SOPA Support Prompts Customer Exodus From GoDaddy. Oh, And We Are Leaving Too.

It’s all over the news and if you have missed it – it’s too bad. GoDaddy recently announced their strong support for SOPA/PIPA legislation only to revert their position once public outcry started affecting their bottom line. It is obvious that reversal is a purely a PR stunt and a bad one at it. No one argues that any company is out there to make money, but advocating legislation that, in the long run, will prevent people from making more money is plain stupid. The SOPA support game that GoDaddy has got themselves into is a short small gain, long big loss kind of a deal and any company that has any future plans should have known better than that. Judging by GoDaddy’s recent actions – they don’t. This leads to only one simple conclusion – I cannot afford to trust my domains and domains of my clients to company who can’t forecast their own future within a year or two. Nothing personal, just business – can’t trust the company that doesn’t know what it is doing.

Having said that – I have begun the process of moving my domains away from GoDaddy. First 7 are already on the way to right now. As you can imagine, transferring some 140 domains away from GoDaddy is a significant expense and is time consuming, however, I feel very strongly about making a move. The process will be gradual – at the end of the month I will move a batch of domains that are scheduled to renew in the next month or two. It will not generate a big lump in GoDaddy’s monthly reports and I probably will not receive a phone call from GoDaddy begging me to return. However, I will feel somewhat better knowing that my money will not fund the idiocy and waste that is SOPA/PIPA.

Happy New Year everyone.

annoyances internet

Buying A Domain On A Smartphone - Buying Domain From Smartphone Yesterday I noticed that the very first domain I ever tried to own, but never did – (it’s coming from here, if you must know. Not that I am infatuated with Woland figure, it’s just that specific character – Cat Begemot – is very appealing to me.) is actually free (as in Deleted and available again), so I decided to waste no time and grab it. Unfortunately, the place I am working from right now blocks the access to all three domain registrars I am using – GoDaddy, Moniker and NameCheap.

No problem, I said, I have a smart phone (it’s AT&T Tilt at the moment, equipped with Windows Mobile 6), so I’ll just go get it from there! Yeah, right.

Namecheap loaded fine, but refused to acknoledge my credentials. No matter how many times I reloaded web site and tried to sign on – no luck. I was thrown back to the same page requiring login and password. Sorry, Namecheap, no business for you today.

Moniker loaded fine too, even allowed me to sign into my account. Next step – check if domain is available. I never realized it until that day that every time you check for domain name Moniker checks for all the available extentions. Guess it’s an upselling technique. What threw me off was those AJAXy boxes that roll for a moment and then present you with a checkbox – empty if domain is available or filled if it is taken. Obviously, boxes never got their AJAX stuff to work, so no way to register domain there too. Moving on.

GoDaddy was the scariest place to go on my smartphone, mainly because you can hardly see any useful features behind heavy advertising. Just imagining all that mess on a tiny (comparing to 1920×1200 24″ screen I have at home) smart phone screen was giving me creeps. Nevertheless, I jumped on the task. Quite a few minutes later, when all the junk loaded over my 3G connection, I was able to log in and submit a domain search. As you might have guessed, another button was teh culprit. The Go To Checkout button happened to be powered by some AJAX or JavaScript or whatnot and simply doesn’t work on mobile version of Internet Explorer. Sorry, you loose!

It wouldn’t be me if I left the problem unresolved. A little search around turned up two unblocked providers – Joker and While I’ve stumbled on more than one occasion of negative feedback about Joker on WHT, the sounded like a reasonable choice, so that’s where I went. The whole transaction took no more than ten minutes and ta-da! Finally, after almost 10 years of exile, the is in my posession.


Domain Names At Large

While everybody raving about the latest ICANN initiative to create their own little wild wild west (or Klondike) selling root zone domain names not that many people realize the impact it will do on the surfing as we know it.

So far, here’s what ICANN plans to do:

  • allow registering of any primary domain zone (.istudioweb, .microsoft, .yahoo)
  • allow registering primary domain zones in national character sets (like cyrillic, chinese, etc.)
  • allow trademark holders to have a priority in registering a zone
  • set the price in 6-numbers area, or auctioning zones, so that cybersquatters will not be able to afford it

Now let’s take a closer look at this bright picture. As of right now everyone agrees that .com is the only widely recognizable zone for commercial domains. If I look at, and info.mybusiness domains – I’m sure to point my browser to the first one – because it is recognizable and this is what I am used to. That’s just before everything else comes to mind. Now – back to bulletpoints.

Primary Domain Zone

Aside from the state of mass confusion, there will be a bunch of zones that won’t really give you much. I’m sure Google will have its .Google zone to make me visit, and, but would be any different then GMail, Google News or Google Image Search? Not really. So what’s the benefit for me as a visitor? Zero.

If we’re talking about an unknown (at least to me) brand, then it gets worse. If I see a link to – will I get to a car dealership or an automated malware distributor? Again, for me as a consumer the new domain zones create a big fat layer of confusion, while adding little (if that) to convenience of browsing.

National Character Sets In Domain Names

This is very good idea for scammers of all kinds. After all – what could be better then luring an unsuspecting american capitalist to the web site that spells “we-steal-credit-cards-from-americans.russia” in cyrillic alphabet, full with 0-day browser exploits and viruses. More words – more fun! And scammer’s friends will be aware not to visit this site. Convenient, eh? Additional benefit – there is no way such a victim can warn others, since there are no such letters on his keyboard. And ICANN gets paid for this!

Trademark Holders To Have Priority In Registering Zones

The latest grudge over trademarks that I recall was iPhone and Apple. I’m sure by the time this gets available, there will be much more trademark holders then there are domain zones. By the way, who are trademark holders of words “dating”, “pharma” and “sex”? That would be a rich crowd…

Pricing In 6-Digit Area Or Auctioning

This is the biggest pile of nonsense I’ve seen since the “American’s weren’t on the Moon” thing. Imagine a small business that wants to own .widgets. By setting the price anywhere higher then $10,000 ICANN makes damn sure that this small business is out of the game. Who will buy it then? Cybersquatters, ofcourse, who already selling domains for thousands of dollars and therefore command sums much larger then any small business can afford paying for domain name.

Now, let’s say I have enough money to register that .widgets zone. Then I would offer second-level names to anyone in widgets business. For reasonable amount of $100/year you can register JonDoe.widgets and be a proud owner of your domain. After two years when your web site is widely recognized by search engines, I decide that I don’t want to sell names on .widgets anymore and you will have to find yourself another domain name. The .widgets zone is my property, so I do as I wish. Then I set up a placeholder on JonDoe.widgets with a lot of ads and affiliate links and voila – you just brought me thousands of dollars for free. No, wrong – you paid me $200 (plus applicable text) so that I could make thousands off of your web site. Nice, eh?

To wrap up the rant – imagine if yet another ICANN’s initiative was to write IPv6 addresses in Roman numbers, instead of hexadecimal notation. More words – more fun, right?