Saturday, September 1, 2012

Beware: GoDaddy Auctions Your Domain Names Only 46 Days After Expiry?

One of my domains expired about 59 days ago but I had failed to renew it in time. To make a long story short, I had planned to renew it this weekend at a higher cost knowing only too well that I should still have the chance to get it back during the 30 day redemption period only to find out these baboons had auctioned my domain two weeks ago. Now the domain was auctioned without my knowledge. How did they know that they I had no claims to my domain? I can see they sent some reminders in quick succession a few days before the auction as a justification that I had no claim. When I inquired, this is the response I get from a guy called Israel:

Thank you for contacting Online Support. The domain mydomain.com expired on 7/2/12 and has since been purchased by another party. You can look up the current registrant's contact information by using a WHOIS lookup. Please note that we cannot provide any further information other than what is listed in the whois database and customer support cannot contact the current registrant on your behalf.

The process we, the registrar, follow for expired domain names depends on your domain name extensions and their renewal settings. Prior to expiration, we send multiple emails to remind you to renew your domain names.

If you set your domain names to automatically renew, we attempt to renew the registrations for you the day after expiration. If we are unable to bill you, we park your expired domain names and notify you via email again.

If you set your domain names to manually renew and you let your domain names expire, we park your expired domain names and notify you via email again the day after expiration.

For expired .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .us, .ws, .name, .cc, .mobi, .me, or .tv domain name registrations, we hold your domain name for approximately 42 days before canceling it. Domain name renewal during this period is subject to applicable renewal and redemption fees. For more information, see What happens after domain names expire? andRecovering Expired Domain Names.


Are there any registrars out there who at least have the courtesy of informing you that they are auctioning your domain names?? I'm done with GoDaddy!

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Saturday, September 1, 2012 by nero ·

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Why I don't Miss Adsense


Necessity is truly the mother of invention. I think people who build multiple websites and then live in constant fear crossing their fingers while collecting the Adsense cheques live not just in slavery but in a mental cocoon. They refuse to think outside the box. They refuse  to contemplate life "post-Adsense". For them, the day Google strikes the hammer, life will literally come to a standstill. I know it as I once lived that life until Google struck and almost drove me from my biggest passion- building websites and creating content and seeing my passions earn me some good money and great relationships.

Living life outside Adsense gives you a great sense of freedom. You are able to build and let build.You can experiment with lots of ads, ideas and afford to be carefree about it without worrying too much about the big G watching your every move. You don't have to piss in the pants every time you see an email from Google and above all, your future as a content developer is no longer tied to Google. You are in the driving seat.

It took me just two months to recover  from the initial shock and continue with my real estate development as if nothing had happened. I have learnt to open my mind and discover that the top online earners don't necessarily rely on Google for their income. They are building parallel income generation schemes and are becoming "little Adsenses" in their own right. For any internet entrepreneur, I think the most important part is the ability to recoup your investments and break even in the first year. I didn't expect to live off my websites in the first year, even when i was still using Adsense actively. Instead, I hoped to have Adsense as a base for building a broader, sustainable and long term business model by financing my domain purchases and hosting fees.

Once I found a way of replacing Adsense with several new monetization models including Media.net, I can now build websites indefinitely. Every time an idea strikes my mind, I purchase the domain and hoard it in the shelf for the idea to germinate fully. The implemetation part is quite easy once you figure out what to build and how to monetize it. Even if you have 100 websites with each making $3 per month from Media.net and the Infolinks and others together with a few dollars here and there from Affiliate Marketing and Guest Postings, you already have a profitable business model. You have weaned yourself of Adsense and can trudge to the future on a much surer footing. Your passions are no longer tied to an algorithm. So think outside the box. For me,  Adsense  is what kept me in the closet.


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Friday, July 13, 2012 by nero ·

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Is Interest in Angola Fueling a Boom in Angolan Domains?


It is “boom boom” time for the Angolan economy but has this fast growth influenced the growth in the registration of Angolan domains? It is hard to tell at this time. The Angolan ccTLD registry for the .AO domains has a good technical foundation but the domains are fairly overpriced. The last time I checked, registering a .AO domain could set you back over $250 or thereabouts per year. Yet those who live in Angola are a not surprised. They are more or less used to paying the eye wateringly expensive prices for just about anything. A good accommodation in a good hotel in Angolan capital of Luanda costs between $400 to $600 per night. An “average” lunch in Luanda goes for about $70. A good dinner can go for as much as $100 while a 500ml soda costs anywhere from $8 to $10. The Angolan capital Luanda is the second most expensive city in the world after Tokyo. So why should the domains be cheap?


I think given the relatively tiny size of the Angolan middle class and the very few internet entrepreneurs coupled with a small or nonexistent SME sector, domains do not make much sense for the vast majority of the Angolan people. Like everything else that is costly in Luanda, it is the multinationals and the small Angolan middle class who can afford such costs. So I don’t think we can expect to see Angolan domainers soon. But there are opportunities for those interested in developing content targeting the Angolan market.

