CATEGORY: News to be part of Rightside, a new domain services company

So as many of you know, was acquired this past January by Demand Media. Not too much has changed in our day-to-day operations since being acquired, except that we have been part of a much larger team and organization. Demand Media owns content sites such as and Society6, as well as Domain Services companies like eNomNameJet, and of course

With the introduction of New TLDs, the Internet is undergoing the largest change since its inception—with that, our company is changing too. Earlier this year, Demand Media announced it was contemplating spinning off the Domain Services side of the business into a separate publicly traded company. Today, it announced the name and the executives for that proposed company.

And with that, Rightside is born.

Rightside? A new parent company for WHAT DOES IT MEAN? #doublerainbow

So how do we feel? And more importantly how should you, our unique, loyal, and totally awesome customers feel? Frankly, pretty damn stoked. Rightside’s mission is to advance how consumers and organizations define and represent themselves online. In the old days we used to giggle when a customer would call in to our support line and say, “OK, I bought my domain name, now where’s my website?” but times have changed. With Rightside’s focus on end-to-end solutions we’ll have the resources, tools, team, infrastructure, and platform to serve our customers better than ever before. And as the former “Little registrar that could,” we’re pumped to finally be playing with the big boys. Having a parent company solely focused on domain name services will allow us to be the best version of yet—and that feels good.

We’re thrilled to share how all the puzzle pieces are finally fitting together. Worry not—we’ll still be us, kicking out ridiculous content and providing you with world-class customer support, but we’ll also be able to offer the products and services you’ve been requesting for years—like a new email product!

Taryn Naidu will be steering the new ship, and in the words of marketing manager Ashley Forker, “Taryn is totally @#$*&^@ awesome!” We’ve got some extremely intelligent, well-versed thinkers and doers on our team … we’re going places and would love for you to come along for the ride.

Plus it’ll totally be a party (getting online can be fun, for reals).

Colorado Flood Resources


Our home state was hit pretty hard with rain and the resulting flooding last week. We don’t like seeing our gorgeous state underwater, and we especially don’t like seeing our friends and family members in a state of distress. For people who are going through a rough time now, it can be intimidating looking for solutions. At we thought we’d lend a hand by providing a list of flood relief-related links.

New TLD registry agreements are being signed: A look at the newest ICANN timeline

The New Dots: Keeping you up to speed on new TLDs

During the Durban summit this month, four companies signed registry agreements with ICANN, moving forward to pre-delegation testing and launch for their respective new TLDs. What is a registry agreement, and what does this landmark mean for new TLDs and the expected timeline? Glad you asked! Here’s a quick run-down of the registry agreements: who signed, what they are, what they signify, what it means for the ICANN timeline, and some FAQs.

WordPress now powers 18.9% of the Internet


Ready for an absolutely mind-boggling statistic about WordPress? The blogging and website platform now powers 18.9 percent of the Internet, according to WordPress creator Matt Mullenberg.

“We’re now up to 18.9 percent of the web running WordPress,” Mullenberg said. “… We’re going to see the number of people who have WordPress as part of their daily habits grow exponentially.”

Mullenberg shared this staggering statistic at the annual San Francisco WordCamp conference. In the talk he also chatted about the next two versions of WordPress in the pipeline, including some insight about how the company envisions its own growth.

Most of the sites and blogs that use WordPress are in English—about 66 percent of them. Monthly pageviews for WordPress-powered sites is now massive, with 4 billion projected pageviews for all WordPress sites combined in 2013.

Our response to’s libelous accusations published an article today that suggested we are shifting our marketing strategy and will now focus on promoting our products and services by using titillating imagery.

This is categorically false. We consider DomainGang’s vandalism of the homepage to be extremely offensive, and we’re here to set the record straight. We are a wholesome company, and the images on our homepage will always be a reflection of our wholesomeness. We will not appeal to the lowest common denominator.

For instance, we believe in …

Supporting local farmers by buying local produce and dairy products …


#melons announces California-centric rebranding effort

DENVER—Following’s recent efforts to deliberately misconstrue rebrand .LA as the first city-based domain extension even through it’s actually the country code TLD for Laos and has been around since 1996 but let’s not get caught up in the details, has responded with a vast array of Southern California-branded domain extensions.

Along with the ability to register .LA domain names for Los Angeles-related websites, also recommends the following extensions, which are in no way a stretch and will definitely make people think of famous Southern California destinations, businesses, and stereotypes haha just kidding:

Photos from the New York City “Restore the Fourth” Protest


This July 4th weekend America celebrated its independence from England, and we’re reminded that the fight against The Man continues to this day. The recent news about the National Security Agency’s wiretapping and Internet surveillance programs has sparked Fourth Amendment awareness campaigns from organizations like the Internet Defense League, Restore The Fourth, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. For more on the Fourth Amendment, check out this graphic from the EFF.

We got hacked

Many of you received our email or saw online that was hacked. The truth is that it’s one of the more painful admissions that can be made on the Internet. We want you to know that when we say that we “give a shit” we truly mean it. In an effort to maintain the open, honest, and transparent reputation we’ve built for ourselves, we’re going to give you the lowdown on what happened and what we did in response.

Our security team alerted us that unauthorized individuals had accessed our database. After doing some digging we found that the attack seemed to be geared toward a few specific accounts. The hackers had a target and was a means to that end.

