Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Don’t Forget! – Google joins Reddit Blackout Over SOPA, PIPA: Site To Protest By Going Dark On January 18

Redditors have sounded the call to arms.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

America’s Censor DAY! January 18, 2012 – Smackwagon Design

In a blog post on Tuesday, community news-sharing site Reddit announced that it will be shutting down normal operations on January 18 in protest of proposed legislation Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).

“The freedom, innovation, and economic opportunity that the Internet enables is in jeopardy,” Reddit admins wrote in the blog post. “Congress is considering legislation that will dramatically change your Internet experience and put an end to reddit and many other sites you use everyday.”

If passed, SOPA would allow the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to seek court orders against foreign and even domestic websites that enable or facilitate copyright infringement. If a website is accused, it could be punished by being removed from search engine results, barred from online advertising networks, and blocked from payment processing networks. In other words, sites like Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube and Reddit could be crippled for hosting or linking to user-uploaded content that potentially infringes on copyrights.

The bill would also make the unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content, such as a song or TV show, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Reddit’s 12-hour blackout, which is planned for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday January 18, coincides with a congressional hearing on SOPA, at which tech and security leaders, including Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, will air their grievances toward SOPA and PIPA.

During the downtime, Reddit will show a live-stream of the hearing and will display a simple statement on why this proposed legislation would mean the end of user-generated content sites.

This is not the first time that Reddit, which received about 2 billion page views in the month of December, has been used to take a stand against SOPA. Last month, Reddit user selfprodigy used Reddit as a platform to start a boycott against domain-hosting company GoDaddy, which was a SOPA supporter at the time. Selfprodigy urged domain holders to transfer their websites to other hosting companies. The next day, GoDaddy withdrew its support for SOPA citing a spike in domain name transfers.

On Twitter, reactions to the Reddit blackout have been overwhelmingly positive. The hacker group Anonymous came out in support of Reddit, tweeting a link to the blog post announcing the blackout.

In December, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales considered a site-wide “blank out” to demonstrate what the site might look like should this legislation pass. The blackout never happened, but Wales would go on to withdraw Wikipedia and Wikia domains from GoDaddy as part of the December boycott.

Some suggest that the Reddit blackout could lead to more collective efforts against SOPA. According to VentureBeat, “there have been rumblings that Google, Twitter and Facebook are also planning a collective protest effort against SOPA and PIPA.”

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Member Login

[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

5 Basic Building Blocks For Branding Your Startup

A business can’t grow unless it’s been properly defined–and that’s the first step to creating a lasting brand.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

5 Basic Building Blocks For Branding Your Startup – Smackwagon Design

Starting up a business is hard work, really hard work. Every day, the founders have to juggle mundane tasks: pitching new clients or investors, making sure there’s toner in the printer, sweet-talking clients, and managing contractors–all while having cash-flow-related panic attacks.

With all these daily commitments constantly eating up your precious time, it leaves little room for the important stuff, the reason you started the business to begin with: to do things your own way, by pursuing your own unique vision and building an organization around it. However, if a company is to grow healthily, it needs a defined identity. That’s easier said than done. The branding process is not complex in itself, but it does bring up difficult and complex discussions about who you are and what you want to achieve and how to express that through language, interactions, and design. First, you need to figure out who you are.

Define Who You Are

Most entrepreneurs have a clear idea in their head what they are aiming to accomplish. However, when asked what their new company does, most entrepreneurs will respond with a confused garble of abstractions, conceptual solutions, and often some tech jargon thrown in for good measure—an explanation that would outlast an elevator ride even in the highest tower of Dubai. That’s no good. Language needs to be refined, or you are dead in the water.

The most straightforward yet challenging way to do so is boil it down to one simple descriptive sentence. Avoid lofty super-pretentious proclamations like “We are changing the world by ushering in a new paradigm in social interfacing,” or some such nonsense. Don’t worry about not sounding “advanced” enough; simplicity is always king. Distilling everything down to one sentence is incredibly hard and takes hours upon hours of word picking and philosophical discussions in the conference room. Of course, that one sentence is not going to tell the whole story, but that’s not the point. The point is to train and discipline yourself to achieve brevity and clarity while communicating your brand. You should arrive at a sentence that summarizes what you do and provokes people to ask how and why.

The key to successful brand communications is a trifecta of brevity, clarity, and consistency. Avoid mission-statement sound bites at all costs; they are useless.

Differentiate

Yes, we’ve heard it a million times, and it seems obvious. Still, so many new companies keep falling into the trap of telling everyone how fantastic they are, what a great team they’ve built, and how awesome and cutting edge their technology is. Whey are trapped in their own ego bubble. Instead, what people want to hear is why your thing is better than the other things.

Avoid the Helicopter Mom Syndrome

Your company is your baby. But there’s no need to smother it by sticking your fingers in every single pot and pie. Building an organization means delegating tasks to other people in your organization. They were hired because of their expertise, so let them go ahead and do their jobs. Micromanagement slows down the process and diminishes the quality of work. Instead, focus on the organization as whole: How do projects get done? Quality control? Processes for hiring? Knowledge sharing? Company culture?

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Avoid the Helicopter Mom Syndrome – Smackwagon Design

You might ask yourself what all this has to do with branding. In fact, it has everything to do with your brand. Early on, the people in your organization are the only thing your brand has got going except for a promise of future expectations. There is no history, no established product or service at this stage, so make double sure that you come across the way you want in every thinkable touch point. And let people do their thing.