For example, most of the information about Angola is in Portuguese and there is very little Angolan content on the web in English apart from the usual boring stuff about the President’s daughter and the Angolan economic boom.  Given the boom in real estate and investments and the stream of high networth individuals that are currently developing an interest in the former war torn country turned an African economic powerhouse, there are lots of interesting niches that could prove profitable. Of course they will have to be developed on .COM domains, no one will spend an upwards of $250 purchasing .AO domains. So here are good prospects:
Cheap Angolan Accommodation
Flights to Angola
Flights to Luanda
Budget Travel Angola
Huambo Accommodation
Benguela Accommodation
Benguela Flights
Benguela Real Estate
Huambo Hotels
Accommodation in Luanda
Angola Travel
Angola Hotels
Luanda Hotels
Places to see in Angola
Angola Investments
Angola Visa
Discover Angola
Visit Angola
Angola Real Estate
Luanda Property Agents
Luanda Hostels
Luanda Car Rental
Angola Car Rental
Plus much more.

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by nero ·

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

SCAM: The Futurlec Electronic Components and Semiconductor Superstore Scam


The Futurlec Electronic Components Scam is run from Australia
Here is another scam-busting blog post. Futurlec Electronic Components and Semiconductor Superstore is supposedly an electronic components supplier, with a “superstore” that at face value is every engineer’s dream. You can find and purchase virtually every electronics components that you might need for your project. They even offer “PCB Manufacturing” services to clients, mostly engineering students running against time to complete their projects. The shopping process is relatively straightforward. Even the billing is perfect. You can add components ranging from SMT surface mount devices to printed circuit boards in a matter of minutes. The pricing is also perfect; they charge almost 50%of what other online electronics component stores charge. But that is where it ends. It is all a scam.


I was hit with the Futurelec scam sometime back when I was doing my final year engineering project. I had prepared my project proposal and designed the required circuits. All that I needed were the components to complete my assembly. Of course back then I had not mastered the practice of reading reviews about online stores. Because the Futurlec scam website is highly search engine optimized, you are likely to land there if you are searching for any electronics components for your project. So that is how I landed at the website and lost my over $100 and almost got disqualified. A friend of mine lost over $200 and there are hundreds of engineering students around the world who are still losing money to the Futurlec scam as we speak.

So who is behind the Futurlec Scam?
As someone who deals with domains, one of the best ways use to find people involved in scamming others is to look at the WHOIS information of the domain they use for their website.  If there is no WHOIS privacy for the domain, the names under which the domain is registered are usually the owners of the business.  Why else would I let someone register the domain for my business under their name. So from the WHOIS information of Futurlec.com, the domain was registered by the following people:

  • Alan Bonnard based in 2/136 Broadmeadow Road, New South Wales Australia Tel: +61 249623231
  • Dominic Main based in Chippendale, New South West Australia, P.O. Box  270 Chippendale
  • The domain is registered under the email sales@futurlec.com  i.e. Alan Bonnard

Australian Alan Bonnard is also the company’s “Sales Manager”.

Additional Details on the Futurlec.com Scam
They claim to source the electronics components from the Asian region from where they dropship them to global clientele. Their website also includes contact details for clients in North America, Middle East and Europe. Of course all these are part of an elaborate scam. Ask people like us who have dealt with these crooks and seen our money disappear into thin air.

So next time you are buying electronic components or looking for reliable PCB manufacturers and you see Futurlec.com website appearing at the top of the SERPs, please ignore. This is one of the most enduring scams that has fleeced thousands of engineering students trying to buy electronic components online.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012 by nero ·

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Africa Hosts Only 33 of World's Top 10,000 Websites

Well, this is very dismal. Out of the Top 10,000 websites by Alexa rank, only 33 are hosted in Africa with the majority of them in South Africa, Egypt and Seychelles. For some, the figures look optimistic given Africa's poorly developed webhosting infrastructure and the fact that many of the "hosters" in Africa are simply resellers of much bigger webhosting companies in the developed world. In Kenya, true Kenyan hosting is still relatively costly, and many people prefer the global marketplace which has very attractive offers. The growth of indigenous hosting, particularly for high traffic websites, will certainly spur growth of internet in Africa and create additional jobs in the industry. I think the onus is on African hosters to be innovative come up with a better product that sells and can draw consumers away from the BlueHost, 1&1 or HostMonster.
More on this here

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Friday, June 29, 2012 by nero ·

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Latest Domain Name Scam to Hit my inbox: Protect Company Brand Keywords

