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Randomn3ss Refreshed

Thirty-nine months ago I launched this project known as Randomn3ss.  The sole intention was to use this site as a platform to rant, rave, give reviews, complain and write about anything I wanted.  A staff of sorts quickly started writing with me and now, this is the 899th article published! During the lifespan and evolution […]

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The complete list of websites to stream full TV shows and movies from

Paying for cable seems so 2008, doesn’t it?  Check out this complete list of sites to legally stream full TV shows and movies from, for free!  Most sites will require either the newest version of Flash or the new Silverlight technology to run them, so if prompted, install those plug-ins.  From my experience, most work […]

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How to list an eBay auction for maximum profit

Over the last 8 years I have been buying and selling items on eBay for myself and more recently, small businesses. In that time I’ve learned a few tricks to help get you maximum profit for your items with just a few tweaks during the listing process. Here is a checklist to go through when […]

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Make money selling digital photos Part I

Title sounds great, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want to make a little extra cash these days? With the price of digital cameras dropping on what seems to be a daily basis, as seen here, you might as well put yours to some use. For the last 5 years I have been selling royalty free stock […]

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Choosing a Domain Registrar Actually Makes a Difference

Choosing a Domain Registrar Actually Makes a Difference

When you run a website, regardless if it’s for pleasure and enjoyment or as a business, you rely on other people to help make it work.  When they fail you, it’s not just a bummer, it’s costing you money.  When the electric, cable or your home Internet goes out, a cell phone call gets dropped or your GPS can’t give you directions, it wastes time and money.  In all the time I’ve been hosting websites, never before has choosing a domain registrar made such a difference to me.

For the best of my memories I started hosting my own website back around 2000, and the Internet did not make it entirely simply, but by 2001, with the dot com bubble growing, websites became easier to use and the mystery of how to build and host a website become much easier for a younger me to figure out.  There are essentially three parts to having your own website on the Internet;

  • A domain name
  • Web hosting
  • Website content

The first two can and are often done by one company, although many people use separate companies for each.  Without making this article overly complicated and because there are more than enough ehow.com articles on how to register a domain name, where to get hosting and how to build a site, I’m going to focus on the actual choosing of these companies you wish to partner with, specifically a domain registrar.

A domain registrar serves one function, they are meant to help you acquire the lease for the domain name you want, such as Randomn3ss.com for example.  Within their ability to renew this domain for you, you should be quickly and easily able to edit the DNS servers (to point the domain to your web host of choice), renew the domain name and transfer the domain to someone else or another web host.  Those are essentially their core functions.  For over a decade now I’ve been doing this, and most of the time it’s been with GoDaddy.

At first it was because they were cheap, and it was the early 2000’s and buying and selling domains was popular and one could actually make good money at it, so I used them for this.  Everything was straight forward.  Sometime around 5 years ago GoDaddy’s business model started to transition and they began putting more money into advertising, including fun commercials online, sponsoring Indy cars and basically saying to the world hey world, we are the best! What changed, for the worse, was customer service, website usability and the core functions of what their website should do for a user.  In the technical world, this is called the User Experience, or UX for short, and User Interface Designers, or UI Designers, get paid a lot of money to increase the rate at which we buy products on website.

I stayed with GoDaddy, through all their design changes and constant push to up-sell me services, web hosting and email that I didn’t need.

As the years went on, the up-sells continued, but so did the amount of time and energy they put into getting me to renew my domain names.  I started getting email notices 3 months before they were set to expire.  2 months before they expire a post card would show up in my mail with a coupon code and if it was a month before they’d expire I knew a phone call was coming from a sales associate, offering to help me renew, offer me a discount then try to up-sell me on some more services.  At the time GoDaddy domain renewals ran about $7.49, I remember asking the sales associate at what point they made profit.  After postal mail charges and paying his / her salary, how was there any meat on the bone?  They were dumbfounded with the question.

