CATEGORY: Community

From the Inside Out: Building a Company Vision and Mission (part III)

As many of you have been following we’ve begun the process of creating a company vision. Last time we left off we were ready to dive into our BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). I promised you guys that we would open the doors and be completely transparent during this process so I’m going to be totally honest: coming up with a company vision is a long and difficult road!

big hairy audacious goal

Almost there.

The latest:

We’re at the stage where we have selected our MARS group and divided the whole company into 3 groups from which each of the 6 MARS members will be soliciting feedback. Members of customer support will be interviewing Developers, Developers are interviewing Operations and Marketing, and Operations and Marketing are interviewing Customer Support (or some sort of mix along those lines).

Inter-departmental communication is rich and valuable in so many ways but it certainly does make it difficult to schedule and find time to meet. Pulling a developer off his code work to sit down and talk about values is much easier said than done, take it from me! 🙂 That said, some of the most ingenious ideas and invaluable feedback have come out of this process. It’s amazing what happens when you get different groups of people together who aren’t used to working closely with one another. Interviews involve questions like, “What do you value?” “What does this company value?” “Where do you see us in 10 years?” “Where do you want to see us in 10 years?” Each one of us with our unique perspectives approach these questions differently.

There are a few values, such as ‘fun’ and ‘goodwill’ that everyone can get behind rather easily (mmhmm, you saw that right, we value fun). Other values however, like, “innovation” come with much more debate. In going through these exercises it has really opened my eyes as to what a special group of people we have here. We aren’t just coworkers, we’re friends. To take that one step further, we’re not just friends we’re big hairy audacious goalfamily. And we have a lot of really good ideas about what this company is and where it should be headed. The challenge now knocking out the remainder of interviews that have been near impossible to schedule. Secondly, we need to sift through all this feedback so that we can get to a place where we can all put a stake in the ground and firmly stand behind our values, sync on vision, and actively chip away, in our own personal day-to-day, moment-to-moment tasks, to get to where we want to go.

If you can’t tell, I’m energized. already rocks but we are all so eager and motivated to take it to the next level. There is electrifying energy and momentum running through this office – so get ready, there are a lot of great things to come.

What does mean to you? What do you think our purpose is? We’d love to hear from you…we won’t even hassle you for an interview.

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Shedding Some Light During the Blackout (SOPA & PIPA)

Isn’t it Ironic
“Ironic” is a term that gets overused and even misused a lot, but I think we’ve got a solid case of Irony here: the freedom and innovation inspired by the openness of the Internet is the very thing that clobbered the bill that would have stifled the freedom and innovation of the Internet.

It’s true, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been shelved. SOPA was authored with hopes to curb online piracy by preventing the likes of Google and Yahoo from sending users to sites distributing stolen materials. It would also allow for litigation if copyright was being infringed. It’s a concept backed by the likes of cable giant Comcast as well as the Motion Picture Association of America. They point to lost revenues as a reason for the legislation, but underneath SOPA’s pirate-fighting veneer is an ugly and misguided soul.

What Is Doing

We’ve gathered some talking points that better explain SOPA, and it’s creepy little brother, PIPA (Protect IP Act), not simply to better illustrate the House and Senate bills, respectively, but so that we can all be prepared when these pop up again. And they will. SOPA isn’t dead, it’s just being retooled for another run. PIPA is still alive as well (this video is an amazing PIPA primer.)

We at know we’re but a small vibe in the collective voice that sent shock waves to Washington, D.C. Back on December 29th we showed our support by offering to donate 10 cents for every retweet of our #stopSOPA page explaining both our stance and why this is such an important issue. However, when the dust settled the total contribution it would have required was not enough. Instead, to pay tribute and support those who make their life’s work to keep the Internet the bastion of freedom that it is, we are going to make $1000 donations to each of the following organizations:

Electronic Frontier Foundation – For over twenty years they’ve been confronting cutting-edge issues to defend free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights.
Creative Commons – Borrowing directly from their About Us page: “To achieve the vision of universal access, someone needed to provide a free, public, and standardized infrastructure that creates a balance between the reality of the Internet and the reality of copyright laws.”
The Case Foundation – Jean and Steve Case worked on the Internet before most knew there was an Internet. Their foundation works, in part, to, “broaden the use of new technologies to make giving more informed, efficient, and effective.”

What the Critics Are Saying

It’s important you get the chance to read for yourself about SOPA and PIPA. We have, and we’re happy to have our thought’s articulated by the following people and organizations (here are your talking points):

The White House: “We will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” It even threw in that they would not support a bill that tampered with the “technical architecture of the Internet.”
Steve Benen, Washington Monthly: “Misguided efforts to combat online privacy have been threatening to stifle innovation, suppress free speech, and even, in some cases, undermine national security. As of yesterday, though, there’s a lot less to worry about. “
Congressman Darrell Issa (on the #OPEN alternative): First, Americans have a right to benefit from what they’ve created. And second, Americans have a right to an open internet. Our duty is to protect these rights. That’s why congressional Republicans and Democrats came together to write the OPEN Act. But it’s only a start. Visit to see the details, comment, collaborate, and help build a better bill.
Google, via CNET: “Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet. So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page.”
As a for-profit company reared in a free-market capitalist society, we must be prepared to defend our opposition to legislation that proposes to save money. Freedom and shared creativity can’t always be quantified for the skeptical person wondering why we wouldn’t quickly capitulate to the bottom line. (After all…freedom IS the bottom line!) Turns out, however, that Tim O’ Reilly has been thinking about this:

Tim O’ Reilly: While the existing music companies were focused on fighting file sharing, Apple went on to provide a compelling new way to buy and enjoy music, and became the largest music retailer in the world. While book publishers have been fighting the imagined threat of piracy, Amazon, not pirates, has become the biggest threat to their business by offering authors an alternative way to reach the market without recourse to their former gatekeepers.
Hollywood too, has a history of fighting technologies, such as the VCR, which developed into a larger market than the one the industry was originally trying to protect.
In short, SOPA and PIPA not only harm the internet, they support existing content companies in their attempt to hold back innovative business models that will actually grow the market and deliver new value to consumers.


So the very forces fighting for SOPA and PIPA are actually hindering their own progress? Now that’s irony.

Let’s all hold hands and sing…


We want to thank Google, AOL, Mozilla, eBay, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Yahoo! and Zynga for using their muscle to in a signed letter to the members of the Congressoinal Judiiciary Committee. We also want to give huge shoutouts to Reddit, Wikipedia, BoingBoing and countless other sites observing the 24-hour blackout to show their opposition to the bills. And like an Oscar acceptance speech that’s gone too long…thank you @namedotcom Twitter followers who kept us informed like @techzader, @bfeld, @livet0ski and @swirlee…let us know if we’ve overlooked you!

Now, get the word out! Tweet, Like, Share, and Email this page to everyone! Then, send people to HERE to get code to black out their own site.

Affiliate Getting Started, Series 1: Choosing An Affiliate Network

by Caroline, Domain Concierge

We’re assuming you already know what an Affiliate is and have a desire to start making money by promoting services/products in your niche on your blog. A quick way for locating Advertisers in your niche is through an Affiliate Network. Affiliate Networks act as intermediaries between you the Affiliate and the Advertiser. Affiliate Networks allow you to compare various offers from Advertisers and you can choose which offers to participate in and promote via your blog.

Soo’85How the heck do you choose an Affiliate Network? We thought had a few great suggestions for you to consider when selecting a network. We then took those suggestions with a few of our own and applied them to 3 Affiliate Networks who score pretty high on ranking sites. Check it out…

  • Tracking Methods (can you see real time results, can you customize your data)
  • Payment Methods. How the network pays commissions.
  • Payment Threshold. you have to earn before you are paid. If you are just starting a lower threshold -such as $1.00- will mean you receive money faster depending on payment cycles)
  • Ways to earn money (Type of programs they specialize in-Pay Per Lead, Pay Per Sale, Co-Registraion) If you are new to Affiliate Marketing then a range of ways to earn money gives you a chance to try different methods with your blog readers. See which method works best for your blog then seek advertisers who pay based on that method.
  • Industry Verticals Specific industries the network focuses on (or has success in). Make sure they support the industry you wish to promote.
  • Support/Training. Support provided to you as an Affiliate. Look for training opportunities too with an Affiliate Network. Networks want you to be successful and that starts with your success. You’ll want to make sure the help desks are easy to navigate and support is timely.


Tracking Real time tracking real time tracking, options to customize near real-timer reporting, will work with you on customizing
Payment Methods Check, Direct Deposit Check Check, Direct Deposit
Payment Threshold Check $100.00, Direct Deposit $50.00 $100.00 $1.00, however Advertisers can customize the threshold
Ways to Earn Money Advertiser Choice (Possible options: Perecent of sale, Cost per lead, Cost per Click) Percent of Sale Advertiser Choice (Possible options: Perecent of sale, Cost per lead, Cost per Click)
Industry Verticals Finance, Travel, Automotive, Consumer Products, Education, Health and Beauty, Retail, Business, Entertainment, Special Interest Arts & Entertainment, Betting Systems, Business / Investing, Computers / Internet, Cooking, Food & Wine, E-business & E-marketing, Education, Employment & Jobs, Fiction, Games, Green Products, Health & Fitness, Home & Garden, Languages, Mobile, Parenting & Families, Politics / Current Events, Reference, Self-Help, Software & Services, Spirituality, New Age & Alternative Beliefs, Sports, Travel Auto, Business & Career, Clothing & Accessories, Computer & Electronics, Department Store, Entertainment, Family, Financial Services, Food & Drink, Games & Toys, Gift & Flowers, Health & Beauty, Hobbies & Collectibles, Home & Living, Internet & Online, Mature/Adult, Miscellaneous, Office, Sports & Fitness, Telecommunications, Travel
Support/Training Tips and Training articles and webinars, support ticket support from within account Monday-Friday 7am-6pm Mountainn Time. Blog, PodCast, Webinars, all for ongoing education Email, Help Center, LinkShare University, Blog

Of course these are not the only 3 Affiliate Networks. Try this Google search for researching your own Affiliate Network to join. Best of luck with your Affiliate business! Community Evangelist Loses Bet, feels awkward

Because Tim Tebow couldn’t hit the broadside of the sun during a supernova, and the Denver Bronco defense gave Tom Brady enough time to make footballs out of a live pig, I am wearing this jersey. Long, painful story short, I lost a bet with customer Mike Maddaloni, the owner of pro-Patroits website,


For those of you not into into American football (kind of the direction I’m heading these days), is located in the town of the Denver Broncos. The Patriots beat the Broncos by a lot of points (I had to turn it off in the fourth quarter.) I’m wearing the jersey of Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots. It feels very, very wrong.