February 5, 2015 Chris Hall

New in the Marketplace - Bigcommerce, for beautiful online stores

Bigcommerce

For many people, e-commerce was the first big draw of the internet. You could go online, pick out things like clothing or electronics, then have the items shipped directly to your house. It was the future.

But the first e-commerce sites really weren't very sophisticated. They were slow, complicated, and pretty walled off from the rest of the internet. Compare that to Bigcommerce and...well, there really isn't any comparison. With Bigcommerce, you get custom websites, secure carts, digital product catalogs, marketing tools, reporting, mobile-optimized shopping, etc., etc. And their online stores can literally be created by business owners who have no coding or design capabilities whatsoever. It's truly amazing.

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February 3, 2015 Melanie Baker

It takes two to make a thing go right - setting up a website with your domain

It takes two to make a thing go right - setting up a website with your domain

Actually getting your own website with your own domain name online can be a bit like exploring a foreign land. Navigating uncharted territory, trying to decipher unfamiliar language. Creating a web presence is not for the weak.

At iwantmyname, we've put a lot of work into trying to make that process as painless as possible. And now, with designer Kevin on board, we're hoping to make even greater strides in user experience friendliness.

One thing some people still sometimes struggle with, though, is just how to get a website up and running. If only it all happened by magic as soon as your domain was registered!

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February 2, 2015 Chris Hall

Meet the domain extensions of February, including .work, .delivery, and .yoga

work

Generic top-level domain (gTLD) launches have gotten off to a bit of a slow start in 2015, but the overall stats are looking more impressive by the day. According to ntldstats.com, there are now 4,121,213 new gTLDs registered (a nearly 400,000 jump from Jan 1), and so many options to choose from—there's literally never been a better time than today to get a unique domain with your brand name.

This month, we have eight new domain extensions, including .yoga, .work, and .energy. It's hard to predict individual TLD popularity because of the abundant options available, but some industry specific options (like .delivery for home delivery startups) have done pretty well in niche markets.

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January 30, 2015 Chris Hall

New in the Marketplace - Simplecast, podcast hosting made easy

Simplecast

Our App Marketplace is filled with dozens of great platforms you can add to your domain with just a few clicks (no DNS knowledge required), and in 2015, we’re looking to add a ton more. As we add new platforms to the list, you can get a little taste of what they offer here in the "New in the Marketplace" blog series.


Ladies and gentleman, podcasts are a thing now, and real people are listening to them. What was once a tiny community of hobbyists and public radio hosts is now an industry with hit shows being covered by national publications. But what makes podcasting magic is that there's virtually nothing stopping you from starting your own show and building an audience—all you need is a half-decent mic, a quiet room, and some simple editing software.

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January 29, 2015 Chris Hall

New in the Marketplace - Webflow, a drag-and-drop site builder for modern websites

Webflow gif

Our App Marketplace is filled with dozens of great platforms you can add to your domain with just a few clicks (no DNS knowledge required), and in 2015, we’re looking to add a ton more. As we add new platforms to the list, you can get a little taste of what they offer here in the "New in the Marketplace" blog series.


It seems like every website builder has some sort of drag-and-drop feature these days, but the functionality is never quite what you think it will be. There are often limitations, and the dragging and dropping is often limited to template locations and conventional ideas. With Webflow though, you really can tinker to your heart’s desire—it’s almost like a modern rethinking of Dreamweaver, but fully hosted and not tied to a Creative Cloud.

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January 28, 2015 Chris Hall

New in the Marketplace - Muut, a reimagined forum/commenting platform

Muut Action

Our App Marketplace is filled with dozens of great platforms you can add to your domain with just a few clicks (no DNS knowledge required), and in 2015, we’re looking to add a ton more. As we add new platforms to the list, you can get a little taste of what they offer here in the New in the Marketplace blog series.


Starting a blog is quite the endeavor. It’s a commitment to consistent writing, creative thinking, and unending doubt as to whether or not you’re hitting your goals. But one think blog creators often overlook is the means for audiences to have conversations around your work. Too often, the commenting/forum tools used look like they were created in the late 90s, and often function in ways that discourage natural thought processes—and that’s something Muut is trying to change.

