Happy New Year 2011

by ian on January 1, 2011

I would like to wish anyone who should stumble across this blog a Happy New Year.
As far as the new year, I plan on doing a lot more development of the sites and domains that I currently have.
That basically means no new domain acquisitions for 2011 and beyond.
Just as I decide to give up domaining, I discover this great techmeme type site for domainers, domaining.com
Which in turn lead me to this funny cartoon by domainshane.com


Snapnames.com bidding by employee

by ian on November 5, 2009

Received this email today

Recently, SnapNames discovered that an employee had set up an account on the SnapNames system under a false name and, under this name, bid in SnapNames auctions. This is a clear violation of our internal policy and was not approved by the company. We deeply regret that this conduct has impacted our customers.

Extent of impact

This conduct affected a small percentage of SnapNames auctions:
Bidding affected approximately five percent of total SnapNames auctions since 2005, most of which occurred between 2005 and 2007.
The incremental revenue from the bidding represented approximately one percent of SnapNames’ auction revenue since 2005.
No matter the level of impact, SnapNames takes this matter extremely seriously. When the matter was discovered, the company immediately closed the account in question and began a thorough investigation. The employee has also been dismissed from the company.

SnapNames further discovered that, on certain recent and limited occasions, when the employee won an auction, the employee secretly arranged to refund from SnapNames to the fictitious account a portion of the winning bid amount.

Remedy to affected customers

Though on some occasions the employee won the auction, in many instances the bidding caused the ultimate auction winner to pay more for a name than had the employee not participated in the auction.

SnapNames neither condones this conduct nor wants to be perceived as benefiting from the conduct. Accordingly, we have decided that regardless of the circumstance, in every auction where the employee’s fictitious account submitted a bid which resulted in a higher price being paid by the winning bidder, SnapNames will offer a rebate, with 5.22% interest (the highest applicable federal rate during the affected time period), to affected customers for the difference between the prices they actually paid and the prices they would have paid, had the employee not bid in the auctions. The rebate will be available in cash or in credit on the SnapNames platform, at your discretion.

SnapNames has moved quickly to address this situation. The company has retained Rust Consulting, an independent third party, who will administer the rebate offer. Within the next week, Rust Consulting will contact affected customers to provide details regarding the offer.

Seriously, it is surprising that this could go undetected from 2005 to 2009, but I have to give them kudos for admitting the problem and trying to make good on the problem. Hopefully I qualify for a refund :P
Looks like email should go out in around a week. Although some people already know how much of a refund they are entitled to.
Snapnames.com used to be the pioneer in the expired domain industry. If you were the first person to get a backorder in, you used to be able to get it for US$69 which is very cheap. Then I think pool.com came along and started auctioning domains that expired and were successful in obtaining. They had very good registry connections and won a lot of great domains which they auctioned for very high prices. Michael Arrington who was involved in starting Pool.com mentioned figures of about a million dollars a month.
So then snapnames.com started with the auction process like pool, instead of a fixed price. But they were not good in competing with Pool.com
Then snapnames.com regained their crown as the king of domains, by striking a deal with Network Solutions. The majority of the very best domains that expired and were worth a lot of money were originally registered with Network Solutions. But that crown was lost in my opinion, when namejet.com took over the agreement to auction expired domains with Network Solutions. I believe namejet.com are the new kings of expired domain names.
For a very interesting take on this subject, I recommend reading the comments in the following post. Yes, anybody who knows anything about domaining, knows that Michael Arrington, due to his involvement with Pool.com is a legend in the industry, it is funny to see people question his knowledge in the industry.


Alexa ranking for this blog

by ian on November 1, 2009

Well when I first checked the Alexa ranking in June 09, the rank was 3,674,345.
It is now the start of November 09 and alexa shows the rank has increased to 2,361,639, so it has effectively jumped about a million sites up the ladder.
Not great progress, but every little bit helps, so long as the changes are in a positive direction.
Google also recently did a pagerank update. The pagerank for this forum remains at a PR1.
A good site for checking your pagerank, if you do not have the google toolbar installed is http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php
I also ordered a 88×31 banner from bannersmall.com. It will be interesting to see how that turns out.


InternetBrands.com takeover of vbulletin

by ian on November 1, 2009

Well when I first heard that InternetBrands.com, a stockmarket listed company had taken over vbulletin.com, I thought to myself, how long before they start to hike up the prices.
Many times, companies that pay large sums to buy other companies, try to recoup their purchase price by lifting prices. I have used vbulletin.com for many years now, and was not too happy about the price hikes, but I will pay them. At the moment, they do hold a lot of large forum owners to ransom. What was once a lifetime licence, is now just a licence for that current stream, for example vbulletin 4.0 stream, and those prices have increased as well. There are no yearly maintenance fees.
If you run quite a few forums, these costs can easily add up. The real question, to try and assess whether this is reasonable, is how long will it be between major version releases, that is how long between version 4.0 and 5.0? And how far will they go with price increases?
There could be an opportunity for a new forum developer in the market.
On the positive side, I guess increased costs, could be seen as an increased barrier to people buying the software. For now, I will continue to use vbulletin, for the lack of a better option.

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Iphone 3gs Shot

by ian on October 12, 2009

I have an Iphone 3GS, and it is an excellent phone, the best smartphone I have used so far.
I would consider a Blackberry with a physical keyboard, but only if they release a model with a touch screen as well, I am too used to touch screen phones to ever go back to using one without one.
Anyhow saw this interesting video today on an Iphone being destroyed, the owner stating the fact the reason due to the fact that Apple rejected the Google Voice Application.
What a waste, although at time of viewing the video did have 493,444 views, so if this viral video somehow promoted a product, I could see it as not being such a waste after all.


Geocities Closing

by ian on October 12, 2009

Back in the day, most people who got into web development at one point had a geocities website. I had one at one point.
Then in 1999, Geocities.com was sold to Yahoo in a deal that I think was worth around US$2.87 billion dollars.
Now they are shutting geocities down on 26th October 2009 according to this page.
Maybe it might be a good ploy if it encourages people to take up the offer of Yahoo’s paid hosting service.
But if they do actually go ahead and pull the plug on geocities, I think it would be a monumental waste of money. Pageviews and advertising reach should matter to Yahoo, but then they have made a lot of what I consider very poor business decisions. Getting rid of pictures on profiles at one point, and countless others. They seriously could have crushed Facebook, they had the power to do it, but they blew it. And don’t get me started on them effectively signing away their search division for x number of years. Again, not a particularly good move. Even though their share price has fallen a lot since the Microsoft offer, I still think they should put Jerry Yang as the head of the company, and have a team of members of founders of some of the companies they acquired to help him rebuild yahoo. I think the only thing Yahoo has left going for it at the moment, is Yahoo messenger and yahoo email.


Colour Themes Website

by ian on October 11, 2009

I would like to just give a shout out to the Colour Lovers website which is a great website for selecting colours.
Yes that is colour with a U, how we spell it here in Australia.
Of particular interest is the about page which lists the volunteer efforts of the founder Darius. I have a lot of respect for people who volunteer to help others in times of tragedy.
COLOURLovers | Fight for love in the color revolution


DiyThemes WordPress Theme

by ian on October 11, 2009

Just purchased and installed the Thesis Theme from diythemes.com It was very easy to install.
I looked for ages on the internet to find a coupon code to make the purchase, but could not find one that was not expired, so eventually I went ahead and purchased the theme at the full normal price. There were a few sites that offered some sort of cashback, but you had to provide your licence details, etc and I was not comfortable doing that.
Anyhow over the next few weeks, I will play around with customising the look of this site.
You can purchase the thesis themes at diythemes.com


Internet Goals

by ian on October 6, 2009

I think it is important to develop goals when trying to make a living on the internet. For some it may be reaching a certain level of monthly income.
For others, it may be reaching a certain level of unique visitors. I would like to state that my personal goal is to have seven sites (not including this one) which are all ranked
in the top 100,000 sites on the internet. It doesn’t matter how much or how little they earn, and I definitely don’t believe in gaming alexa or any system for that matter. I believe in doing things the hard honest way.
So far, I have two sites in the top 100,00 as below. Just have to develop another 5 sites. I have over 100 projects which I have not had time to get off the ground, so that should not be too hard coming up with ideas. However, developing a site which consistently ranks in the top 100,000 is not an easy task. I would also like to diversify to have sites in other areas, not just tech related.

ComputerForum.com has a current alexa rank of 64,792

WebDesignForum.com has a current alexa rank of 89,493


Alexa Ranking as at June 2009

by ian on June 16, 2009

Well my current Alexa ranking for this site internet-business.com is 3,674,345 with 29 inbound links.
As with most of my sites, you need to set goals, and my goal is to get this site into the top 100,000 sites by legitimate means of course, yes there are ways of inflating your alexa ranking, but I would never do that.

If your site is in the top 100,000 you get more detailed statistics.
Below are a couple of my sites that are currently in the top 100,000
ComputerForum.com which is currently ranked 72,468 and has 192 inbound links.

And also WebDesignForum.com which is currently rated 94,287 and has 110 inbound links.

Of course if certain things work to improve my alexa ranking, I will be sure to let you know.