By 2011, even with a nifty iPhone app, my allegiance to GoDaddy was wearing thin.  Just doing something as simple as changing the DNS servers on a domain name, or even renewing it became a huge headache.  In March a story broke about president Bob Parsons elephant hunting expedition in Africa, complete with video.  I’m not anti-gun, anti-hunting and I’m not vegan, although I do support everything anyone I care about chooses to do, from religion to their stand on gun control, but this video is vile.  This now left a bad taste in my mouth, as I don’t want to line the pockets of that man anymore so he can do such cruel and unnecessary things with my money.

November was about the last straw for me, Godaddy publicly came out supporting SOPA. In a nutshell, SOPA is bad, really bad.  So bad that people like Ben Huh sent out tweets saying they’d transfer 1,000 of their domain names if GoDaddy didn’t change their stance, Kevin Rose was equally outspoken on the subject. No one wanted SOPA to pass as law, it did nothing good for the Internet.  The day after this virtually every domain registrar on the web was offering discounts to those who wanted off of GoDaddy, these were put together in one of the most popular Reddit posts ever, complete with transfer instructions for virtually every company.

How bad was this impact on GoDaddy?  Within two days at least 37,000 domain names were transferred away from the company, or roughly one quarter of a million dollars.  I did my homework this time, I looked at more than price, I looked at support time, customer reviews, how active the social media aspects of each business were, I wanted to know that my new registrar was going to be with me for another decade of my business.  I ended up choosing Name.com when it was all said and done.  Not the cheapest, not the most expensive, but for me, the best.

Their website is clean, easy to use and actually makes sense.  Support is top notch and get this, I actually enjoy following them on Twitter.  In the one case I had specific questions and needed to reach out and submit a trouble ticket, it was answered within a few hours and was not auto-generated.  Someone actually wrote it.  I also didn’t have to shift through 500 words of sales copy to find what they were actually trying to tell me.

Now, I didn’t move all of my domains at once, in fact, as of this writing I have 2 left with GoDaddy and have been moving them as they expire.  My options on why they need to be moved today is all that much more apparent.  Yesterday GoDaddy was the victim of an Internet attack, not only did their site go down, and unknown number, presumed to be in the millions of websites, also went down.  Full disclaimer, every web hosting company on earth offers 99.9% up time, what that really means is that 0.1% will equal out to about 2 hours of down time per year.  No lawyer alive will make a 100% up-time guarantee, it’s not possible.  But, because of GoDaddy’s wishy washy stance on SOPA and other matters, it’s opened them up to become targets for hackers.

Today I’m making the move, and they are offering the first 500 transfers from GoDaddy to them for free, limited to 1 per person.  The older I get (now in my early 30’s) the more things like customer service and usability carry weight.  I have roughly a dozen domain names registered a year, spending an extra 50 cents to $1 per domain to host with a company I believe in, who believes in me by providing a service I want to use, that’s easy to use, is worth it.  That company is Name.com.

In closing, I recently watched this wonderful video with Seth Godin titled This is Broken, and I think a lot of what he talks about in here, GoDaddy needs to listen to, specifically the first few minutes.


Wal-Mart Throwing Away Ripe Produce

Ripe produce being thrown away

Wasted food irks me, a lot.  Not just because I enjoy eating and am equally tight about spending money, but because it’s just downright wasteful on so many levels.  From time to grow, fuel to harvest and transport to market, merchandising and selling at the store, when food is thrown out it costs a lot of people in a supply chain a lot of money.  A recent late night trip opened my eyes to what I’ve only heard about and seen on TV. Continue reading »

SoBe Lifewater with Coconut Water Mango Mandarin has neither Mango nor Mandarin

SoBe LifeWater with coconut water but no mango or mandrainYesterday I drove about an hour to do a photo recon mission for a possible upcoming shoot.  It was in the low to mid 80’s and I didn’t think to take a bottle of water with me, all my focus was on packing camera gear.  After the drive, a half mile walk to the location, two hours walking around and exploring, then re-tracing the half mile walk, all while being out in the sun, I was rather parched.  First order of business when returning to my car was to stop at the nearest gas station and get some water.