The information that was accessed includes usernames, passwords, physical addresses, email, hashed passwords and encrypted credit card data. EPP codes (required for domain name transfers) are not stored in the same place so those were not compromised. For the techies who are wondering, the encryption on the credit card information is 4096 bit RSA. Since the password hashes were compromised we took proactive steps and initiated a site-wide password reset (hence the email, apologies for the inconvenience).

We are genuinely sorry for the annoyance and the scare. We’re taking this incredibly seriously and are doing everything possible to continue to improve the security of our systems. We greatly appreciate the support across the web and over the phones.


An Overview of ICANN’s Strawman Solution, and Why its Causing a Kerfuffle

There should be more complications in the new gTLD process. Said no one, ever. But concerns about brand protection have started a new debate in the ICANN community concerning the “Strawman Solution,” a suggested answer to the question, How will ICANN protect the Internet community against intellectual property destruction during the launch of nTLDs?

Since the Strawman Solution is getting so much attention, and since it affects you, as a potential registrant, we decided to break it all down – what the solution is, where it came from, why it’s causing controversy, and how it would affect registration. Once you’ve read everything over, let us know what you think.

The Strawman Solution

The Strawman Solution introduces several tweaks and implementations to policies in the ICANN guidebook, concerning trademark protection. The solution is meant as a talking point and a suggestion of possible changes, and would not go into effect until comments are considered and the proposal could be fleshed-out. Some of the key points of the proposal are:

  • Registrars must give a 30 day warning, pre-sunrise period, to promote public awareness and participation in sunrise registration.burning man for ntlds strawman
  • The 60 day period for Trademark Clearinghouse registration would be extended to 90 days.
  • An optional “Claims 2” period for the Trademark Clearinghouse would be implemented, during which a claims holder may pay additional fees to keep the basic functions of the TMCH open for six months to a year.
  • Trademark owners could register up to 50 labels that have been previously determined by the UDRP or a court proceeding to be abusive or infringing in the TMCH.

In addition to these points of the Strawman Proposal, the document is also dog-eared with an additional proposal, not agreed on by the committee that met after Toronto, but still up for discussion. That proposal, The Limited Preventative Registration, would add a mechanism for trademark owners to prevent second-level registration of their marks.

The Process of Drafting the Strawman Proposal

The Strawman Proposal was drafted after a closed-door meeting following the Toronto summit, in November (2012). The meeting was kept off-record, so until recently the list of who attended wasn’t released. The members included: ICANN staff, IBM and Deloitte representatives (both companies were picked by ICANN to run the TMCH), and representatives from “select stakeholder groups,” who also represent GNSO, or the Generic Names Supporting Organization. The complete list is available on the Strawman document.

After the proposal was drafted, ICANN posted it to its website, and opened the document for commentary, which occurred through Jan. 16, 2013. 85 comments were posted, by applicants, trademark holders, registries and registrars, and the proposal is now in the reply stage of its process, meaning replies may be posted to original comments through Feb. 5. After Feb. 5, ICANN will post a summary of the comments in order to decide whether or not the proposal should pass through to the next stage.

Support for Strawman

Much of the support for the Strawman Solution comes from brand owners who are concerned about the changes nTLDs will cause when they are launched — including more opportunities for cyber-squatting and for string confusion. To those who support the solution, it represents an enforcement of policies already in place, and a necessary step in ensuring that trademarks are better protected without having to place the entire burden of the process on trademark owners.

The Three Main Arguments Against Strawman

Because nothing is ever as simple as it seems, ICANN’s Strawman Solution has caused a complex discussion in the nTLD community. The 85 commenters — representing companies like Facebook, Coca-Cola, DuPont, Donuts, USPS, and Time Warner, just to name a few — have either agreed with ICANN’s proposals, or raised objections. The three most common reasons for objection are:

  1. The proposal came about from a closed-door meeting. Many argue that the nature of the meeting prevents the Strawman Solution from being able the ntld straw man proposal to represent the wants of the ICANN community. Many members feel that because ICANN called the solution a “community” proposal, but did not open the door to the community during the process, the Strawman Solution cannot represent the community.
  2. “Implementation” versus “policy.” The difference between how you perceive these two words can mean all the difference when looking at the Strawman Solution. For those who support the solution, it doesn’t represent a change in policy, but rather an extension in the implementation of policies already in place. For example, the extension of a 60 day TMCH period to a 90 day period – to those who think the solution is a mere implementation of previous policies, then an extension of a TMCH period isn’t a big deal. On the other hand, some feel that the proposal introduces policy changing practices, which will cost the community more time and money and significantly change the course of nTLD registrations. Changing the TMCH period from 60 to 90 days may not be a big concern, but to those who object to the Strawman Solution, implementing a “Claims 2” period, in which the TMCH can be extended to a year, or allowing trademark owners to register up to 50 abusive strings, weighs down the process of registration and adds policies to the guidelines already in place without going through the channels the policies in the guidebook had to.
  3. Protection versus overkill. The final argument between the two sides of the Strawman Solution conversation is whether or not the points proposed in the solution are a) protective measures needed to guard against trademark abuse and infringement, or b) a method of using policy to protect trademarks that hinders the free market and ties-up the registration process in red tape.

Where do you Stand?

We’ve heard from all the heavy hitters, and we’ve submitted our own comment, too. But we want to hear what you think. Do you think the Strawman Solution needs to be an Ironman Solution, or do you think ICANN needs to let it burn? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter or Facebook.

And keep checking back here – we’ll be watching the nTLDs for you as they make their way through the application process. (You can even sign up to have us watch your favorites, here.)