Craft a Visual Identity

Once you have sorted out the more existential facets of the brand identity, you can start sorting out a visual identity: logo, website, fonts, colors, business cards, and letterhead. The great thing about design is that if applied correctly it can make your business instantly emit the values you want to communicate–trust, gravitas, innovation, quirkiness, luxury, whatever your brand identity dictates. However, do not attempt to design your own brand. It almost never works. Hire a professional who actually knows what he’s doing. It will pay off.

Existential Anxiety Is Normal

Building a start-up usually entails spending an unhealthy amount of time locked up with your partners strategizing, brainstorming, and planning ad infinitum. This is a necessary phase to make sure that you have kicked the tires from every angle and really polished the concept. However, a peculiar side effect of all this intense work is that sometimes you lose all judgement of what exactly you are trying to achieve. Is it good or bad? Does it even make sense? Am I the only person in this world that can see any value in what I’m doing? Am I crazy? Without any existing customers, you don’t have a real feedback loop to confirm if what you are doing is even valid.

Don’t be alarmed, this existential brand-identity anxiety is normal. You need a break. Talk to someone from the outside world who can confirm that you are still sane. Try out your descriptive sentence on some random people, show them your logo, and see how they react. It will bring back a sense of perspective.

Building a new brand is not easy, but it needs to be done. So, lastly, get at it! Call Us TODAY![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Oops… I forgot to renew my domain! What Happens to an Expired Domain?

The traditional life cycle of a domain: “It [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][the domain] goes from availability into being registered as it goes through a five-day add / grace period. It goes to being registered anywhere from one to ten years. As long as it continues to be registered, it continues to be alive. It then expires at some point. All domain names have an expiry date.” In the early days of the Internet, a domain expired immediately on its expiration date. This changed with the advent of the “auto-renew grace period.”

Domain Lifecycle – Smackwagon Design

Initially, the auto-renew grace period gave registrants five additional days to maintain control of their domain names; that was more than registrants had previously, but many domain holders complained that the five days still was not enough time.

That’s when ICANN stepped in and suggested that an additional 30-day grace period / hold time be put into effect. That suggestion became policy and all expiring domains go through a 30 day redemption period. During this hold time, the domain name ceases to be active — a sure sign to a registrant that there’s an issue with the domain. At any time within that period, the registrant can still renew the domain.

If, on the other hand, the domain registrant does not take action to renew the domain within the 30 day redemption period, on the 31st day the domain goes into what’s called the domain “pending deletion” phase, which lasts a total of 5 days. Once the domain enters into this period, the registrant can no longer renew the name and get the domain back. Instead, the registrar puts the domain on its list of soon-to-be available domains. Following that, once the five-day pending delete time ends, the domain is deleted by the domain registry, making it non-existent and allowing anyone to register it anew.

However, in practice, the redemption period has become practically useless. Before a domain name enters the redemption grace period, there’s the auto-renew grace period, which allows a registrar to hold the domain for 0 to 45 days and use it for its own purposes. During this period the registrar becomes the official owner of the domain but might still allow the registrant to renew it. This period also allows the registrar to test the domain for traffic and revenue by putting up PPC (pay per click) ads on the domain.

Most registrars currently allow domain owners to renew their domain during the first 30 days of this auto renew grace period, even though – and quite alarmingly so – they have no contractual obligation to do so. This 30-day period, during which renewal is still possible thanks to the good will of most registrars, is now known as the “registrar grace period”.

Oops… I forgot to renew my domain! What Happens to an Expired Domain?

If the parked site generates traffic and earns money via PPC during this 30-day registrar grace period, and if the domain is not reclaimed by the former owner, then the registrar will either put up the domain up for auction in an attempt to sell it for a profit, or keep it for himself. If the domain is deemed to have no value, he will still try to auction it off, but if there are no takers, the registrar will put the domain into the redemption grace period, after which the domain will be deleted and become available to the public.

What are the implications for domainers? At least in theory, you could actually lose a domain the same day it expires. Aggressive registrars could simply deny any renewal requests occurring after the domain’s expiration date and keep the domain for themselves or auction it off.

Even mainstream registrars looking for new revenue streams could easily shorten or even eliminate the registrar grace period at the drop of a hat. Domainers should always renew their domains at least a few months before the expiration date to have a cushion for unforeseen events and to prevent registrars from getting too greedy when they see a highly valuable domains potentially slipping from your hands.

Another important change to take note of is that the previously very popular “drop catching” game, where registrants tried to register domains the second they expired, practically no longer exists. Virtually all domains that actually go through the official redemption and pending delete periods are simply worthless from a traffic and revenue point of view.

Valuable domains are retained by the registrar or auctioned off. To get access to valuable expiring domain names, domainers must use the services of Snapnames, Pool.com, GoDaddy’s TDNAM or similar services. For all practical purposes, these services no longer try to “grab” domains upon expiration. Instead, they simply have contracts with registrars to auction off their expiring domains.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

We Will Make “WordPress” Work Better For YOU!

Our servers are built with SSD based storage and modern Xeon processors, setup with Nginx and APC and locked down from intruders. Then… we add a host of bonuses such as automatic updates, backups, and a truly global CDN. Your site will fly and your time will be saved. Call us Today! 916.412.1484!

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

We Will Make “WordPress” Work Better For YOU! – Smackwagon Design

 

 [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

SMACKWAGON

Subscribe To Our Latest Promos and Discounts

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, promos, discounts, and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest