Thursday, November 5, 2015

Hammer, nails, and feedback

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The public has looked at domain names the same way for 30 years. Of course why not? Verisign, Nominet and all the other registries have trained us that domain names are just DNS delivery vehicles; domains have no function out of the gate and we are required to build services on top of them.  What if a domain was something more? What if a .Feedback domain could collect feedback, with no special coding skills required, in seconds after a registration? A long standing assumption I keep hearing about .Feedback is that everyone expects us to deliver DNS-only domains. I, Jay Westerdal, the CEO of .Feedback, would like to address this huge assumption. 

Mark Monitor recently wrote on their blog, "The registry operator behind .feedback has decided that just because you pay to register a domain name does not mean you should actually be able to use said domain name."

Frankly this assessment is factually inaccurate. We absolutely let people use domains they purchase and we do more then any registry has ever done in terms of using a domain. We offer a screwdriver in a hammer only world.  Within minutes of registering a domain the registry facilitates use of the domain. We provide a platform with survey questions and a way to customize the look and feel of the website. We provide a platform for engagement and feedback. With a DNS-only domain registry, it would require load of external software, external infrastructure, and a lot of different programming and design skills. 

ICANN's core values are creativity, innovation, and respect the flow of information. The .Feedback registry is innovating and following those core values by allowing transparency with an independent review system that can be operated by anyone willing to sponsor a name.  The .Feedback domain is different from all the other registries. It is human nature to fear change and innovation, this registry doesn't want to be in the business of selling just DNS domains like every other registry. We want to innovate!

Our mission is to "facilitate customer feedback". If someone wants to register their favorite pizza place's name, and setup a portal where customer's of that place can give feedback, our domains are the perfect solution. Not everyone has the computer experience to setup this type of platform on their own. For the cost of a domain we provide an entire platform that does it all.

If we, as a registry, are not innovating then we are just like all the other registries. We are not just a fancy label maker with a unique suffix. If a person doesn't want our product they can choose not to purchase. 

I would encourage everyone to expand your horizons and think of domains as more than just labels on the Internet. Domains can be complex platforms that are easy to setup and easy to operate. In a few short years we will see more platforms and more innovation. Let's avoid thinking everything is a nail and the only solution is a hammer. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


The alphabet is not new but when Google jumped on board and renamed its new parent company Alphabet, Inc it called out the vast number of separate ventures Google is involved in. Google literally has companies for every letter of the alphabet so it makes sense their parent company now uses that name. However one other organizations could have made a better claim to rename to Alphabet if they had not got beaten to the punch by Google. That company is best known as the world authority on domains, ICANN. Having recently approved new Top Level Domains for every letter in the alphabet it would have made sense for them to rebrand as well. Without further ado, here are the ABCs of ICANN.

A for .Apple (also a total of 94 letter “A” TLDs),  .Basketball (82), .Club (122), .Dentist (61), .Exchange (33), .Feedback (62), .Gmail (62), .Health (46), .Islam (41), .Jewelry (21), .Kindle (29), .London (62), .Money (82), .NYC (41), .Online (29), .Panasonic (63), .QVC (5), .Realty (51), .School (125), .Toyota (70), .University (12), .Volkswagen (33), .Wedding (37), .Xerox (8), .Yahoo (11), .Zappos (11)

In our ICANN alphabet we mixed in cities, brands, religions, and generics to the list but clearly ICANN could have built 5 whole alphabets without repeating one TLD. The letter S is the most common letter with 125 uses. In fact, you can make sentences just from the letter S. Seven Science Scholarships Support Swiss Surgery.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Billionaire moves to new TLD .FISH

Local Seattle billionaire and fish conservationist, Paul Allen, has started a new program to bring fresh fish to the tables of restaurants. Not that Seattle needs fresher fish, the concern is the "non storied fish". Fish that get moved all around the world for cheap processing is not good for stability.

