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August 2011

Survival Guide to Domain Names

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From the time when the Internet was invented until today, with all different technologies developed in the mean time, domain names and DNS remained strictly structured and fairly easy to understand, which is amazing since everything else changed so much. It is true that sometimes an average user doesn’t even want to know what holds a website together because it looks too complicated. But, in the domain name industry a complicated part actually comes with human minds and things like commercial purposes, marketing tricks, different evaluations etc. Here is what you should be aware of when thinking about domain name registration.

The Basics: Know the basics

“Every computer on the Internet has a unique address called its “IP address” (Internet Protocol address). Since, IP addresses (strings of numbers) are hard to remember, the DNS (domain name system) allows a familiar string of letters (the “domain name”) to be used instead. So, rather than typing “192.0.34.163,” you can type www.icann.org. The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users find their way around the Internet.”

Survival First Aid: Understanding domains

The organization that coordinates all of these unique identifiers across the world is called ICANN. They are in charge of delegation of Top-Level Domain names (TLDs). Some TLDs are delegated to companies or organizations (generic top-level domains or gTLDs,), and some to countries and regions (country code top-level domains or ccTLDs).  In general, .com stands for the company, .org is for the organization, .us is for the USA, .uk is for the United Kingdom, .ru is for Russia, and .me is for Montenegro.

Beyond the Basics: Types of domains (TLDs) and their real meaning

Although ICANN decided to assign a purpose to every TLD in the world, the domain history has shown that TLDs sometimes have a life of their own. What happens is that users decide what they want to do with a particular TLD. Take a .com for example – for a long time it was (and it might still be), unofficial domain of the USA, although the US has its own country code top-level domain.

.COM was intended to be used for a commercial purposes only. However, you’ll find many more uses for .com as well as for .org and .net. Somehow, along all these years the usage of top-level domains made them lost their original purpose. Some TLDs faded away, some gained unexpected popularity. Contrary to the original concept, some ccTLDs gained more global appeal than certain gTLDs. When you think about .travel, and the purpose it was supposed to have, a various usage in the tourism industry is first what comes to mind. Many would say “what a great idea!” Well, it failed, especially when you compare it to the success of the .de or .uk.

This brings us to the point where it seems that actually the combination of meaning and length might affect the popularity. Therefore, it is understandable that due to the multiple meanings certain ccTLDs like .me, .tv, .fm exceeded their country borders. After all, what is a better choice for a radio channel than .fm or .am, and what is more personal for a blog than .me?

New TLDs, or how to choose wisely?

Recently ICANN has accepted a new policy that allows virtually anyone to start a TLD. If we have over 200 TLDs, will this decision result in a better organization or will it create chaos? Will we need a different system to decipher DNS? And ultimately, what will an end costumer need to know about new TLDs? Not much! You do not need to study marketing to realize that being memorable is the most important thing in the business world of today. It is same with domains  – you need to “feel” a domain name, to hear its jingle. Who wants a name that is difficult to pronounce or spell, like ThisIsMyCompanyNameAndThisIsWhatIDo .com?

Believe it or not, domain extensions are an important category of not only the Internet infrastructure but also advertising, and they are part of the string where you need to fit in. Everything before the extension whether it is, your name, your company name or a cool marketing message reflects your personality. But remember, the content behind a name is how you present yourself, and it is the most important aspect of the web presence for your users loyalty. “CrazyD.me” may get you some traffic, but if there is nothing else valuable behind the appealing URL, nobody will return to your website ever again.

So, when choosing a domain name, get one that fits your business or personal model best but keep in mind two things – make it short and cool.

The .Me Registry operates the .ME domain name which is available for worldwide registration and also offers special, highly valuable premium names through its development program (see details here). .ME Registry (the d.b.a. of doMEn, d.o.o.) was chosen by the government of Montenegro to operate the new .ME domain name extension. ME Registry partners include ME-net, GoDaddy.com and Afilias Limited.

 

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Adds 150 Words Including “Tweet” and “Bromance”

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Today (August 25), Merriam-Webster announced they’ve added 150 words to their 2011 Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Among those words included are “tweet”, “bromance”, “crowdsourcing” and “helicopter parent”.

News broke just a few days ago that the Concise Oxford English Dictionary has added a few new words as well, such as retweet and sexting.

Both of these announcements goes to show how social media is a big part of our culture. How does a word make its way into the M-W Collegiate Dictionary? M-W says, “The answer is simple: usage”.

Let us entertain you with a few of the definitions:

crowdsourcing – “the practice of obtaining information from a large group of people who contribute online”

bromance – “close, nonsexual friendship between men”

helicopter parent – “a parent who is overly involved in the life of his or her child”

According to Mashable,  editor-at-large for the dictionary Peter Sokolowski, says they look to see who and how often the words are used. Other words he is considering for the next update are “man cave,” “millennials” and “mashup.”