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January 26, 2015 Chris Hall

Why does iwantmyname need a monthly newsletter?

Why does iwantmyname need a monthly newsletter?

Newsletters and blogs. Every corner of the internet seems to now be filled with newsletters and blogs in an ongoing competition for user attention. It's easy to take a cynical view and say that it’s all just unnecessary noise, but in a way, we’re all laying the groundwork for the future of how brands can communicate effectively in a marketplace where competition can literally be created overnight in a bedroom. The reality is that brand culture and the way it’s communicated is one of the last differentiating factors a company has (right after user experience and innovation, I’d say), so it’s hugely important.

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January 23, 2015 Timo Reitnauer

Startup and tech domain name trends in 2015 and beyond. What’s coming after .IO, .CO, and .ME?

Startup and tech domain name trends in 2015 and beyond. What’s coming after .IO, .CO, and .ME?

In the early days of the internet, .COM was the top choice for companies and their online presences. Then, in the second half of the 2000s, we saw country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) such as .IO, .ME and .CO become popular alternatives for tech startups and developers. Now, after the 2014 introduction of the new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), we’re looking at yet another shift. So which TLDs will take the reigns in the tech/startup world? Let’s take a look at some of the contenders.

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January 21, 2015 Chris Hall

Are your messaging apps/tools secure?

Are your messaging apps/tools secure?

Security is one of those things people tend to shy away from because it's inconvenient, but keeping things safe is often as easy as using the right service. If you do a lot of online chatting, be sure to check out this secure messaging scorecard from the EFF—it's an interesting read.

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

In the face of widespread Internet surveillance, we need a secure and practical means of talking to each other from our phones and computers. Many companies offer “secure messaging” products—but are these systems actually secure? We decided to find out, in the first phase of a new EFF Campaign for Secure & Usable Crypto.

This scorecard represents only the first phase of the campaign. In later phases, we are planning to offer closer examinations of the usability and security of the tools that score the highest here. As such, the results in the scorecard below should not be read as endorsements of individual tools or guarantees of their security; they are merely indications that the projects are on the right track.


January 19, 2015 Chris Hall

Start naming your brands and domains like a pro

Start naming your brands and domains like a pro

Naming and choosing domains often go hand-in-hand, but many don't take either as seriously as they probably should. To get a glimpse of the professional naming process, take a gander at "The Weird Science of Naming New Products" by Neal Gabler of the New York Times Magazine.

The idea is to do everything — to leave no word unturned. He visits the website onelook.com, which shows how words work with other words, or sketchengine.co.uk, which combs texts and concordances, flags parts of speech and shows how a specific word appears in billions of words of text. He visits rhymezone.com to find all the words that rhyme with a word. That is how he came up with the name for an ideation application for the Palm Pilot — he began with “brain,” looked for rhyming words and concluded with BrainForest. For this project, he thought of words about travel, but also about entertainment, the sense of engagement, connection, energy, even spheres. And he laid them all out on an Excel spreadsheet — 1,200 names in all by the time he had finished.

For a single project, namers can come up with as many as 6,500 names. Big naming companies will do anywhere from 40 to 50 projects a year, and smaller ones 15 to 20, which adds up to a lot of names. Of course, only one name will be chosen for each project, and that is the only one the client will own. The rest, however, won’t necessarily go to waste. Every naming agency keeps a list of its discards in a computer program. These are then classified by message (at Catchword); by distinctiveness, appeal, memorability and concept (at Interbrand); or by whatever other way the namers might want to retrieve them. Catchword has 650 of these categorized lists. And many of the names will be recycled, which suggests that there is a kind of Platonic ideal of good names, independent of products good or bad — a name so good that it could work, if not on anything, than at least on many things.

Now clearly many (if not most) people/brands can't afford the premium costs of naming firms, but we should all strive to dig a bit deeper into our brands and ideals before coming up with names (if you don't have at least 100 ideas on paper, you're probably not trying hard enough). Just another something to add to your 2015 resolutions list.

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