Domainating: Brands, Art & Content

artist/illustrator/designer/webmaster/copywriter/videographer/optimizer/promoter/ad-man

The 2014 Cyber Land Rush

Land Rush on New Domain Extensions – 2014

It’s a new age for a new land rush, as ICANN has authorized a long list of new global domain name extensions for public consumption.

Recently, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), has released a whole bunch of new gTLD (global Top Level Domain) extensions to the general public.  Most of these have been out for a little while, but I have been so busy that I didn’t have time to post.  There will be a whole bunch more to follow these, as well.  So we still are just around almost halfway through the release of this new variety of extensions.

Obviously some great names are gone.  Lots of domainers often automate the task of registering the names they want.  I personally think that some domainers (who are much better off than I) go a bit overboard because they can afford to.  You aren’t going to sell domains on a regular basis unless you have a large stock of generic names, though.

Still, I believe that the .com extension will win out as the best domain name extension to have in the US simply for a long time yet, because people here aren’t used to using anything else.  As United States citizens, we don’t even bother to register .US versions of our own beloved brands much of the time.  To me, that is a huge oversight.

But I did manage to grab a few myself, including…

There are some good ones out there, I’m planning on getting more, but I am actually scrambling to protect my current brands.  The new domains are a bit more expensive, so we have to be selective.  But this land rush seems to be

The new list of extensions supposedly allows everyone a chance of getting a good domain name.  It would be just too hard for all the domainers to snap every good name up, but be sure that most of the generics are gone.  That’s just a fact of life in this day and age.

Some of the generic names just aren’t even available.  As I mention above, site.domains isn’t available to anyone, even though I have personally created the Site Domains Trademark and built a great brand behind it.  What is crazy to me is that everyone in the domainer community shunned me for grabbing sitedomains.com, saying that it wasn’t very good, catchy or short enough.  But now I supposedly can’t register the .domains version and capitalize on my investment?

So, the rules are a little different with this new flood of gTLD (global Top Level Domain) extensions.  The real benefactor in the short run, is ICANN, who is cashing in on already established brands while we little guys try to protect our brands.  After all, it only takes a nut to grab an extension and deface the brand in order to build any notoriety and ill-will directed squarely at the brand.

The new list of available extensions is actually quite long and adding them all to the drop down extensions menu would make that search utility less effective.  So the best thing to do is, in the registration search field, enter the domain name, a dot (period) and then extension that you wanted to check.  It is probably a the easiest to do it, and more self explanatory, from the shop.domainhostmaster.com subdomain of Domain Hostmaster, though.

I’ll be adding info on the new extensions into the http://www.domainhostmaster.com section soon, under a new gTLD  directory (www.domainhostmaster.com/new-gtld/) as soon as possible (I have been working a great deal, lately).

Here is the current list of the new extensions ready for registration at Domain Hostmaster

New Extensions List

.camera
.media
.photos
.photography
.pictures
.exposed
.graphics
.gallery
.webcam
.productions
.lighting

.exchange
.trade
.bargains
.cheap

.computer
.support
.systems
.domains
.directory
.club
.bar
.pub
.social
.buzz
.email
.zone
.cool
.dating
.singles

.bike
.watch
.diamonds
.glass
.parts
.toys

.works
.agency
.company
.associates
.partners
.enterprises
.industries
.international
.foundation
.holdings
.ventures
.capital
.estate
.land
.lease
.house
.condos
.villas
.farm
.properties
.management
.careers
.marketing
.consulting
.guru
.expert
.engineering
.services
.solutions
.technology
.equipment
.supply
.supplies
.tools

.training
.education
.academy
.university
.institute
.community
.center
.town
.events
.tips
.reviews
.report
.today
.wiki

.holiday
.vacations
.voyage
.cruises
.flights

.glass
.coffee
.vision
.solar
.democrat
.catering
.cleaning
.florist
.ninja
.camp
.rest
.fish
.recipes
.rentals
.clothing
.kitchen
.plumbing
.contractors
.construction
.builders
.limo
.cab
.shoes
.dance
.cards
.bid
.ink
.uno
.gripe
.xyz
.futbol
.maison
.tienda
.viajes
.immobilien
.kaufen
.reisen
.moda

I’ll follow-up later, I am still very busy.  But there will be many more added soon, ICANN has a lot of new ones coming.