Mr. Allen choose the domain to spread the word. Of course I googled "Smart Catch Fish" and his .fish website ranked 1st in Google. The Smart Catch program is going to be advertised in all menus and doors of the participating restaurants. The logos and URL will be getting a lot of public attention so this is good for all new TLDs.

The most important takeaway I had from Smart Catch, is that ".com" is not the most important extension because clearly if it was, a billionaire could have purchased "" from Sedo where it has been advertised for sale for several years. Why go through the hassle of buying a domain for hundreds or possible thousands of dollars from a domain speculator when you can buy a .fish for $30 retail!

Friday, June 12, 2015

"Outlive Life" is an example of Exact Match working in the TLD

The movie Selfless is coming out on July 10th. They choose the domain (Yes, a rather bad domain). However they also registered the domain Outlive.Life and redirected it to their tumblr account. This is just a redirect but when you search Google for "Outlive.Life" the first result is their Tumblr account with that exact address displayed on the SERP listing.

The most interesting part is when you search without the "dot" in the term, just "Outlive Life" then the address on the SERP listing changes to the Tumblr account AND they score #1 position for the term.

TLDs in subject areas are going to become huge, it is just a matter of time. Google already reads the URL, and as we can see from this example Google also reads the TLD's word. More proof can be seen, by searching for the term "Outlive" by itself, there is no reference on the first page of the Google's SERP.

There are still more testing to be done, but examples of Exact Match terms spanning the DOT are starting to become more common.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

CR-48 is my new Duck Tape

I am testing out the CR-48. It is rather simple. Open it up and I get a web browser (chrome). Close the notebook and the OS turns off. Like I said, simple. The simple part is awesome but it is also frustrating. I find that most everything I do is in a browser now days. So I see the logic behind the OS that is just a web browser.

CR-48 Google Notebook
Practical Uses
After using it for a few days I have a few good uses for it. Laptop for bed, I had used a full powered OS in bed. Then I moved to an Android phone because how easy it was to check 10 email accounts, surf news and play games. I find that the CR-48 computer is perfect for heavier use of the web but not full on office work might be.

The other use is as a dedicate Pandora player. I have set up the CR-48 up as a stand-alone Internet computer that hooks into my sound system. I imagine computers in the future will run Chrome OS and cost under $100. So the CR-48 is becoming like duck-tape for me. If I need a cheap computer to do something, I can grab one and set it up to do a browsing task.

Wish List
So my biggest wish for Chrome is "Live Sharing". I want to control my Chrome-OS from across the room with my other computers. Or it would allow me to surf the same HTML webpage that was downloaded to a remote Chrome. If my mom needs help with something on or someone I know has a tech question I can drop into a tab or window on their Chrome. They don't need to share their whole computer like VNC allows, just their browser. This would allow me to load Pandora on a remote Chrome, I could then skip songs, click on playlists, etc. It would also allow me to adjust setting inside Chrome and install new extensions.

How it would work
As the primary computer user, I allow sharing in the preferences. The user can setup one-time sharing windows and the sharing permissions die when the browser is closed. Or the user can permanently allow admins to see everything they have loaded.

Admin permissions would be great for IT departments, they can help users and also enforce policy compliance.  If a corporation gives out a PC, they can enforce whitelists, blacklists, and anything else they want. With a Chrome-OS it is just a wild west right now. Their is no way to track down a missing CR-48 or see what it has been doing.

Closing Thoughts
Chrome is wicked cool already, now that a dedicate machine is here we can see a future that was not possible before. Remote Control of a Chrome instance is killer and would be instant Internet Duck-Tape.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Google Auto-Complete Game

The Google Auto-Complete game is fun to play. The game starts by picking a popular word. I picked Movies and then went down the list of letters in the alphabet. It was very interesting to see what pops up next.

I have heard and seen that people play this game when they are board. But I started to give it some rules so that it was easier to play.

First rule is eliminate locations or actually domain names. So for example for with the letter B, if Boston was first answer then it would be ignored. So the answer for Movies B, would be "Movies based on True Stories".  The second rule is that is ok not to have an answer that is also a correct answer. So if the partner playing the game guesses, "nothing" it would mean that Google suggests 10 locations. The second rule is, compound words are not excepted. There must be a complete second word following. The third rule is, prompt your partner with how many words the expression is. So for example on the letter "A", the question is, "Movies A, three words?". Here is the whole answer list for "Movies".

Movies about drugs
Movies based on true stories.
Movies coming soon.
Movies dvd.
Movies everyone should see.
Movies free online.
Movies google.
Movies h... nothing. (All Locations and no real answers)
Movies in theaters.
Movies just released on dvd.
Movies kristen stewart has been in.
Movies links.
Movies megaupload.
Movies new releases.
Movies online.
Movies quotes.
Movies released in 2009.
Movies showtimes.
Movies times.
Movies unlimited.
Moves v... nothing. (All Locations again)
Movies with a lot of sexuality.
Movies x... (No results at all)
Movies you must see.
Moves zip code.

You may also play the game with two category words at the same time. The partner say two answers and it can apply to both categories. The game gets much each when you do this. Choose things that are similar like "Soccer and Football", or "Build and Construct". Let's play again with the words, "Dog and Cat" at the same time. This will be fun to see the overlap and the differences.

Dog adoption. Cat allergies.
Dog breeds. Cat breeds.
Dog collars. Cat Cora. (first female American Iron Chef)
Dog diarrhea. Cat Deeley. (famous British person)
Dog ear infection. Cat emery board.
Dog food reviews. Cat furniture.
Dog games. Cat genie.
Dog houses. Cat health.
Dog insurance. Cat in the hat.
Dog jackets. Cat jokes.
Dog kennels. Cat kidney failure symptoms.
Dog leashes. Cat litter boxes.
Dog mange. Cat mario.
Dog names. Cat names.
Dog obedience training. Cat on a hot tin roof.
Dog piles. Cat power.
Dog quotes. Cat quotes.
Dog rescue. Cat repellent.
Dog sitter. Cat stevens.
Dog the bounty hunter. Cat toys.
Dog upset stomach. Cat urine odor remover.
Dog vomiting. Cat videos.
Dog walker. Cat worms.
Dog xanax. Cat x ray.
Dog years. Cat years.
Dog zodiac. Cat zodiac.

I hope you enjoy the game. Play with a partner or in a group. If you play often enough you will get the hang of it and it starts getting easier.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Google Buzz: First Reaction

I have been playing around with Google Buzz. And I thought I would write a blog post about it. It is only a few days old now but I have found a number of neat things using this service. First, It is not your dad's twitter, It is new and fresh and the location embedded messages are killer. This example to the left is a guy stuck on the bridge at 1am when the draw bridge went up. You just don't have anything this neat with Twitter. Google took foursquare and twitter and killed them.

Try browsing around the map which has the Buzz bubbles on them. To enable  this, go into your Google Map on your phone. Make sure you have version 4 or greater installed. Enable the Buzz Layer and then you should see all the blips appear. I browsed around Costco and I saw plenty of people talking about getting a hot dog. It give me a lot of good feelings to see actual speech bubbles coming from the places. It is like the map is alive and telling what is happening. This is far better reporting because you have so many spots. I could see something like this being used at sporting events or during a crisis.

Here is my bubble coming from my house. I took a picture out the window to show how good the geo-coding is. I am really looking forward to the API that Google releases, there are so many possible ways to use this application. I really do feel sorry for twitter. They should have sold last year when they were still sort of fresh and new.

I might be accused of being a Google Fan Boy, but I just like the products and culture that Google has.  They took their time to pick on Twitter, but when they did, they nailed it.

I can only imagine that Microsoft is going to try and copy this and twitter will have one last chance to sell. What are your thoughts on Google Buzz? If you currently Tweet, do you think you will Buzz? I think the answer is yes. If people are on the fence there is an option to pull your twitter stream into buzz as well. So Google has the perfect way to incorporate all the twitter messages from the people that are on the still using Twitter.