In 2009, Resolve to Protect Your Digital Assets

December 13th, 2008

I just finished reading Matt McGee’s post titled In 2009, Resolve to Own Your Digital Assets. Like that title? Note the similarity to mine? Well, his post got me to thinking about the doom and gloom recession we are in, and still to get deeper into, and what that may mean for website owners who do own their digital assets.

This recession is not simply about GM being a bloated dinosaur of a company long due for a complete overhaul, or sub-prime mortgages bringing real estate values back down to the long term mean, or even big banks in need of massive bailout packages. None of those are causes, they are merely symptoms of the bigger bubble that is bursting. The credit bubble. But I digress a bit, but only a bit, you’ll see.

So on to protecting your digital assets. Like Matt said, you should own your own domain name and not be using free hosting services. Domain names are cheap, only $10 per year. And for most small local businesses web hosting is cheap too. In the range of $5 to $30 per month.


What Happens if Your Web Host or Domain Registrar Goes Bankrupt?

Some of the faster growing domain registrars and web hosing companies did not get that big that fast on organic growth. They did it on credit. Some of whom may rely on lines of credit to operate their massive data centers. Here is where some risk lies in today’s current credit crunch environment. As this recession goes deeper we may hear of some web hosting companies and/or domain registrars going bankrupt.

According to Google Insights, both ‘web hosting’ and ‘ domain name’ as search keywords show a steady decline for the past 4 years. Just last month Lycos Europe reported it is liquidating portions of it’s business, including it’s web hosting arm, in response to a 20% decline in revenues.

If you have both your domain and hosting at the same place you could be screwed for quite some time. Loosing traffic, search rankings, and trust with the search engines. Ouch!

If a web host goes under you can possibly loose all your data (page files and databases). Obviously you should have backups of your data on your home or office machine, not on the server. If your domain was registered with a separate company you could move hosts in a matter of hours, or at most 24 hours, if you really had to. Just set up the new hosting account, upload your data, and reset your DNS ( domain name server) settings to point the domain to its new host.

When a domain registrar goes out of business the domains under their control may eventually get handed over to another accredited registrar. At least that’s the theory. In the case of being striped of its accreditation due to fraud there was a lot of confusion and it took some time before a big chunk of the 2 million domains under their control were transferred to GoDaddy. Some people did loose domains though.

Domain registrars are required to carry $70,000 in liquid cash as well as comply to various standards set out by ICANN. So the risk of one going under is likely a lot lower than a hosting company. But, if a registrar were to go bust your domain will, for the the meantime, continue to point your traffic to the hosting server as your DNS settings remain intact until the domain gets transferred to another registrar.

Diversity is the keyword here. Spread the risk around between your host and registrar. Just in case.

Interesting Times in Canadian Politics

December 1st, 2008

My blog does not cover politics but oh well, I can’t resist. Here comes the coalition. Exactly what Steven Harper deserves.

Harper called an unwanted election. Did so against his own legislation for fixed election dates. Why did he do it? Because he saw he was loosing grip and the world was changing fast. Of coarse the government saw the shit-storm brewing in the economy and figured if they could run an election sooner rather than later they could hold onto power longer.

So the election happens and the conservatives squeek by a minority win. A minority win under those circumstances, forcing an election when we didn’t need one, means they lost. They needed a majority in order to have confidence in their government. They didn’t get that and what’s going now is the result.

Them putting forth a budget that attempted to bankrupt the opposition parties and not having any meat regarding economic incentive packages in light of the brewing global financial collapse (not to mention they still wont admit they need to run a deficit) was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Harper is done.

Being that my blog ain’t political, if you want to comment on this issue then head on over to my girlfriend Kim’s site and comment on her post about this Canadian Coalition Government stuff.

Update (dec. 4)

OMFG, the Governor General suspended Parliament! I am so furious. Furious.

Again, just go comment about proroguing Canada’s government over here.


Congratulations America! Obama Wins

November 4th, 2008

The state of Ohio was just called and it went to Obama. That looks to me like the clincher. Obama will take the west coast states of California, Oregon and Washington and that’s the election folks. He might still take Florida too, though he wont need it.

History in the making.

My very first post on this blog took note of Obama’s campaign and how he leveraged his offline presence to promote his online one. And yeah, I was routing for him. I’m Canadian and couldn’t vote.

I was routinely following the poll tracking at Nate Silver really has a great site there. he could however be doing things a bit better on the search optimization side of things, but oh well. He got plenty of media coverage anyways on TV, Newspaper, magazines and such anyways. I even caught him on the Colbert Report.

Anyways, interesting times ahead with a revitalized America in the works.

Congratulations Barak Obama. Too bad your grandmother couldn’t hold out for another day or two to witness it.

I Do TV Advertising Too. Soon to Be Famous.

October 20th, 2008

So my friend/client runs a local shop that does window tinting and automobile paint protection. Nice little business. His biggest problem has been educating potential customers about the paint protection film (ppf) product. Basically letting them know it even exists.

His website ranks at the top of Google locally (of course, he has me behind it) and the window tinting acts to pull people in and exposes them to the PPF product. And a little spread by word of mouth. That alone is not enough. So we thought TV ads should do the trick.

The local TV network was offering to come up with the creative for an ad, no charge there, providing he bought the advertising space. Not a bad deal really. It is a small city so that is something the TV station needs to give away to sell local ad space.

Anyways, the ads they were coming up with, unfortunately were just not up to par and did nothing to really portray the product and educate customers. So I got to thinking. One night as I was about to fall asleep the idea popped into my head for a little story line that would make a great 30 second TV ad.

The Ad

Click here to read the rest »

New iGoogle with Left Nav Bar is the SUCK!

October 16th, 2008

One year and one month after first publishing this post there is a new rash of complaints about iGoogle tabs on top vs. tabs on left. Previous methods of reverting to the old style of iGoogle by setting it to a different country version is no longer working. Seems everyone now gets the US version.

But there is a new cure to Google’s tab disease! Posted in the comments of this post was reference to a Firefox plugin that will remove those left hand tabs and place them back on top. Yay!!!!

If you’re not using FireFox as your web browser you’re shit out of luck. If your using Internet Exploder as your web browser you should give your head a shake. Join the rest of the cool kids and switch to FF.

Amazing how much I instantly hated this when it changed on me today. It’s really really bad. I liked having my tabs up top. Now on the side they eat up realestate on my well used (read full) iGoogle pages.

Left tabs on iGoogle interface is bad bad idea

Apparently Google rolled this new interface out and tested it on select iGoogle accounts a few months back. Did those testers happen to like it and give Goog the thumbs up? Are they, were they, on crack?

Click here to read the rest »