Remember that if you decide to do business with me at Domain Hostmaster, it will be highly appreciated!   😉   Plus, we quite honestly do offer the best prices around, the best management control panels, the best servers and network operations center available (on several continents), and the best support staff in the industry.

Thanks so much.   Have fun domaining!

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August 9, 2014 Posted by | Advertising and Marketing, Brands, Business, Domain Names, Internet | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can PSD files be Viewable Thumbnails in Windows Explorer?

I am having a heck of a time locating graphics and organizing images.  I tend to take too many photos because my family almost will never pose for a shot.  Plus, it’s always better to see them with a real actual smile as I catch them laugh at someone else’s joke.  But timing these moments is difficult, everything has to be right and no one can be flinging their head back or rolling on the floor (which my son does for affect).

I also love to take photos of nature and although I do make the attempt, wildlife doesn’t like to cooperate much.  I have never had a pheasant stop for a pose, those birds are actually quite stealthy.  And when the deer do stop out of curiosity, they have already made cover.  Mother nature just doesn’t like to cooperate.

To make matters worse, I am a graphic/web designer by trade.  I design all sorts of web logos for my domains, websites logos and advertisements for others, and I almost exclusively work in the Photoshop Document (*.psd) or Adobe Illustrator (*.ai) file formats until I am ready to publish something.  The  trouble with this is that once saved, I never see a thumbnail when I am browsing the file structure in Windows Explorer.  Instead, I see a worthless advertisement of the logo for whatever the default program is that I use to load for the image even if I am trying to view the thumbnails.

I can see the *.psd thumbnails in Photoshop when I am looking for them, but then I am trying to open them up or save them.  Plus, this is an extremely limited browser.  Adobe does offer Bridge with my Master Creative Suite, but Bridge suffers from the same drawbacks as Photoshop, it has a high memory requirement and it is an extremely poor replacement for the OS’s file/directory structure explorer (AKA: “Explorer” or “Windows Explorer”).

Bridge is a good gallery program, but when I am trying to find something somewhere on my hard drive and I need a visual cue, it sucks because it is so proprietary, lacks decent search features, drains the memory from other programs, and since I use a lot of other programs (except when in Photoshop), this thereby makes my system unstable.

In order to accomplish what I need to do, I need to be able to see .psd files in the OS while I am searching through my archives normally, anyway.

Shortly after I got this computer (which is a 64-bit Vista based machine), I installed the Photoshop CS3 Master collection and I thought for a little while that I could actually see my PSD files.  I was so happy.  Since then, I have installed all sorts of other graphics tools, utilities and picture viewers.  I kind of have to, Adobe no longer supports every new format in the world, especially since my Photoshop is a couple versions old, now.  And not everything new asks for permission before taking over the default file loading stations upon installation.

Installers and updaters are also notorious for leaving icons on my desktop, which is another pet peeve of mine.  But even if I haven’t given explicit instructions to any program not to install shortcuts or not to change my file extension default loading applications because it hasn’t asked, it should always default to “No” unless it asks.  They don’t.  And these companies will continue to piss me off (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Broadcom, DivX) by littering my desktop with crap without permission on every single update.  So, since the big guys don’t follow the common sense rules of file installation and updating, all these little guys think that they have to get their brand out there are well, and the way they do it is by not asking for permission to change your default application settings, and doing it anyway.

Why aren’t Adobe format files showing a preview thumbnail when I am saving a preview thumbnail with each and every save?  I can’t say that they are making everyone buy another product just to see PSD and AI thumbnails since I am actually sure that I used to see such thumbnails.  But how to I get things back to that state?

It is just plain impossible to reorganize my photos and images without being able to view them because when I need to do it is when I come across them and see they are out of place through my normal day as I am using the OS.  When I try to do it on purpose, I am systematically going through folders and never run into anything out of place.

Let’s face it, if Adobe is offering anything less than what Microsoft is designed to be (to say, sell another product), they would actually be corrupting the OS.  Even though everyone else does it, Adobe usually takes the high road in this case.  So, I don’t think they are the culprit.

Argh.

How do I take my OS back?

January 13, 2011 Posted by | Advertising and Marketing, Brands, Computing, Graphic Design, Logo Design, Media, Photography, Product Design, Search, The Human Condition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Web Design: CSS or Tables Based Layouts?

I’m going to be the odd man out, here.  Most professional web designers can’t stand tables based lay-out techniques and will knock them down with extreme prejudice and fierce abandon.  But if you truly look at the real issue, that at this time and place it really doesn’t seem to matter to anyone but us professional web designers, you might want to re-examine the issue.  There are, after all, exceptions to every rule.

