April 22, 2015 Timo Reitnauer

Registering .au domains without the .com part may soon become reality

Registering .au domains without the .com part may soon become reality

As reported by DomainIncite:

Australian domain overseer auDA is thinking about allowing people to register .au domains directly at the second level for the first time.

The organization has opened up a consultation that would allow registrations such as example.au, rather than just the current system of example.com.au, example.org.au and so on.

The move follows the successful recent releases of 2LDs in the UK (.uk) and New Zealand (.nz) ccTLDs and can be seen as a bid to remain competitive in the face of the new gTLD program’s huge expansion of TLD choice.

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April 21, 2015 Timo Reitnauer

Reach an international audience with these 19 country code top-level domains

Reach an international audience with these 19 country code top-level domains

If you’re in the process of starting a new website and want to go with a shorter country domain extension rather than any of the new gTLDs (or .COM), there's one thing you should know:

Google treats some ccTLDs (such as .tv, .me, etc.) as gTLDs, as we’ve found that users and webmasters frequently see these more generic than country-targeted.

This means you can set a geographic target through Google Webmaster Tools, e.g. use a .co domain and be listed in search results in the United States, Canada or France although it is actually Colombia’s top-level domain. The same is true if you don’t want to target a specific country, i.e. have a .me domain for your personal online profile.

But which ones of these so-called gccTLDs (generic country code top-level domains) are the most popular and more likely to be recognized by visitors?

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April 20, 2015 Melanie Baker

Contacting the owner of a domain you want to buy

Passing domain

We published a fairly extensive series a while back to help you figure out what to do if there's a domain you want that's already been registered, or similar issues. Two of the most relevant posts for our purposes here are Part 5 and Part 6.

We didn't go into a lot of detail about exactly how to contact the current owner of a domain that you're interested in acquiring though. Or what to do if you do manage to get in touch and make an offer. We'll start with the easy way.

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April 16, 2015 Chris Hall

Using the iwantmyname Marketplace to find your next blog, personal site, portfolio, or e-commerce platform

Using the iwantmyname Marketplace to find your next blog, personal site, portfolio, or e-commerce platform

Is it useful? If so, how can we make it even more useful?

These are the questions we've been asking a lot of ourselves lately, and they represent what I think is the goal of this vast world we call the internet. Just think of the progression from the pre-internet world to now:

  • 1970's - You read an album review in a magazine, then drive to the store to buy a record to play at home.
  • 1990's - You read an album review in a magazine, then drive to the store to buy a CD to play in your car.
  • 2000's - You read an album review online (quite useful), then download the album to listen on any of your devices (still a chore).
  • The future - The album you want and all the content around it are integrated. There are no barriers. Listen, discover, and share, instantly. I can't think of anything more useful than that.

That's the goal of the internet. Reduce the noise, reduce the work—all so you can instantly get what you want, right when you want it.

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April 15, 2015 Chris Hall

The nearly foolproof three-step test for determining the quality of a website

Twitter Logos

  • Step 1: Go to a website
  • Step 2: Find the social icons
  • Step 3: If the Twitter icon isn't shaped like the birds above (angled slightly up), you've probably found a brand that either doesn't understand the internet or doesn't care about details (possibly worse?).

Note that there are levels of terribleness here.

Old Twitter Logo

Quality Score -100: Definitely the wrong logo, but I can see how someone could see this and not instantly think it's wrong. If you see something like this on a personal site, politely send an email to the site owner.

Older Twitter Logo

Quality Score -4000: You know that feeling when you walk into a restaurant with carpet clearly from the 1980's?

April 1, 2015 Chris Hall

Can non-devs be part of the open source community?

From thomk - Hacker News:

Ask HN: How do technical non-developers help with open source projects?

I used to code for a living but decided that I enjoy being a technical writer and PM much, much more. Things I enjoy:

  • Writing detailed functional specifications.
  • Creating wireframes & mockups.
  • Creating flowcharts, BPMN docs & graphs to explain a project.
  • Planning Poker, Creating sprints.
  • Discussing technical issues with developers.
  • Simplifying technical issues for customers.
  • Learning about new technologies.
  • Explaining new technology to customers.

My question is; Is there a need for someone like me in any open source projects and if so, how do I contribute?

As Lenz recently wrote, "At iwantmyname, we not only use open-source technologies at the heart of our business, but we also strive to support the cultivation of a community based on the ethics of open source." But as a non-developer, truly understanding what open source stands for is a hard thing to grasp. Writers, designers, and project managers can make educated guesses, but getting non-devs involved in the world of open source can only mean good things and more well-rounded ideas for the community.

In short, questions like the Hacker News thread above are definitely a step in the right direction.

March 31, 2015 Lenz Gschwendtner

Does open source contribute to a more open society?

Does open source contribute to a more open society?

Many companies say they love open source, but what does that actually mean? Does it mean they use a lot of software other people have written? Does it mean they like that they don't have to pay for things? Or do they understand that loving open source also means contributing back to the community the code came from?

Let's start again. We at iwantmyname love open source! And when I say we love open source, I mean that we're always trying to work and live up to its ethos—to continuously share the things we learn, and to approach challenges with facts instead of emotion. Open-source development is all about learning and developing in the open, with people we may never meet in real life—it doesn't matter to any of us what we look like, who we are, what our gender is, our race, religious beliefs, or sexual preference. It's all irrelevant. The only thing that matters is how we can work together to make projects awesome.

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March 27, 2015 Chris Hall

Last chance to get your short .NZ domain before anyone else

Time is running out, but you still have until 30 March 2015 to either register or reserve the shorter version of your .NZ domain name before anyone else. As you may know, all ‘second level’ domains like the .CO in ‘.CO.NZ’ and the .NET in ‘.NET.NZ’ are now optional, meaning you can register .NZ names with them, without them, or both (you can read more about it on anyname.nz).

Please note that registering or reserving your corresponding .NZ name is entirely optional and will not affect your existing domain. However, it is important to remember that anyone can register domains directly under .NZ after 30 March 2015. For example, if you own the domain myperfectwebsite.CO.NZ and you do not register or reserve myperfectwebsite.NZ, anybody can buy that domain after the pre period ends.

Aside from that little note, have a great weekend! And, as always, please let us know if you have any questions.

March 25, 2015 Chris Hall

.green is your new favorite color

As far as colors go, green is a loaded word. It stands for sustainability, political movements, and money. Kermit the Frog feels green. Sick people look a little green. Green is everywhere, and now your favorite color has an online home—.green.

But what should people do with it? Here are some suggestions.

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