March 17, 2016 Melanie Baker

Meet Merlene, the newest iwantmynamer

Merlene

Merlene is a self-described hoarder. Fortunately, she hoards domains, and not cats or anything weird. (She insists that two cats do not qualify as a hoard).

Having been self-employed for a long time, Merlene is familiar with all sides of the online business game, from registering domains to teaching customers how to post content and use their email accounts. She has extensive experience working with everyone from IT staff to small business people to complete newbs, so she can help figure out what you need and get it built.

She can also help with your social media and marketing efforts, mix you a killer cocktail, and knit you cool stuff. (She’s a hobbyist yarn entrepreneur at knitcreek.com.)

Amazingly, even though Merlene didn’t mention in her interviews the fact that long ago, in the mists of Internet time, she contributed to one of the Internets for Dummies books, we were totally jazzed to hire her.

In her first weeks on board, we threw her in the deep end with support, and she’s done swimmingly. She even tackles tricky ccTLD edge cases with gusto. Unfortunately, while she’s with us in New Zealand, her home is without tech support, and the residents may end up forced to converse with each other, or just post cat gifs… assuming internet access holds…

PS. It is, indeed, Merlene with three Es.


March 16, 2016 Chris Hall

Writing on the web, as an individual, is changing (probably for the better)

Writing on the web, as an individual, is changing (probably for the better)

There was a time, not so long ago, when building a grand personal website sounded like a great idea. People – regular people – were committing a few hours a day to it, and actually making money. But somewhere around the middle of the 2000’s, social media got big, people started expressing themselves with shortform content, and consistently writing medium-to-longform posts became a major chore.

Now, when I go and poll my friends and coworkers, the ones who still have traditional blogs are almost all living with a touch of guilt. Their online castles are outdated, their latest posts are collecting cobwebs, and the majority of their real writing is either going to their work or their social media accounts. (BTW, if this describes you, Timo recently wrote a great post about some alternative things you can do with your domain(s).)

But blogging isn’t dead. Far from it. It’s just different. Sure, there are those who still have dedicated personal blogs, but the newest trend is to push infrequent content to platforms that already have a huge reach, like Medium. Here’s a recent quote from Medium founder, Ev Williams,

“I think publishers who are experimenting with Medium are seeing a world where it’s not about having a website,” said Williams. “There are not going to be tens of millions of websites that lots of people go to every day.”

What Medium offers is a way for people to write what they want with a solid CMS, on a platform that takes style decisions away from the author. That probably sounds terrible to some, but for many people, it’s a way to express themselves without having to worry about the stuff they’re not good at. Just write something up, hit publish, and let people read. Once they’re done, they won’t judge you for not updating often enough or having an outdated site, they’ll just hit next and read one of the other million posts Medium has to offer.

Here’s how I see it. The dream of the internet is to be able to share yourself – your ideas, your art, your dreams – with like-minded peope everywhere. It connects us. But what we’ve learned is that not everyone needs a castle for their personal thoughts. A castle requires a ton of upkeep. Instead, a lot of us might just need a small house to store stuff in. If you’re writing tweets, Facebook posts, Medium entries, taking pictures with Instagram, and trying out a handful of other platforms, you probably don’t need a personal blog on a personal website to feel guilty about not keeping up with. All you need is a little one-pager that links to all the things you do so you can keep track of it all.

Writing a new resume and need to find that link to that great post you wrote last year? With a good one-pager, it’ll be easy to find. Can’t remember what photo app that good picture of your dog is on? With a good one-pager, it’ll be easy to find. Want to direct a new friend, client, or employer to a place where they can see all the work you do without needing to sift through ten different web platforms? One-pager. Seriously.

To sum this up (I like a good, clear takeaway), stop feeling guilty, as I always do, about spending your time writing on platforms that aren’t owned and designed by you. Getting your thoughts out there is more important than worrying about the authenticity of writing on a personal blog. If you want a blog, great! But if you just feel like writing every once in a while, publish it anywhere! Just, for the sake of not writing something you’ll forget about in a year, get a little website that links to your stuff wherever it’s posted.


March 15, 2016 Melanie Baker

How to help us solve your domain and account questions faster

How to help us solve your domain and account questions faster

When you contact us about a question or problem you’re having, obviously you want it sorted out quickly. We want that, too. So here’s an outline of what we need to know to help you as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Most of it will be pretty straightforward, but on the off chance you have an issue that can’t be fixed immediately, you’ll now have a better understanding of why that is.

Read more →


March 9, 2016 Timo Reitnauer

Struggling to update your site? Maybe it's time to do something different with your domain name

Struggling to update your site? Maybe it's time to do something different with your domain name

Let’s face it – most people who have their own website struggle to keep it up-to-date and post new content regularly.

You probably started out with the best of intentions, even posted for months or years religiously, but now it seems like a chore to get anything up. Perhaps your site doesn’t reflect you any longer, or you’ve simply said everything you had to say about a topic. Or maybe you’ve moved on to a more social writing platform like Medium.

The question now is, what should you do with your domain name? Having a dormant site isn’t doing you much good, but getting rid of a domain that has real brand equity is a total waste.

