Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Profiting From The Coming Recession

I won't say it was a first, but I received a very thought provoking unsolicited commercial email today. Not normal spam, but somehow my email address had got on a legitimate company's marketing list.

To an extent nearly everyone in an Internet business is dependent on advertising for our respective businesses' income. It doesn't matter if that revenue is from CPC/CPA marketing, building websites to advertise businesses, selling domains or on-line journalism it's advertisers who are paying the bill. Since this recession started my parking CPC advertising revenue is off by 30% and I've heard others mention similar percentages.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Beware of free DNS services

Businesses come in all shapes and forms. Many small businesses are sole traders, often working on a shoestring budget. When businesses of this size first create a web presence it is often done on free services like Geocities or Blogspot. Sometimes this is because they are trying to minimize costs, and sometimes it is because they wandered into a web presence by accident. Although I am an IT professional, and have my own cheap hosting, this blog started as a very personal diary that I later split into three, distributing the back articles; one of the child blogs is decidedly business related. Once a blog or mini-site becomes part of a business' identity it really needs to be under the business' branding and this usually means having its own domain name to build recognition of the business, avoid confusion with the other sites on the free host, and present a more professional image.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Branding on the internet

It doesn't really fit here because it isn't directly related to domaining, but I've just written an 1800 word article giving my opinions on Internet branding, or more precisely selecting a domain name for a business. I've posted it to my ¿Que? blog.

The article covers selecting a name, the importance of identifying the name with your business, and some common pitfalls to avoid.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

No change to .nz registration fee

The DNC has announced that the wholesale fee for .nz domains will remain NZ $1.50 per month ($18 per annum).

The fee is reviewed annually and the decision is to leave it unchanged this year.

The registration fee is the major source of income for Internet NZ and among other things is used for public good projects such as advocacy to improve the internet in New Zealand.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More on IDNs

Since writing yesterday's entry on Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) I've done a bit more thinking.
Is there any history that gives a guideline as to what may happen?
Many, if not all, common Māori words are registered in the space, and also in the .com world. The .com registry has permitted IDNs for a long time so I started investigating that. With the help of NZ History's 100 Maori words every New Zealander should know and a couple of other sites, I investigated a few common words.
  • Māori:,, and Mā all registered, but 3 different registrants
  • Tāne:,, and Tā all registered, again 3 different registrants
  • Pākehā: & were registered, to two different registrants. (I've grabbed Pākehā.com)
  • Waitematā: & were registered, again to different registrants. (I regged Waitematā.com too)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DNC Second Consultation on Internationalised Domains Names

Originally domain names could only contain the ASCII letters A-Z, digits 0-9 and the hyphen. When countries using other alphabets, and accented characters started to have domain names, a mechanism had to be found to support them. The solution "Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs)" supports this requirement.
Unfortunately as some character sets have letters that look like the latin letters, they have been misused and abused. Phishing attacks using them became common resulting in some browsers refusing to show them and some registries, including .nz, refusing to allow them to be registered.
Some time back the Domain Name Commission (DNC) conducted a consultation on the use of IDC in domain names, specifically with the intent to allow the pōtae macronised vowels: ā,ē,ī, ō, and ū used in te reo Māori.
They have decided they should proceed with the implementation of IDNs in .nz. The next phase of the process is to consider mechanisms for a fair distribution of names.
  1. They plan that there will be a "sunrise" pre-registration period during which the registered owner of (for example) will be given exclusive rights to register Mā
  2. After the sunrise period first come, first serve will apply to IDNs in the same way as they apply to normal domain.
  3. Normal registration fees will apply to the macronised names.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Expired Seems to have recovered

Back in February I looked at the early effects of Expired Domains' changes to the minimum bid and the auction end time. At that point the number of auctions seemed to be down on normal and names I would have expected to receive at least one bid were being passed in.
I've just had a look at bids on domains dropping April to date, and they have recovered a lot, but are still a bit down. For each completed auction (dropped or renewed) organised by day I get an average of 3.7 domains per day. To be fair I didn't always monitor around midnight so I've probably missed a few. I'm also not considering if they actually caught the drop, that's really another issue, but Expired seem to have raised their game, and using both of Net 24's registrars has helped.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What's this?

First post, usually a chance to express high hopes for the future. I'm going to be a bit more restrained.

I've had another blog Bruce / Kiore an occasional diary for a while and it's ended up being a confused mishmash of personal news, my views on the world and domaining related essays.

I've decided to split it into three. The original blog will be for personal news & revert to the occasional diary status, this blog for my domaining related posts and my world views will be stored at ¿Que? It's Manuel's favourite expression. I think it means "What?" in Spanish, but as a loanword to English it definitely means that.

I'll be moving the relevant postings from the old blog over here which is why there will be entries here from before I began the blog.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Late Renewals and Drop Catchers

It's no secret that most of my domains have come from drop catchers. Most of the currently active .nz domain collectors have also picked a fair proportion of their domains up through drop catchers.

One of the on-going frustrations of drop catching is going to the effort of doing the due diligence on an expired name and not getting it. Sometimes this is because someone else decides it is worth more than I do , sometimes it's because another drop catcher gets the domain, and sometimes it's because the domain owner decides to renew the domain just before it drops.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Domain Resellers

This entry started out to be about Domain Resellers in the .nz market. On the way to writing the article I did some homework & discovered my case study example was actually something else.
The Domain Reseller that isn't

Today, as for the last few months, the cheapest single domain registration of .nz domains is provided by Domains4Less. Strangely enough Domains4Less doesn't seem to be a domain reqistrar, but a reseller for Web Drive's Domain Admin which is a registrar.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

.NZ Whois service deliberately broken

For some time the .nz whois service has been unreliable and for the last week or so I can use whois in the mornings before going to work but if I try to use it in the evenings I almost always get a "query_status: 440 Request Denied" response. I get this from the very first request.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Early effects of Expired Domains changes

Like many of their regular customers I've been monitoring Expired Domains' pricing and auction end time changes.