5 posts categorized "Branding"

WordPress.com Offering free .Blog subdomains for new sites


The good folks over at WordPress.com are doing something interesting - they are giving free .blog subdomains for any new sites created on WordPress.com.

Now, to be clear, this is not ANY subdomain under .blog. For instance, I was immediately curious if I could get “danyork.blog”, but no, they are giving away for free third-level subdomains under the following second-level domains:

  • art.blog
  • business.blog
  • car.blog
  • code.blog
  • data.blog
  • design.blog
  • family.blog
  • fashion.blog
  • finance.blog
  • fitness.blog
  • food.blog
  • game.blog
  • health.blog
  • home.blog
  • law.blog
  • movie.blog
  • music.blog
  • news.blog
  • photo.blog
  • poetry.blog
  • politics.blog
  • school.blog
  • science.blog
  • sport.blog
  • tech.blog
  • travel.blog
  • video.blog
  • water.blog

So I could possibly get “danyork.tech.blog”, “danyork.news.blog”, “york.family.blog”, or “Vermont.travel.blog”. Basically, a free domain underneath that set of domains.

When you create a NEW site (and that is important because this is currently NOT available to existing WordPress.com sites), you will have a chance to claim one of these subdomains in this process.

Now, for most of us who are more serious about this, we may already have a domain. Or at least will want to get our own.

But for someone just starting out, I could see this being a useful way to get started without having to buy a domain, get it set up, etc.  Cool move by the Automattic team behind WordPress.com!

Would You Buy a ".blog" Domain Name?

DotblogIf you could get a domain name ending in ".blog" for your blog site, would you buy one?

Over on Domain Incite, Kevin Murphy reports on the first applicant to publicly state that they are applying for ".blog" as part of the massive generic top-level domain (gTLD) expansion by ICANN. Murphy expects that ".blog" will probably be the most heavily contested new gTLD, meaning that multiple companies will be vying to be the registry for ".blog". He points out:

Media analysts NM Incite (great name) tracked 181 million blogs in 2011, up by about 25 million from 2010. A gTLD that could grab just 1% of that business would still be a nice little earner.

I'm not sure, myself. I remain rather skeptical that people will break out of their reliance on ".com" and go for all these other gTLDs. We've seen some of the existing gTLDs like ".biz" and ".pro" that haven't really gone anywhere. (In fact, the only .biz address I personally am aware of is the FIR podcast.)

Still, with a range of more gTLDs perhaps we finally will see people starting to use and accept other domain endings beyond .com/.org or the various country codes.

But would I register "danyork.blog"? or "disruptiveconversations.blog"?

Probably not, given that I already own the .com and .org variants on the names... although admittedly "danyork.blog" would be tempting purely because I do own .com/.org/.me/etc. and could see that one fitting in well with my "personal brand" online. Probably not for my other sites because I already have established names for them.

If I were crazy enough to start up another new blog, the ".blog" gTLD might be interesting... although to be honest I find the name "blog" to be a bit tired these days. I tend to talk more about my "sites" versus my "blogs" as the difference between what is considered a "blog" and what is considered a regular "web site" seems to get increasingly narrow. I'm not sure if I would want a new site to be labeled as a "blog".

What about you? If a ".blog" becomes available sometime in 2013, would you buy one?

If you found this post interesting or useful, please consider either:

Have You Claimed Your Facebook Community Page Yet? Here's How...

As a company or brand, have you claimed your Facebook Community Page yet? Did you even know you could?

One of the supreme annoyances with Facebook for companies/brands has been that back in April Facebook rolled out the ability for users to create "community pages"... essentially "unofficial" pages for companies or brands - or any other topic.

But what was most annoying was this:

In many places on the site, Facebook linked to these community pages instead of the pages that companies had already invested time and money in developing.

For example, on the Info tab of my Facebook profile, the word "Voxeo" is a link to a page:


Here's my problem as the person most involved with Voxeo's social media marketing. That "Voxeo" link does NOT go to our "official" page at:


But instead goes to the community page at:


which only has information pulled from Wikipedia. That page does not have our most current info... has no contact info whatsoever... and all around is just a pretty useless page!

It's been a rather frustrating and aggravating situation for many folks out there... particularly those who spent a significant amount to build out very detailed Facebook Pages... only to have Facebook point their name in many occurrences within the site over to this new "community page".

How To Claim Your Community Page

Today, however, it seems that we may have an option. B.L. Ochman published an article in Ad Age today titled "Facebook Community Pages Are a Confusing Mess. Time To Fix Them" that points to the recent addition of a "Is this your page?" link at the bottom of each page:


BL Ochman also references an AllFacebook post about this issue from back on November 8th, so this link has been around for the past month or so. (Did you notice it? I certainly didn't... and I'm on our Facebook page pretty much every day... but I'm not necessarily scrolling all the way down to the bottom!)

Going through the process is fairly straightforward. First you must assert that you are indeed the "official representative" for the page:


Next you have to somewhat bizarrely click through another screen that tells you that they now need to verify what you just asserted:

[NOTE TO FACEBOOK: Sooo... why couldn't you have just put this text on the top of the NEXT page and killed this dialog box?]


Clicking through this useless box then gets you to this big long form where you "declare under penalty of perjury" that you are indeed the authorized representative:


After that you are rather unceremoniously dumped into Facebook's Help Center with a message up on the top saying that you will receive an email where you have to click a link to validate this new address.

I did receive that email, clicked the link and then got a message saying that I would receive additional information, presumably as they examine my claim to the page.

We'll see what happens next.

Merging Pages?

What was strange to me in the process today was that I did not receive the message that both BL Ochman and the AllFacebook article mentioned, namely this:

"Once you have submitted the request to merge the Community Page(s) to your authenticated Page, Facebook will review your request and verify that the merge request is for two similar entities. For example, the Community Page for Nike could merge with the authenticated Nike Page, but a merge request for Nike Basketball or Nike Shoes to merge to the general Nike Page would not be approved.

Please keep in mind that the review process may take a few days, and that we may contact you if we need additional information. If we approve the request, anyone who has "Liked" the Community Page(s) will be combined and connected to your authenticated Page."

I would like to merge the pages... in truth I'd really just like to eliminate the community page and have people go directly to our main page... but if that is accomplished by a "merge", so be it.

Is this the next step? After I have been granted admin access to the community page will I then be able to request a merge of the two?

I don't know... but I'll update this post as I find out more in my own process. And if you have already gone through this process, I'd love to hear about it in the comments - please do leave one!

I'm pleased (I think) that Facebook is appearing to offer companies a way to potentially gain a bit more control over how they are represented within Facebook. I'll be curious to see how it all really pans out... (Sorry, do I sound a bit skeptical? :-) )

What do you think about this? Are you going to go claim your community page? Have you already done so?

P.S. Hat tip to Donna Papacosta who posted BL Ochman's article to, where else... her Facebook wall! (and from there I saw it)

If you found this post interesting or useful, please consider either:

Using FeedBurner Networks to build "The One Feed To Rule Them All".... all Dan York... all the time... :-

If you have multiple blogs, how do you easily create a single RSS feed that aggregates all of your blogs?  I have faced this issue directly with my migration from a single weblog into a network of blogs.  Some of my readers may, for whatever reason, still want to read all my writing (and to my amazement something like 15 people have subscribed to this feed I'm talking about below).

As I first wrote about over on my personal blog, there is a way now to do this. By using FeedBurner's relatively new "Networks" feature (FAQ here), I have now created the "Dan York - All Feeds" network. There is now a webpage with recent posts and links to the blogs and then an aggregated RSS feed that combines posts in all blogs.

Now, if you look at FeedBurner's list of Networks, you'll see a wide range of uses.  Dave Jones put together one that may be of interest to readers (if you are not already aware) called the Public Relations feed.  It provides a nice list of PR-related feeds and, like mine above, gives you a webpage with sample posts and an aggregated feed.  Each blog included can use a "badge" to promote their inclusion in the network.  For instance, you can look at Dave Jones' blog to see the PR network badge in the top of his right sidebar.  Note that you can click a link to advertise in the network or you can explore network members.

Which gets to the larger point -  FeedBurner is really targeting its "Networks" as a way to enable advertisers to advertise across a series of feeds, i.e. a bunch of feed publishers can band together and then, if they want, get advertising that goes across all their feeds.  Presumably they will have far greater numbers together and thus be able to attract bigger advertisers.

So obviously by building my own private network, I'm twisting the intent a bit.  And the advertisting focus did impact my efforts a bit because in order to create a FeedBurner Network, you have to have a blog that is a member of the FeedBurner Ad Network (FAN).  With a FAN-activated feed, you can then create a Network.  NOTE: None of the other feeds HAVE to be FAN members, but at least one must.  Once you have created a Network, you can invite other people to add feeds via email, or you can add one of your other FAN-activated feeds.

Given this, my steps to create the network were basically:

1. Login to FeedBurner, go to "My Networks" and click "Create a network"
2. Choose one of my FAN-activated feeds to "anchor" the network.
3. Fill out the form and, under "Privacy", switch it from the default of "Public" to "Private".
4. Submit the form and proceed to the page to invite members.
5. Add any of your other FAN-activated feeds to the network using the easy form.
6. Send yourself an email invitation for each of the other feeds to invite them in.
7. For each invitation, accept it on behalf of each different feed.
8. Sit back and enjoy your aggregated feed and site.

Now, if you think about step #6 for a moment... I have 8 feeds I wanted to aggregate, yet only 3 of those are FAN members.  So, yes, indeed, I sent 5 separate invites to my own inbox. I then clicked the link in each separate email and entered FeedBurner to accept membership in my new network for each of the different feeds.  In the end, I did wind up with my "one giant Dan York feed", but the separate email invites was a bit tedious.

Of course, I do understand perhaps why FeedBurner doesn't make this overly easy for non-FAN feeds.  FeedBurner is a business and they are experimenting with the whole FAN idea and the concept of getting advertisers to insert ads in feeds.  So it's in their interest to encourage feeds to be in the FAN so that they have more feeds for advertisers to join into.  So it makes sense in that way.  It may also very well be that the folks at FeedBurner didn't really think people would do what I did here. 

In any event, I thought I'd post this for those of you who: a) use FeedBurner; and b) have multiple blogs/podcasts/feeds/etc.

Let me know what you think... and if for some reason you really want to see all my writing across all my blogs, the feed is now there (well, actually, that's the web page... the feed is down in the lower right marked "Network Feed").

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Huh? So Skype is changing it's tag line to what?

Okay, so if you have a brand ("Skype") that has a tremendous amount of recognition, what makes you wake up one day and decide that you are going to change your main tag line from:

The whole world can talk for free

to... wait for it... yes... they actually do appear to be serious:

Take a deep breath

Huh?  Jaanus explains it a bit on the Share Skype blog and hints at a longer post to come about the whole brand transition.  I'll have to say that will be interesting to read, because this move seems a bit puzzling.  I personally won't miss the conversation bubbles (although their story is interesting), but the change in the tag line seems puzzling at best.  Obviously we have to stay tuned...

Technorati tags: ,