Just got this email. It is a scam. I can smell them from 50km away.
Dear Manager:
We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in Anhui, China. On June,25th,2012, We received keyya company's application that they are registering the name "domainname" as their Internet Trademark and "domainname.cn","domainname.com.cn" ,"domainname.asia"domain names etc.,It is China and ASIA domain names.But after auditing we found the brand name been used by your company. As the domain name registrar in China, it is our duty to notice you, so I am sending you this Email to check.According to the principle in China,your company is the owner of the trademark,In our auditing time we can keep the domain names safe for you firstly, but our audit period is limited, if you object the third party application these domain names and need to protect the brand in china and Asia by yourself, please let the responsible officer contact us as soon as possible. Thank you!
Kind regards
Angela Zhang 
Anhui Office (Head Office)Registration Department Manager 
Room 1008 Shenhui Building   
Haitian Road, Huli Anhui, China
Office:  +86 0553 4994789
Fax:     +86 0553 4994789
web: www.rg-net.org


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Wednesday, June 27, 2012 by nero ·

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Monday, June 25, 2012

.Ummah(dotUmmah) The New gTLD Application from Gambia

I sort of got curious about the new gTLD application from Gambia for a few reasons. For one, Gambia is a relatively small African nation with a population of just 1.7 million but with a vibrant internet community including ISOC Society and IGFs. You are likely to find a lot of Gambians active in global internet circles, key amongst them was the former ICANN Board member Katim Touray who is also spearheading this new gTLD application.

So what is .Ummah all about?
Ummah  is a term more familiar to Muslims and can loosely be translated to an Islamic Commonwealth. In "Christianspeak", it would refer to "Christendom". This new gTLD application is therefore targeted at the entire Muslim Commonwealth, or Muslim nations with population totaling 1.6 billion. A gTLD for 1.6 billion people is definitely something. According to the dotUmmah ICANN Application:

The .ummah gTLD will finally provide Muslims and Islamic organizations a means to translate to the Internet, the Muslim identity that has been used since the birth of Islam about 1,400 years ago.  Beyond that, .ummah will also provide a much-needed choice that will help them build their sense of community, and build bridges between the Islamic and non-Islamic world.  Internet users will thus be able to find Islamic organizations, institutions, government agencies, businesses much easier with .ummah than without it.  In the same vein, non-Islamic entities will find .ummah domain names an effective route to reaching their target audiences in the Islamic world.

Ummah Registry will use  COCCA Registry Services as its Registry backend services provider and the application is Standard.  There is another application for .Islam(dotIslam) by a Turkish Applicant that targets the same demographic.

With  Africa's internet giants such as Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco, Uganda, Tunisia, Algeria not adequately represented in this new gTLD round, Gambia has certainly done well. The poor representation of Africa is a bit disappointing given that opportunities like Applicant Support Programs which could have supported a myriad of African new gTLD applications have gone to waste. Anyway, good luck to Katim and team.

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Monday, June 25, 2012 by nero ·

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Media.net: The Best Google Adsense Alternative!


Last year, Google cracked down hard on Pakistani websites banning up to 90% of Pakistani Adsense accounts by some measures. This year, more accounts were banned affecting many bloggers including yours truly, although am Kenyan, not Pakistani. The Google cash is sweet and when your account goes, you just feel like punching against the wall. The bad thing about the Google monopoly is that it leaves bloggers with very little choices. No one has been able to come up with a viable advertising platform that can beat Google’s Adsense. So if you still have your Google Adsense account, read their TOS very very carefully. Especially if the traffic and earnings of your website are picking up. They have no issue with you as long as you are still earning peanuts. The moment your traffic and earnings pick up, then your account will come under close scrutiny and you will be banned on the flimsiest of charges, which you will never get the opportunity of knowing anyway.

My blogs were doing quite good with Adsense and when they went off, they left a dent that did not go unnoticed. Anyway, instead of crying over spilt beans and sucking up to Google, I began looking for more options while exploring more online income generation avenues. Trust me it feels good to make money on the internet and once you have started it, it can be very addictive.  Many of the so called “best Adsense alternatives” are actually rubbish. In some, even with good traffic, it would take you 5 years to make $1000. That is a joke!

After lots of trials and errors, I finally found something that can qualify as the best Adsense Alternative on the web! Actually I did not find it but they emailed me. Media.net is a contextual advertising platform owned by India’s Internet giant Directi. Directi is also the company that owns portfolios such as ResellerClub, Skenzo, Webhosting.info and much more. The monthly revenues am making are roughly 30% of what I used to make with Adsense but it is something. It outperforms the Kontera ads, Chitika, Infolinks and the whole bunch of “alternatives” by far. Minimum payout is also $100. Given my earnings on Domain Parking Platforms, am suspect it can outperform Domain Parking too if I develop some content  but I will have to test it first to come up with fact based result, not assumptions.

 Typical media.net ads appear to the left and on the top of this blog. As you can see, the ads very relevant. One drawback is that they don’t have banners. I think they have learnt well from the mistakes of Adsense as they personally communicate with you. Mmmmh, I wonder how they will handle that when they have millions of publishers. Also, unlike Adsense, they approve all your websites before you can place ads on them.So if you are used to the insensitivity of Adsense, these are things that can be quite refreshing. Anyway, I hope that something will come up that gives Adsense a real run for its money, monopolies will never be forces for good.



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Sunday, June 24, 2012 by nero ·

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