Aussie Government Mandates Internet Censorship Down Under

It looks like the Australian government is creating a firewall similar to the one that China has been using.

Australia says it means to restrict minors from accessing pornography and violence on the Internet, although it would give the government carte blanche over what typical Australian Web surfers are able to access on a day to day basis.

In late 2007 Stephen Conroy, Australia’s Telecommunications Minister, had said that Internet users will be able to opt out of being filtered. That said, it appears that the content filters will be mandatory for all Australian Internet users, and “opt out” could mean being added to what has been called a blacklist:

Australians will be unable to opt-out of the government’s pending Internet content filtering scheme, and will instead be placed on a watered-down blacklist, experts say.

Under the government’s $125.8 million Plan for Cyber-Safety, users can switch between two blacklists which block content inappropriate for children, and a separate list which blocks illegal material.

What does that mean for Name.com? The Great Firewall of China had effected some of our customers who were using URL forwarding. The issue caused some of our Chinese customers problems when trying to resolve their URL forwards in that country. We have a fair number of Australian customers as well. I’m afraid that they may experience the same type of inconvenience.

Not an incredibly big deal, but it makes me wonder if the effect of this type of Internet negativity on minors is prolific enough to warrant a governmental mandate. Is the government saying that parents and guardians of Australian minors need this type of help to control what their children look at on the Internet? Where is the line drawn between looking after the greater good of the people you represent, and blind censorship?

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is being held in Australia next month, interestingly enough. I am very curious to know what, if anything, will be said about this.

Name.com Now Offers Fastest Way to Buy Recently Deleted Domains

We’ve been working on a lot of behind the scenes improvements so that we could roll out some cool products and services. One of the first ones to drop is our new Recently Deleted Domains Service.You can search through domain names which have recently been deleted using a variety of search parameters including time since it dropped, length, keyword, extension, etc. It’s a pretty powerful tool, especially for those of you who have had your eye on a domain name but haven’t wanted to back order it.

We took it a step further and we’re also offering a Recently Deleted Domains Keyword Subscription Service. Right now you’re limited to English dictionary words. You can enter a variety of your favorite keywords as well as any you wish to block. We’ll send you an email update every 15, 30 or 60 minutes with a list of names that have dropped from the zone in that time frame.

Oh the things in store!

Are you excited? I watch Obama’s acceptance speech last night in the presence of about one hundred strangers at a bar in my neighborhood. There was certainly anticipation in the room leading up to the speech. There was an lush quiet while he spoke. Then excitement. Regeneration. Hope. This, as they say, is a good thing.

When I came into the office today I realized that’s not very different from what’s been going on here at Name.com. We’ve been pretty quiet lately. Heads down and working hard to beef up our infrastructure to keep up with our phenomenal growth and prepare for even more.

The last several months have been really busy and we’re just starting to see some of the fruits of those labors. Most of those things are completely behind the scenes. It’s no always been easy and it’s not always gone the way we hoped, but go it did.

Over the next several months there’s lots more to do and those are the things I am really excited about. I can’t talk about a lot of them right now but you can expect some enhancements to our feature set, perhaps a facelift and who knows’85 maybe a new product or two. Keep your eyes peeled.

AOL Offering Vanity Email on MCOM.com

This might not interest many of you, but if you remember Mosiac you might remember that mcom.com was their domain name back in the day. AOL has started offering some vanity email addresses of this and a few other domains. Some of which great like games.com, when.com and switched.com, others of which are – shall we say, “longtail” at best.

It’s puzzling to me that they would choose to use something like when.com for this service. There’s so much more that can be done with a short brandable generic like that. It’s a shame really. But I guess when you’re struggling and for sale you make some silly decisions.

The ’93Now What?’94 Series Intro

One of the questions I get asked over and over again by people outside of the domain name industry is “why do I need a domain?” the second most often asked question is “What do I do with my domain name?” Over the next couple of days I’ll be sharing some short articles with you. Articles targeted to those very people: end-users. Individuals and companies looking to register a domain name for a new business, a new product or any number of other reasons want to know what the can and what they should do with their newly minted Internet real estate. I owe a debt of gratitude to a talented young content writer who is here helping us out this summer. If Kevin Crane comes knocking on your door looking for a job, he’s got my endorsement and I thank him for his leg work and efforts on this series. The entirety of which will later be posted on the Name.com website.