I started in this business as a web designer.  I suppose the only one phrase that describes me now is entrepreneur (and I can’t even spell it without checking an online dictionary).  I now wear so many hats that I realize the differences between extremely closely related positions will vary only on our perception.  In fact that the very same job can be defined in different ways, both advantageously, and hypocritically.

As web designers and developers we look to produce visually stunning websites.  Our approach will vary widely.  Some will approach the problem using color and styled text.  Some may use textures or images to define a look.  Others will use Flash to communicate their message.  Even others will incorporate video, possibly even HD quality produced video shorts or effects.

There is no right answer to this design issue, here.  Each method of approaching the problem can produce great results.  Each method comes with its own burden to accomodate.  For instance, minimalistic text based sites with very little imagery usually do not look spectacular unless they are well styled with CSS.  But just because someone used CSS to style text does not mean the author used a tableless design structured with CSS.

But the end product of our work is not hidden at all, because aside from other design elements (such as text, images, Flash, video and (text/image/flash/video) menus), we are simply presenting content.

All it takes is to glance at the code and the date it was created to understand whether a site is professionally designed, or not.  By that, I mean whether or not the code uses tables for layout, or CSS.

I have not mastered CSS although I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at it.  Hopefully I will continue to get better.  I know I look like a guru to the average web surfer, but I am learning from much smarter people (and they know who they are).  😉

But just because someone needs to create, design and develop a website does not mean they need to use professional design methods.  I do ever so strongly and emphatically encourage using CSS for website design structure, though.

Although I am still not seeing any benefits in my websites which are CSS based over my table based websites in the search engines, I am sure that this will turn around soon.  In fact, I think that any website that is using table based website design will be put into a non-professional, not serious about marketing their message and not serious about their brand presentation category.

That hasn’t happened yet, and I actually fear that the delay in this happening is now long, long overdue.  Ever since IE7 was introduced, IE has been capable of supporting CSS with a few tweaks.

However, not every design requires a professional touch.  Not every website needs a good composition, or even a design theme.

As an example, let’s say I have 500 domain names.  Some are generic names and some are brand names.  I’d like to develop all of them because brand domain names that sit on a parking service receive no clicks, and therefore no PPC revenue and I at least need them to pay for their own registration.  My keyword names might see some clicks, so I am particularly interested in getting the brands going with websites and traffic.

I have some choices, but for examples I will simplify… I can put up a website a day using tables, or I can take a bit of time and do it right and put up a website every two weeks, or possibly something really nice once a month.  So, in the end the decision is simple, will I chose quantity over quality, or vice-versa?

Quite honestly, sometimes the content develops itself before the presentation presents itself.

While I now always use CSS and have fun experimenting with how I might push it (but it never seems to work for me because I expect more than it can deliver), I do understand why some domainers put up a minisite (or two) every day using templates, tables and/or wysiwyg editors.  So because of my position as a domainer, I understand why others do what they do.  But it is my roots as a web designer that I still try to maintain some intellect concerning my website designs, even the ones that are not pretty (and I have quite a few).  At least the underlying code is pretty.  And that is the structure of the website that can easily be styled later.  So I do not fret.

Now, suppose you are not highly educated and fell into the position as a webmaster because you are known to surf the web and download files and fixed someone’s email one time.  You aren’t getting paid for a professional level of work,  and your cheap micro-managing stingy employer who has not one clue is not about to give you a raise or compensate you for HTML classes.  Buying a $50.00 book on HTML & CSS web design might not even seem like a good idea for you because you think you can accomplish everything with a wysiwyg editor.  And really, you only want to keep this job because you don’t want to have to look for another one.  Maybe when the economy turns around, you will.  And they are clueless as to what professional web design is, anyway.  You bet I can understand this type of situation with employers who do not get it.  I have been there, but I just plain know better because I do take pride in my work.

I have spent thousands of dollars on software when working in a $10,000.00/year job, because the employer wouldn’t.  I didn’t buy the software for him/her, I bought it for myself at home.  Then I recommended they buy it only to realize that they would also need to upgrade their computer, as well.  So there are plenty of small businesses using wysiwyg editors or template based design studios simply because they refuse to enter the 21st century and upgrade their equipment every few years.

It is my position that such instances of table based layouts that any search engine runs into absolutely needs to start lowering the rank of such poorly designed web presences.