About 3 miles down the road I pulled into a gas station and upon entering, I thought to myself I should probably get coconut water to better hydrate, and I like the taste.  I was elated to see they carried the larger bottles of VitaCoco, but they didn’t have the flavor I wanted, and plain would have been fine if I wasn’t drawn to what was right next to them on the shelf.  SoBe Lifewater with coconut and mango mandarin.  A mango fan I am, I opened the door to grab a bottle and noticed a small Buy one get one Free on all Lifewater.  Perfect, two 20oz bottles it is.

Continue reading »

The State of Wikipedia

Randomn3ss reader Jen passed along this great infographic on Wikipedia, and how it has effected Encyclopedia Britannica and other aspects of our lives.  In it you’ll notice that it states library usage is declining, however I’m convinced more of us are reading, and reading more than ever before.  click photo for larger version.

The State of wikipedia

Infographic courtesy of Open Site.

Your Guide to Shopping for Stylish Eyeglasses

More people are finding that they need glasses to read, complete school-work, watch television or to work. The Vision Council of America estimate that about 75% of adults wear eyeglasses for some type of vision correction. While some people wear glasses for prescription purposes, there are others who only just need to use click me reading glasses. Continue reading »

Climbing, the Different Types of Jackets Involved

Climbing is an exhilarating sport. However, it’s very important to choose the right jacket to wear while doing so. For this reason, you should know about the various types of jackets that are available for you to choose from. Continue reading »

Get Cash To Buy The iPad 3 By Selling Your Old Tech Gear

In case you were living under a rock today, Apple announced the third generation iPad today, featuring HD video playback, better this and all of that.  So, for you early adopters who are dying to upgrade from what you’re currently using, eBay is offering really amazing prices via their Instant Sale option where they will buy your product outright from you.  eBay buys a plethora of products but have setup this nice landing page showing prices for the most common tablets and similar tech products like phones and e-readers. Continue reading »

Retailers Listen Up, Customer Service is Important

listen up: ears really are strange looking if you think about it

Retail stores are in a fight right now, more than ever.  It’s no secret that Amazon [and a slew of other sites] has crushed the profit margins for many traditional brick and mortar stores, but these store fronts are still very much needed.  Clothing for example, it’s almost always cheaper online but most buyers prefer to try things on and see how they look first, even if the online store offers free return shipping and exchanges.  Other products such as cycling need a retail store front so you can be properly fitted by a professional, the same with most sports for that matter.  That doesn’t mean that after I’ve been fit for a product and taken your advice I will actually spend my money with your business, and here’s why. Continue reading »

Why Do You Donate to Politicians?

In terms of politics, I am kind of a limp noodle.  I know I don’t take enough interest at the local level, where my vote really makes a difference and for the most part I’m pretty happy with the neighborhood I live in and the taxes are pretty fair, roads are in decent shape and quality of life is above the country average.  While I did vote for Obama in 2008 and follow him on Twitter for random updates, this morning’s tweets really pissed me off. I’m aware that he rarely writes them himself, however his campaign does and that’s where my anger is directed for flaunting these numbers, but all politicians are guilty of this.

Barack Obama Twitter

A minute later this was also tweeted:

If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably already ready my reply.  Some quick math says that 98% of $29.1m is $28,518,000, divide that by $250 is 114,072 people, but it’s probably far more contributors since the tweet indicates or less. Continue reading »

How not to hire a wedding photographer II

The Wedding Photographer

Four and a half long years ago I wrote How not to hire a wedding photographer, an article that was a response to a Craigslist ad about someone who had very unrealistic goals about what they wanted.  In the article I broke down each and every absurd request the person had and gave reasonable answers.  I’m going to attempt to do the same thing with a recent Craigslist ad where a bride is flying off the chain at what she seems to think is a case of hanging out and shooting photos.

The original ad posted to the Seattle Craigslist:

Continue reading »