Domain Name Registration Tips and “domain tasting” by registrars.

For many the best approach to “having a website” is simply to start a free blog at Blogger.com or WordPress.com.  Both are simple and give you access to powerful free tools as well as worldwide exposure (though you’ll find very few people are likely to visit your blog, even if it’s great).    For a very small annual fee of under $20 you can upgrade both Blogger.com and WordPress blogs to have an address with your own domain name, such as “MyOwnDomainName.com”.

Alternatively you can register your own domain name and sign up for “hosting” and create a website.  This is also cheap, and with available templates not very difficult, though blogs are generally easier to create and manage if you’ll be writing often.   Websites are more appropriate for business exposure, though all businesses should ALSO be blogging which helps your site rank better in search engines – most notably Google which is where almost all free internet traffic will come from nowadays.  Note that a blog is a simply one type of website that uses a general “posting” format.

Easy internet riches from domain registrations is generally a fools game, but it’s also true that a few people made big fortunes with domain name portfolios, and also it is reasonable to register names that suit your fancy for future projects.

Generally you should avoid mail, phone, and online appeals to register or renew names.   Some are outright scams and many are simply a way to get you to move or register names at very high cost.    Discount registrars like Godaddy.com charge only about $10 per year per name for .com, .net, and .org (less in bulk).    Although Godaddy’s upselling is annoying, they are about as cheap as you’ll find for name registrations.

Another challenge to making “easy money” with domain registrations is “domain tasting”:

Domain Tasting and Early Domain Deletions from “Domain Estimator” website:

Domain Tasting refers to a fairly new domain phenomena that claims over 1.5 million domain registrations and deletions per day. Most of the major TLD registries have allowed registrars to delete domain registrations and receive a full refund within the first five days of registration. This results in domain tasting, or the process of registering domains (usually by the thousands), testing them on parking pages for a period of 4-5 days and then releasing the domains that are not generating revenue. There are no rules when it comes to deletions, so in theory, a domain taster could register and taste a domain multiple times before finally deciding whether or not it meets their criteria (usually it must generate more money in a given year then it cost to acquire). Several large, well funded companies have now mastered the art of domain tasting and claim pretty much every daily dropped domain. In other words, any domain that drops as part of the daily drop cycle gets registered and tasted, almost immediately after dropping, and then re-released several days later for others sample. Many tasters register tens of thousands of two and three word combination domains that were never previously registered, in addition to the drops. Most of the high volume tasters own at least one registrar and have budgets that allow tens of thousands of domain registrations per day. Since they only keep a very small percentage of what they taste, the money stays in constant circulation. The only way to combat domain tasting (since virtually anything that drops as part of the regular drop cycle gets picked up by them) is to backorder domains through one of the drop catchers.

Blogging CES – CES09 Blogroll

Blogging CES 2009:

I’m reposting Lyn’s excellent blogroll from the official CES blog at blog.ce.org. For a complete pictures you’ll need to check a lot of blogs because even the companies like Engadget and Gizmodo, each I think with 10+ people reporting here, will feature only a small fraction of all the conference action here at CES, which is really almost too massive to imagine in terms of the number of exhibits across the two convention centers.

Top Technology Stories of 2008

Update:  Don’t miss our upcoming CES 2011 live coverage here at Technology Report

Techmeme is a favorite of many in technology for pulling together technology stories and the conversations that often swirl around them.  Unlike a simple “ranking” system, TechMeme surfaces the top stories and then links out to blogs and sites that are discussing those “hot topics”.     Thus a quick review of TechMeme can give you a very fast orientation to the stories that are making their rounds in the blogs.    That does not always correspond to stories that actually *matter* to real folks, but it’s a great start.

TechMeme’s new story editor Megan has a list here of the top 10 for 2008.   Number one was the Microsoft – Yahoo aquisition saga, number two was Apple quitting MacWorld, and number three was Google Chrome.


Disclosure: Long on YHOO