The trouble is, there may be instances in where an informational website uses a table to display information correctly and appropriately.  And that is the problem, I think, the search engines have not studied how to separate the table layout design from the table layout function.

But, it is still wrong to use tables based layouts unless your informational web site/page requires such a tabled relationship in order to display information.

Let’s face it, most designs will not look like:

<html>
<head>
</head>
<body>
<table>
 <tr>
 <td colspan="2"><img src="/logo.gif" /><h1>Heading</h1></td>
 </tr>
 <tr>
 <td>Menu Links</td>
 <td><p>Content here and lots of it.</p></td>
 </tr>
 <tr>
 <td colspan="2"><p>Footer Info</p></td>
 </tr>
</table>
<p align="center">Copyright Info</p>
</body>
</html>

This code looks too easy for any thing (bot or algorithm) to recognize, so I do feel that the search engines are failing professional designers.  And I cannot understand why.

Is it in fact that the search engines suck so badly by not prioritizing effective professional design principles and ignoring the “love, care and pride” that goes into a standards compatible website that has actually screwed-up our economy? By allowing substandard design to go completely unnoticed and professionally designed cross-browser compatible superior website design coded with love, care and affection for the visual arts to be completely unrecognized and the achievement ignored?

Clearly, this is where the search engines can and should make a difference.  Most tables based websites are crap or spam.

I know the search engine cannot understand visual impact, stunning graphics, effective presentation or even creative branding.  And yet, by simple logic I know that they can easily understand code and code patterns to reveal the fact that some websites are simply better put together than others.

Right now, it just doesn’t matter how you design a website unless you take any sort of pride in your work.  But it better, and soon.  Because there really ought to be a huge penalty for neglecting simple web design principles.  And for the search engines to deny our professionalism to our work is for them to disregard their own lack of professionalism.  They are simply producing web spam themselves by ignoring these problems and featuring ugly, poorly coded crap sites over clean coded masterpeices.

So I wonder, has Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft (Bing) let us down?  I think they have, immensely.  They simply are not acting like web professionals themselves because they are not recognizing good technique.

The whole point is, it should matter.  CSS structured websites are far superior to tables based websites.  CSS uses less resources and memory, loads quicker, and is more efficient in both user-end functionality as well as design management for the coder.  It truly is a sin to use tables based websites in a professional environment.

Heck, tables based websites are also good indicators of web spam.  That’s all there is to it.

Use CSS structured layout designs, folks.  If you don’t know how, learn.  Become a professional or die.  And hurry-up Google, Yahoo & MSN, start killing off some of the non-professional designers.  The sooner, the better.

If you think that tables based web design is OK, I have one last argument for you.  Grab a Droid or other Android based phone/pda device and load your tables based websites into it.  More than likley, any tables based website will look like crap. The Android OS and its default browser were developed more recently and do not have the backward compatibility for tables based layout display.  This is actually a plus, as it is disseminating tabular data.  Search engines can actually utilize tabular data more effectively if it treats it as such.  This allows search functionality more sense in the search results if the description can be placed for a product at a specific price.

So using tables is truly improper now that we do not need it for layout.  At one point we did.  That point is long in the past, now.

These same tables based websites actually pretend to look OK on the iPhone MOST of the time, but will also have display issues when loading the presentation some times.  And if you want to be taken as a web design professional, don’t you want to avoid looking like crap, ever?

November 11, 2009 Posted by | Brands, Google, Graphic Design, Internet, Search, Web Design & Development, Website Optimization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Posted my Logo Designs to Facebook

I’ve posted quite a few of my logo designs to Facebook.  As I am looking for a decent career somewhere, I am hoping that my talents with logos (which I absolutely love doing) might help win the right company over.

The link to my Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/symbioticdesign

You do not have to be my friend to see my the ‘photo’ album: Logos by DP at the next link:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=23644&id=1628191759&l=c081e8a41a

Enjoy!
(If not, comment me with your criticism)
-Doug

October 5, 2009 Posted by | Brands, Graphic Design, Logo Design | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Autos and Automotive Article Sites

Autos and Automotive Trademark Logo

Autos and Automotive Trademark Logo

I’ve setup a few blog websites to protect one of my brands, Autos and Automotive, which is a Trademark that I’ve been planning on developing for some time. Getting the right products (or services) to base an full-blown e-commerce website on the name has proven difficult, though.  To that note, please get a hold of me if you have a great automotive product for me to promote.  I was looking to establish a full automotive shop presence originally, but have since adjusted my plans.