Are there any words you think should be included in the next update?

25 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About LinkedIn

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Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: LinkedIn

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a Twitter girl…but LinkedIn has a ton of potential, and I’m trying to carve out more time in my days to use it. Today, I’ve got some awesome posts to share with you about this topic. These are the posts that are helping me learn to use this network better; hopefully, they’ll help you too.

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

10 Powerful LinkedIn Tips by Lewis Howes

Lewis is the reigning king of LinkedIn in my book. This is just one of the many posts he’s written about the topic and if you want to learn even more about using LinkedIn, I highly recommend picking up his book or signing up for his email list at the very least. After checking out all he has to offer on his website, you can follow him on Twitter @lewishowes.

Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn by Guy Kawasaki

No matter what your background or goals, LinkedIn can work for you. As Guy shows in this awesome post, LinkedIn is one of m ost versatile social media sites out there, and you can use if for everything from helping you out from an SEO standpoint to ensuring that a job interview goes smoothly. If you’re a naysayer about LinkedIn, start here with Guy’s post. His site isn’t called How to Change the World for nothing! You can also find Guy on Twitter @guykawasaki.

LinkedIn for Bloggers – Branding, Authority, and Traffic by Kristi Hines

I love this post. Was there ever any doubt, though? It comes from Kristi Hines at Kikolani, so you know it’s going to be good. If you’re new to LinkedIn (or, like many, new to actually putting some time into using it), this is a great post for you – it gives you a step-by-step overview of how to get started. Check it out and then follow Kristi @kikolani.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

    Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about LinkedIn? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link!

    Next Week’s Topic: Sales Letters

    I’d love to include a link to your post next week – and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

    Working Social Networking: A Phone Call might be Best Results.

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    I get this conversation over email all the time:

    Hi. This is [Name]. Please call me – 555-555-5555

    Better yet, I will send an email with my phone number in the context and it will get replied with an email from them and their personal phone number. It begins to feel like a competition – who will give in and call first?

    Usually I lose that contest. And I am proud of that fact.

    I have a few rules in my life. One rule is that I don’t normally text or email past five messages (unless I know the other party cannot be called). If I get into a question – answer text or email, I would rather call and get all resolved.

    Another rule is that I don’t get rid of phone numbers. You never know when you will need to call them. If you are entered into my phone, I will keep that number as long as I can.

    Why Should You Call?

    In this day and age when we can text, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instant Message, Comment, Foursquare and a whole bunch of other things I cannot think of at the moment, calling seems to be a lost art. Some people seem to have a “Telephonophobia” without a “Textophobia”.

    I have worked with clients that send email and texts like no tomorrow. After 2 days (and no resolution of a problem), I called them. Within the one call, I got more information than from any text I sent.  We got the problem resolved within minutes (instead of days).

    Most important, I got praise for taking the initiative and calling them. Something that nobody else does.

    When Should you Call?

    I have changed my stature on “Call me” emails. If I have their number, I will call. If I don’t have their number, I write in this paragraph:

    I would like to talk to you over the phone. How should I get a hold of you? If you do want to contact me, my number is xxx-xxx-xxxx

    Persistence is also king in this issue. I had a client once not want to give a phone number at first, but after a while they realized I could do my job faster if we talked over the phone. We got all information resolved within minutes.

    Of course, when I say call, it can be a Skype call, an over-the-phone contact, a one-on-one Facebook call or even Google Hangout. There are also many 3rd party unified communications methods you can use.

    Calling gets less ignored than an email or Facebook message. Some people have even reduced their online time so they can get more work done. Therefore, calling may be the quickest way to resolve an issue.

    Bottom line, though – If you are not getting something resolved, try calling. If you need information now, try calling. The interaction between parties can really make your business feel a little more personable.

    Don’t put the responsibility in their lap. Take the initiative and call them. If you don’t have their number, ask for it.

    Meeting face-to-face I feel is the best way to talk. Over the phone is a decent alternative. There are instances where email is the better way to go (especially if you need recorded verification).

    New Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Letter to the Apple Staff

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    Tim Cook, CEO Apple

    After the news of Steve Jobs’s resignation as CEO of Apple and the fast appointing of new CEO Tim Cook, Cook didn’t waste any time reaching out to the Apple staff. In this letter, which ars techinca obtained, Cook reassures the staff that the company is not going to change and that he’s looking forward to the years ahead.

    The letter went out early this morning.

    Team:

    I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.

    Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve’s ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.

    I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that—it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.

    I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.