The first and most important thing to do is make sure your domain name is secure. You spent some time and effort finding just the right domain name. You might have even paid a premium for the name in the aftermarket. Taking a few minutes to make sure that all of your contact details are accurate and that your domain name is locked from malicious changes and/or hijacking is a smart investment of a few minutes time.

Next, making sure that you know the username and password for your domain name registrar is another important item to check off. If you went through a designer or web host for your domain name you’ll want to make sure that you retain full rights to your name upon the termination of any relationship with that third party. Name.com recommends always registering your own domain names. Domain management isn’t difficult and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Finally, you may want to take advantage of multi-year discounts if your domain name registrar offers them. There are multiple reasons for doing so, including the peace of mind of having an extended registration (up to ten years) and not having to worry about annual renewals as well as the fact that Google looks favorably upon domain names which have expiration dates well into the future.

Bido.com Unwrapped

Recall Media’s one-name-per-day auction site, Bido.com bowed today with the inaugural auction of DiscountImages.com. Was is a success? Only the team over at Bido.com can say for sure. There were four bidders with a total of 20 bids on the name. That’s better than almost all of the low reserve/no reserve names at the last TRAFFIC auction in Orlando. The end result was a winning bid of $911US.

The appraisals for DiscountImages.com varied from lows of $500 to highs of $15k targeted at end-users. My own appraisal of $750-1500 was based on a variety of factors including past sales, recent offers on my own domains, industry trends and end-usage. I might have a couple of factors I’ll keep under my hat, but overall this isn’t rocket science. End-users are not the target for Bido.com and value expectations that take the end-user into account aren’t going to hit the mark here.

Does having industry expert appraisers weigh in on a name help or hinder the auction process? It might mean that some names get less, but I think it’s best for the industry as a whole. Overpaying for names means the industry is in a bubble (and look where that gets the real estate market). Having realistic appraisals and data on the likely end-use and/or development for a name presents us all with the opportunity to create a stable marketplace that will continue to grow over time.

Would I use Bido to move some of my names? You bet. There are many names in my portfolio that I either hand-regged or picked up in a drop or otherwise paid very little for. Why would I *not* take a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars for them? Are there names in this group that I’m not willing to trust the model to? Of course. But the crown jewels are few and far between. Domain investors who can be honest with themselves over their portfolio and the likelihood of a big payday for those mid-tier domains might find great success at Bido.com.

Cheers to the Bido.com/DNZoom team.

Name.com on the Road

While I’m enjoying the month of June here in sunny and arid Denver without any work related travel, you fine folks can catch up with Bill at DomainerMeeting and the ICANN meeting in Paris.

In July I’m back on the road with two trips to Chicago. We’re sponsoring the GeoDomainExpo so come find me at the W City Center July 10-12. If I see you wearing a Name.com hat on the show floor I’ll have a free gift for you. I’ll only have a couple of gifts with me, so you might want to try to find me before I run out.

Two weeks later I’ll be back in the windy city for HostingCon July 28-30 where I hope to catch up with some folks from my previous life in the hosting industry.

Will I see you there?

.ORG Promo Time!

As promised, if a little late, I bring you a new promo code. This time around we’re offering 30% off new .org registrations. This is good for a limited number of domains so if you’re thinking about registering some .org domains now is the time to do it.

Thanks to TankRazr for poking me on this. If this one isn’t to your liking I’ll have another for you in a few weeks. Drop me a line and let me know what you’re in the market for and I’ll see what I can do. And folks? It’s probably not going to be a .com promo, ya know?

Enter “j08org” for your 30% on .org domain registrations.

Busy Times At Name.com

First, let me apologize to the five people in the world who read this blog. I’ve been way lax in updating here but I have a really good reason. I’ve been supah busy actually doing things. It’s crazy I know, but it’s good. But that means that we needed help and we’ve been interviewing candidates for a variety of positions for a while and have recently added some folks to the team and wow’85 what a difference it can make. I’m planning to get back to writing semi-regularly.

I’ll have a new promo code for you later this week. Watch for it.