Author Archives: Ken Schafer

Introducing Ting

Earlier today we took the wraps off a new project we’ve been working on for a while now. It’s a new mobile phone service launching in the US later this year called Ting. You can learn more about at ting.com.

Tucows Expired Domain Names Now At NameJet

Tucows will now exclusively use NameJet to auction Tucows’ large inventory of expired domain names.

NameJet is a domain name aftermarket auction company that consolidates an exclusive inventory of expired and deleted domains from top domain name registrars and makes them available for auction.

Starting today (February 9, 2009), thousands of daily expired domain names from Tucows will be available for auction to the general public on the NameJet Website.

We’re pleased to be working with NameJet to auction our expired domain names, and we look forward to these names being made available to a wide audience of bidders through NameJet.

Rohan Jayasekera Joins The Herd

One of the best parts of my role here at Tucows is being able to bring talented people into the company.

I’m thrilled to announce that Rohan Jayasekera has joined my team as Director of the Tucows Email Service.

At the risk of sounding like a stalker, I’ve had my eye on Rohan since I first met him at a BarCamp event here in Toronto a few years ago. I was impressed by Rohan’s deep insights on the topic our little “unconference” group was talking about (although I can’t for the life of me remember what exactly we were discussing) and when I got home I did a quick Google on Rohan and found a peer with an incredibly interesting background.

Rather than gush about exact how great a fit Rohan is, I’ll just point you to his blog post about joining Tucows so you can hear it from the man.

Are Registries Aiding And Abetting Front Running?

As¬†James mentioned in yesterday’s post¬†here on the Tucows Blog,¬†Network Solutions Inc.¬†caused quite a furor¬†when they confirmed that they are “front running”¬†(registering domains based on domain searches done by potential registrants).

After a contributor to Domain State broke the story, it was covered on Techmeme, Digg, Slashdot, and a host of individual sites and blogs, etc. and so on. Heck, it even made USA Today.

To be clear, Network Solutions officially denied they were front running:

Although Network Solutions does temporarily register a site a customer searched for, spokeswoman Susan Wade denied there’s anything nefarious afoot. “Network Solutions is not front-running,” she said. Network Solutions holds the domain for up to four days, during which time a customer can register it only from Network Solutions and after which it again becomes generally available if unregistered, Wade said. But that feature, she said, is a “pre-emptive” measure to protect customers–from front-runners. That’s because front-runners can tell when a customer has searched for a domain at Network Solutions, for example because Network Solutions then must check availability at other sites when a customer searches, Wade said.

Respectfully, this is spin. As many of those up in arms about this have pointed out, Network Solutions is effectively saying “we’re pre-emptively front running to help prevent others from front running”. ¬†My guess is most people would say “thanks but no thanks”. I’m concerned however about an aspect of Susan Wade’s statement that others haven’t made much of, namely that registries are involved in Front Running.

“This search data is captured at the various registries. We believe there are registries and/or Internet service providers that may be selling this data to front-runners. So, by holding domains searched on Network Solutions, this pre-empts the search data being captured,” she said.

If Network Solutions has evidence of registries  - or any service provider for that matter Рactually being involved in front running, I urge them to share this information with the Internet community so that we can all make sure that these people are called out for the practice and our customers can be told to avoid them in the future.

Bill Sweetman Joins The Herd

I was just thrilled that we finally got to make it official earlier today and announce that Bill Sweetman has joined Tucows!

Bill and I have known each other for about eleven years now – since the very early days of AIMS (the Association for Internet Marketing and Sales). Interestingly enough, Bill presented at one of the first AIMS events and his topic was domain names as marketing tools. Back than it was rare that anyone gave much thought to the domain name they associated with their “web page” and fewer still treated domains as the marketing machines we know they are now. Bill saw the opportunity when few others did.

Since then Bill and I have collaborated on various projects, including writing for One Degree where his domain-related posts where always the most popular on the site. He’s been blogging at Sweetmantra and podcasting at Marketing Martini.

I’ve come to have a very high respect for Bill’s opinion and I’m really pumped about being able to work with him on making our entire domain name portfolio a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

So Bill, let me make it official – “Welcome to the herd!”