The domain names I have activated are:

I had eventually expected to setup an automotive classifieds website on these domain names that I have reserved to protect my Trademarked name, Autos and Automotive.  There I would allow anyone to post their car/truck/cycle for sale and promote some high performance and economic fuel efficient products.

Although I have enough of a small collection of cars and trucks for sale within my own family to start such an endeavour,  it always takes a considerable investment of time and resources to establish such a serious site, keep it secure, administrate and promote it.

Therefore, I had anticipated partnering up with some interested automotive advertisers in advance in order to support the considerable time investment I would have to make in designing, hosting, administering and promoting the website just to get started.

Unfortunately, as I have so many projects going on, it seems that I cannot take the time to develop the professional business presence that I am interested in, at the moment.  I’m afraid I would have to hire an employee or two and that just isn’t a possibility as I am still working out out of my home office.

So, in the interest of getting some automotive traffic which I could build on in the future, I have configured these domains to show auto and automotive related articles through SEOParking.com.  SEOParking uses WordPress to post publicly reprintable articles from its database.   I have used this service before with great results on several other of my domains.

SEO Parking is a little spammy, as they will post their own links on your domain.  However, they have promissed to allow parkers to subscribe to the service through a premium channel so that those interested in paying the hosting fee will not show the SEOParking links.  That is why I am, for the first time, actually recomending this service.  I look quite forward to getting some of those spammy links off of my website.

One word of caution about SEOParking is that if they should fail to provide the premium service I will definitely have to move all of my domain names away from them and do the same type of thing on my own.  But the staff at SEO Parking has been great with support so far and they have not broken any of their promises, either.  So I am actually quite confident that this service will work out well for me in the long run.

I was a little disappointed when the strange links started showing up on some of my domains at the beginning of the month, but obviously they have to make some money somehow.  However, I originally thought that they were looking to expand their distribution network for their articles database and I was simply fortunate enough to find them.

I just hope they don’t price themselves out of the market.  I can afterall, get full featured multiple domain web hosting (with my own free WordPress) through any one of my web hosting solutions such as Domain Hostmaster, HD Web Hosting, Apache Website Host, Site Host Pros or F1 Hosting Networks for way less than $9.00/month.  Not to mention that the competition won’t be much more than $10.00/month for nearly as good of a feature set.

I kind of wonder if anyone hasn’t developed an add-on module for WordPress so that we can do all this ourselves, already.   Shout at me if you have ever seen an automatic article poster that will post so many articles per day/week/month based on a set of keyword phrases.  I’d love to know about it, it would save me that monthly fee at SEOparking.com.  😉

But at least the Autos and Automotive Trademark is up, active and protected again.  I really do have some interesting plans for the brand once this economy turns around.

Yes, I am a domainer, but I have very special interest in this name (and the domains I am using to protect that name).  If all goes well, this will be one of those domains that I have the opportunity to develop myself, not simply sell for a small profit.  Because despite the troubles of our auto makers, this really is a time when the automotive industry is retooling for the new challenges ahead.   It was their lack of vision and their inability to embrace new technology that has grounded them in the past and hung them out to dry.  If they understand that, and learn something from that lesson, they may well make it.

Exactly who will make it in the auto industry is unclear.  I would bet on Tesla, if I could.

Unfortunately, I have been squashed by the corrupted powers that be as well, as no one is really actively developing or reinventing brands, (re)designing their websites, advertising, or marketing like they should.    That is a real big problem for a web designer, which is what I am.   And the real problem is that now is the time to advertise.  Now is the time to hire while you have a large pool of talent from which to choose the cream of the crop.  And the people who cannot will not recover as quickly when the economy does start turning around.  It is a shame.

Maybe once this depression is over, I will be able to develop Autos & Automotive.  I certainly hope so.

Autos & Automotive Trademark Logo

Autos & Automotive Trademark Logo

You might be able to tell from this second banner that I have decided to protect both versions of the name… Autos and Automotive as well as Autos & Automotive.  It’s kind of the same princible as grabbing a few versions of the domain name so that no one else can try to steal the brand away and declare its theirs.  Afterall, I don’t want to lose them and we do want to be ready for anything in the way of future trends, branding and marketing.

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Automotive, Brands, Domain Names, Government/Politics, Web Design & Development | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment