Things Your Website Should NOT Do: Name.com’s Facebook Friends Focus Group

At name.com we do domains, websites and hosting. You get a domain and some hosting and then you’re all set to burst onto the web, but before you put a whole lot of work into a snappy Flash intro, or have your friends in the bongo/zither duo make some awesome home page music, pay heed to what some experienced web users have to say about what NOT to do:

Do not do this to your websitewebsite don'tswebsite don'tswebsite don'ts

Like a free focus group and you didn’t have to provide finger food. Although we’re not sure what a couple are talking about, and I think Kelley Bryant is actually selling auto parts, but this is good info to keep in mind for the best presence on the web.

 

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The Colorado Fires: What you need to know and how you can help.

Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs

 

It’s hot, it’s dry and we’ve got fires everywhere. Two new ones started in the southwestern part of the state yesterday, and as of today, the Waldo Canyon, High Park and Flagstaff fires are burning a combined 80,000 acres. If you need an impression of how bad things are, people who were just evacuated from Colorado Springs are now being evacuated from Monument, which is about 12 miles north.

All of the local papers, like the Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette and the Fort Collins Coloradoan provide excellent updates, plus check out this amazing interactive Google map:

google map of colorado wildfires

Click Me.

The Waldo Canyon Fire is making the most news as it’s actually in the city limits of Colorado Springs. You always think of wildfires in some remote area where entire neighborhoods aren’t laid to waste. These pictures changes that:

Flagstaff fire near Boulder

A tanker drops fire retardant while fighting the Flagstaff wildfire on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 in Boulder Colorado. (AP Photo/Jeremy Papasso, Daily Camera)

Waldo Canyon Fire Colorado Springs

Structures can be seen burning as the Waldo Canyon Fire west of Colorado Springs rages out of control, Tuesday June, 26, 2012. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

Waldo Canyon Fire

An aerial photograph taken Wednesday of the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs shows the destructive path of the fire. (John Wark, johnwark.com)

What can you do? Rest assured, helping is easy. Send money. The Red Cross Colorado Chapter is pretty solid for getting money to where it needs to go. If you’re wondering where police and firefighters would like you to send money, well here’s what we got directly from those on the front lines:

“Hey dude, I asked the guys and they said for this event the American Red Cross provided all the food to the crews. So any donation (monetary would be best) is greatly appreciated both in the Springs and all over the country.” -Cindy

Cindy is cooking food for the firefighters, one of whom is her husband, a guy she says she seen just a few hours this week.

If  you want to send money and get something cool in return, then check out Wildfire Tees.

wildfire t shirt from wildfire tees

Can you think of a better design?

These shirts are all designed by Colorado Springs designers, and they’d love your help for more designs. As they say on their site, “We are designers who live in Colorado, love our home, and hate watching it burn. 100% of our proceeds will go to the Colorado wildfire relief efforts across the state. If you’re a designer and want to join our efforts, contact us at hello@wildfiretees.com.”  So if you don’t have money to send, use your big brain to conjure an awesome t-shirt design to help out some folks who just had everything burn to the ground.

Here are some other sites that offer information and quick ways to help:

http://www.helpcoloradonow.org/

http://healcolorado.com/ 

And something for wildfire preparedness:

http://www.philosophyinaction.com/blog/?p=6662

raising money for colorado firefighters red crossAround town there are cool little fundraising ideas popping up everywhere. Name employee Jessica and her daughter Izzy are making cakes and selling them at just 4 bucks a pop. And the last we heard their baked goods are so popular they’ve added cookies to the menu.

With so much dry and dead vegetation (a massive beetle kill has ravaged much of the state leaving millions of lodgepole pine dead and Fight fire with beer!vulnerable to fire), we have no idea when a lightning bolt or a smoking dolt will start another fire. But we do know we have thousands of firefighters, police, National Guard and military members either already fighting or at the ready. The work will never be done, but at least we can always let them and the victims of the fires know we’re here to support them. And if you’re looking for a nice fall trip to the most beautiful state in the land, then come on out in September for a firefighter appreciation with our governor (you won’t be surprised to find that he’s a beer brewer) presiding over the Fight Fire with Beer Festival. I’m sure they could use one. Or ten.

Name.com Employee Shares His Bike to Work Day Experience

One of our developers Nick was pretty pumped on “bike to work day” and offered to write a blog post for us. Below is the email we received from him:

As it turns out, I suck at writing, so I might need your guys help. Any thoughts on how I can make what’s below suck less? 

We think he did just fine, here’s what he wrote:

Another bike to work day is upon us. This year, just over 33% of name.com chose risk the heat and smoke filled air, to mount their two-wheeled steel unicorns and pedal into work. Some of us rode in today because it was bike to work day. Some of us rode in just to show off our brand new bikes. One person forgot what today is and walked to work (and has spent the day giving back rubs to those who rode in as punishment). Mostly, people rode their bikes in today, because that’s what they do every day. This is Colorado with its plethora of sunshine, bike lanes, and spandex. Plus, as most of us have found, biking is a great way to work up a thirst of some tasty micro brew.

Bikes for employees at Name.com

Our bikers have never been accused of being on performance enhancing drugs.

You know when the time is right…

To be fair to our actors, they had a hard time doing this. Oh jeez…that wasn’t a pun. But Ryan was so embarrassed he had to close his eyes when Caroline did her fake flirtations. And Caroline would somehow gather herself from laughing to launch her rock star looks. Oh, and she has a boyfriend. Unfortunately it seems like a pretty solid deal. And if there’s any interest in Ryan, he’s got a girlfriend. It must be the rapid eyebrow flutter.

Other Domain Side-Effects include:

  • Domains could sell your house.
  • Friends will fawn over your awesomeness when you use your domain as email like jane@janeisawesome.com and sound like a champ, or get hooked up with Google Apps.
  • Getting cocky. (again, no pun) When your Facebook friends see you own your own space, they’ll be jealous they’re forking over their identity for theirs.
  • Sudden credibility. If you’re online presence is blogspot.happyplumbing.com, then you need your own custom web address that allows you to build credibility, establish your brand, and protect your interests.
  • You’ll be unique. With domains starting at $1.99 (or free if you decide to host your website through us), securing your name and presence online is easy and affordable.

iWeb is going away, but your site doesn’t have to! Check out Name.com shared hosting plans

Apple iWeb going away.

You don’t have to lose everything.

You finally found a super easy way to get your website looking right and online…and now it’s going away. Apple has announced that iWeb publishing, MobileMe Gallery, and iDisk are all being phased out by the end of June. Things are not as awful as they may appear. Apple is encouraging users to migrate over to iCloud, which is a bit more expensive. We wanted to let you know that we have an awesome shared hosting platform that could be a great fit for you. Take a look at our website hosting plans, and below see a tutorial on how to move your Apply goodness.

  Click here to get started.

Our team is standing by to help make the migration as seamless as possible. The video below should help you get started and if you run into any questions our support team is only a phone call or email away.

Click here for a tutorial from Apple on how to move your iWeb to another hosting provider.

ICANN Reveals the New gTLDs

Call it what you want, a giant boondoggle or the greatest thing to happen to commerce since money, but the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has revealed the applications for the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD). These aren’t your COMs and NETs from way back in 2011, but the .COKE and .FATBABY or whatever you can conjure and afford.

There were some surprises, like the multitude of companies going after .APP does not include Apple, Inc., and Google went bonkers, applying for more than 100 new domain extensions.

google's new gtld bid

Graphic via Informationweek.com

For anyone whose like, “What?” The new gTLD came about when ICANN opened up the door to any word in all kinds of languages to live on the right of the dot. If Google gets .LOL, for example, they’ll sell it like a traditional registry, just as Verisign does COM/NET/TV.

It’s a pricey venture. ICANN will take in about $357,000,000 for the $185,000 per application. So, yes, Google has dropped a small country’s GDP applying for new gTLDs.

Now it gets exciting. With some domain extensions like .GROCERY a hot item, you’ll probably see bidding wars between the likes of Wal-mart and Safeway. Although it’s not just the big boys who get to offer input. ICANN has opened up a 60-day comment period where the public can submit comments on the newly revealed applications.

ICANN also offers these stats:

Of the 1,930 applications received:

  • 66 are geographic name applications.
  • 116 applications are for Internationalized Domain Names, or IDNs, for strings in scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, and Cyrillic.

Applications were received from 60 countries and territories, broken down by ICANN’s geographic regions;

  • 911 from North America.
  • 675 from Europe.
  • 303 are from Asia-Pacific.
  • 24 from Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • 17 from Africa.

As for Name.com, we need to wait for the domains to be approved, and then we’ll offer as many as we can get. There will be a lot that goes into this process, like an entire new infrastructure for domain registries and registrars (like us.) With that kind of excitement (read: fevered work) we’ll be keeping you posted on all the new updates as the come in.