Fortunately, unlike a username on a social platform, you can do lots of things with a domain name – it can go anywhere and become just about anything. Let’s explore some options.

Read more →


February 25, 2016 Melanie Baker

Why domain prices can vary among registrars

Why domain prices can vary among registrars

There are several reasons why some registrars may be able to offer lower prices for domain registrations. Some ccTLDs and new gTLDs can be quite expensive because the registries can set their own pricing. So we understand that your budget can be a concern.

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February 1, 2016 Ley Missailidis

We've got your back with DNSSEC

At iwantmyname, we consider making it easy for you to control and own your online identity as one of our core principles. Hell, it’s in the branding. But what happens after that? Are we sure every time someone tries to connect to your identity, they’re actually connecting with you?

We can do that now with DNSSEC and DS records.

The easiest way to set this up is if your Nameserver provider supports DNSSEC (like Cloudflare, pictured below). Just enable it there, then grab your DS record to use with your domain.

Cloudflare interface

On our site, copy the relevant bits, which is everything after 3600 IN DS, of the DS record to the DS record page in your domain admin (you can find that at https://iwantmyname.com/dashboard/domains/dnssec/<domain name in question>)

iwantmyname interface

Once you’re done, the internet will start double checking that the server people are connecting to is actually yours. Thus making sure that you and your name are synonymous.


If you’re interested, an in-depth explanation of what DNSSEC is (and why you might want it) can be found on the CloudFlare blog


January 12, 2016 Chris Hall

Now hiring: Customer support scholar

Now hiring: Customer support scholar

Hi everyone -- We’ve had an amazing and overwhelming response. Over 300 applicants! So we’re booking interviews at this point and are no longer accepting further applications. Thanks so much for all your interest.


Let’s break this down. We’re looking for a very patient person to help our global audience do great things with domains. You’ll help them register domains, you’ll help them with billing issues, you’ll help them use their domains, and you might even help them with an idea or two. Whatever they need, you’ll be there to help.

The “scholar” bit wasn’t just for fun though. To be great at this job, you have to want to learn. About domain names, our processes, our systems, and how people use them. The learning never stops, and the right person will love soaking it up.


Unlike many of our job openings, this job is for people in and around our timezone (we’re in Wellington, NZ). We could possibly make an exception for the right person elsewhere, but you must be available during New Zealand, Australian, or Asian business hours.


Here’s the list of the skills we’re looking for:

  • You absolutely have to have plus plus English language writing skills. You’ll be writing a lot, and English is our business communication language. (If you happen to speak/write another language, it would certainly be a bonus.)
  • You must like people (like, actually like them). No matter how frustrated the customer, you need to be able to clearly and completely solve problems without becoming (noticeably) impatient.
  • Curiosity. You don’t have to be the world’s foremost domains expert to work here, but a little curiosity will go a long way in solving problems.
  • That said, some knowledge of domains, DNS, and the internet would be advantageous. We’ll be teaching you a ton, but we’d rather not start with “this is what a Nameserver is.”
  • This is key - you need to be able to work without supervision. There will almost always be a someone to help you through problems (especially in the beginning), but for the most part, you need to be able to solve problems on your own.

If you think this is the job for you, send a witty email with a quick rundown of relevant work history to jobs@ideegeo.com. (Please don’t send any multi-page resumes… brevity is a skill we admire.)


December 14, 2015 Paul Spence

Giving back in 2016

At a time when we seem to be confronted by images of human suffering on a daily basis, as bystanders, we can easily feel overwhelmed. With war, hunger, and climate change impacting millions globally - how can we possibly help?

Read more →


December 8, 2015 Melanie Baker

Who owns your domain name?

If you…

  • only register domains for yourself
  • create and use accounts that only you should be able to access
  • register domains only as an individual and not tied to any company or organization
  • don’t have any business partners, someone building your website, etc.
  • never die

…congratulations! You probably won’t end up in a sticky situation regarding who owns your domains.

Most people never give a second thought to domain ownership after registration. It’s one of those things that might cross your mind or prompt you to log in once a year, but as we see on a fairly regular basis, things can become difficult, or downright contentious, pretty quickly.

Read more →


November 20, 2015 Chris Hall

A new way to use Bitcoin wherever Visa is accepted

Coinbase on its new Shift Card:

Today, we’re excited to introduce the first US-issued bitcoin debit card, the Shift Card. The Shift Card is a VISA debit card that currently allows Coinbase users in twenty-four states in the U.S. to spend bitcoin online and offline at over 38 million merchants worldwide.

Merchant adoption has come a long way over the past few years, but it’s still difficult for people to make regular purchases with bitcoin. Buying gas at a local gas station or groceries at a neighborhood grocery store with bitcoin has not been possible in most cities in the U.S. Thanks to Shift Payments, it’s now possible to use bitcoin to buy gas, groceries, and much more. With the Shift Card, you can now spend bitcoin anywhere in the world that VISA is accepted.

If you’re a Coinbase user who lives in AL, AZ, CA, DE, DC, GA, ID, IA, KS, ME, MS, NE, NV, NJ, NC, ND, OK, PA, PR, SD, TX, VT, WA, or WV, I guess we’re sort of accepting Bitcoin now. Mazel tov!

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