    Tim

    Techinca has confirmed their source is trusted and has been verified.

    If this letter is indeed the real deal, it’s good to see Cooks is enthusiastic about the years ahead with Apple, but has every desire to not change the company and continue to make amazing products.

    Steve Jobs’s Resignation Letter to Apple Board of Directors & Community

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    As I am sure you have heard, Steve Jobs has officially resigned as CEO of Apple and the Board named former COO Tim Cooks as the new CEO.

    Here is the official resignation letter Jobs sent to the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

    To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

    I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

    I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

    As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

    I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

    I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

    Steve

    Steve Jobs will remain chairman of the board of directors. The quick naming and confirmation of Tim Cook as CEO indicates there will be a smooth transition within the Apple company.

    The Apple board of directors released a press release yesterday (August 24) naming Tim Cook the new CEO, as well as making a statement in regards to Jobs’s leadership and vision within the company over the years.

    “Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”

    The board went on to say they have complete confidence in the new CEO, Tim Cook.

    What are your thoughts on the resignation of Steve Jobs and the newly appointed CEO Tim Cook? We wish Mr. Jobs all the best in the future and continued recovery.

    Source: Mashable

    Twitter Founders Announce New Project – Lift

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    Twitter founders – Ev Williams, Biz Stone and Jason Goldmanhave announced their latest project together under The Obvious Corporation. Stone revealed back towards the end of June he was leaving Twitter and pursuing other projects as he relaunched The Obvious Corporation.

    We now have a glimpse into what their first project is – Lift.

    Lift is an app that is being described as a way to help you achieve your goals through positive reinforcement. After signing up, I received this email:

    We’re not ready to let people in yet, but when we are, we’ll make sure you get an early invite.

    What is Lift? We’re interested in ways new technology can help unlock human potential, especially through the use of positive reinforcement. That’s all we can tell you right now.

    So, since we don’t have a ton to tell you about Lift the product, here’s a little bit about Lift the company:

    We’re a small San Francisco-based startup. There are three of us full time, Tony Stubblebine (me), Jon Crosby, and Connor Montgomery. We also have some part-time support from the folks at Obvious. If you want to get in touch with us, I’m probably the best person to reach: tony@lift.do

    ReadWriteWeb has a little more information about the project back when it was called Mibbles. I’m glad they changed the name.

    When Stone made the announcement about re-launching the company, he made it clear they would align themselves with projects that would make the world a better place. Achieving your personal goals with positive reinforcement sounds like a great place to start.

    I’ll let you know the details of this project as I find out more. What do you think of The Obvious Corporation’s first project?

     

    You Can Now Do More with the Google +1 Button

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    Google made an announcement today regarding their +1 button.

    Most likely, you’ve seen the Google +1 button around here and there and maybe, just maybe you’ve actually clicked on it. Some have been asking what rewards there are when clicking the button. In the past Google has said it helps with search engine results, by showing pages you have given a +1 to in your friends’ searches.

    The +1 button might be a little bigger than some thought. According to Google, in July it received over 2 billion views a day and appears on more than a million sites. The momentum is there and now with this latest announcement, you might have more reason than ever to click it.

    The +1 button now allows you to share with your Google Circles, directly from the page you are sharing on. Google says that “beginning today, we’re making it easy for Google+ users to share webpages with their circles, directly from the +1 button. Just +1 a page as usual and look for the new ‘Share on Google+’ option. From there you can comment, choose a circle and share”.

    For more on the new +1 button, sharing on Google+ and +snippets (where they automatically include a link when you share), watch this video.

    Classmates.com Hit with Class Action Lawsuit for Privacy Violations

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    Do you use Classmates.com or have you in the past? If so, you might like to hear about this interesting bit of news. The company is being hit with a class action lawsuit for privacy violations.

    The settlement is for anyone residing in the United States who were registered with or subscribed to www.classmates.com at any time beginning on October 30, 2004 through February 23, 2011. The lawsuit claims “Classmates sent e-mail to subscribers of www.classmates.com that violated the law and the privacy rights of subscribers”, among other things.

    Classmates has denied any wrongdoing, but has agreed, because of risks and expenses of continuing this lawsuit, that a settlement is appropriate.

    What will you get if you join the settlement? They’ve guesstimated around $10 per person, payable through Paypal or a physical check. That’s obviously not a lot of money, but most likely people will join the lawsuit to make a statement regarding their privacy.

    To access the claim form, go here.

    This lawsuit opens up some interesting questions as to what can happen if the public’s privacy is violated. Facebook has beefed up their privacy and others might want to take note of this.

    So, let’s open up the discussion – What does this lawsuit say to you about privacy violations and should other companies pay attention to it?

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