the 10 domain possibilities all 10 are taken. But what was most frustrating about this is, that of the 10, only 4 had actual web sites, with 1 more redirecting to an alternative but similar name. Of the other 5, all had ‘affiliate’ type sites filled with advertising, and three being up for sale. None had a connection with the name of the current owner, and seemed to be purchased for speculative purposes.

My ‘free market’ friends would say this is an optimal solution coming from a very lightly regulated market. To me it is market failure. The likes of goDaddy have helped created such a situation with low cost domain names, that groups and companies can sit on large numbers of domain names in the hope of selling them to a legitimate user down the line.

I know this situation is not going to improve, (unless there is some kind of from left field dot-com bust number 2). But I do have 2 suggestions that will be disliked and ignored.

  • A flat rate charge (tax) per domain name with all proceeds to a charity/worthwhile cause.
  • The use it or lose it principle. Pick a random 13 year old of mySpace, and get him or her to judge if the site is real. If negative you lose the domain name.

Just my 2 frustrated cents.