Blog housekeeping: 3rd August 2010.
This is a quick housekeeping post to describe some of the updates I've made to this website recently.
I've acquired the tonymilne.com domain name:
Ben Pearson of http://developinginthedark.com fame helped me to snipe the tonymilne.com domain name. A little while back I received several emails (from a couple of different people) informing me that tonymilne.com was soon to become available and that I could register my interest in buying the domain. This involved submitting a 'bid' (minimum bid being $97 US) and that I wasn't even guaranteed to 'win' the purchase of the domain.
For those who don't know, a domain goes through an expiry/deletion process something along the lines of:
- If the owner of a domain does not renew the domain by it's expiration date, the domain goes into 'registrar hold' status. In the 'registrar hold' state, the domain has a 40 day grace period in which all services are shut off, but the owner can still renew the domain for a standard renewal fee.
- After the grace period, the domain's status changes to 'redemption period'. This is a second chance for the owner to renew the domain, however at this stage it will cost the owner significantly more for the renewal.
- Finally, the domain's status will change to 'pending delete' as it enters the deletion period. After 5 more days it will officially drop from the ICANN database (usually around 2pm Pacific Time) and become available for registration by anyone.
Well, if you ask me, $97 US for the chance to win the domain is rubbish! So I decided I'll take my chances, thank you very much.
Services like snapnames.com (which I suspect the people sending me the emails were using) provide a HUGE list of domains that are expiring within the next 5 days. These are quite large text files (approximately 25MB or more). I downloaded a couple of the lists and eventually found the tonymilne.com domain name. So, now I knew that tonymilne.com was indeed part way through the domain name expiry/deletion process.
NOTE: I tried to avoid doing direct searches for the domain name using these kind of websites - maybe I'm just paranoid - but, I didn't want to tip them off that someone is interested in the domain name and run the risk of them registering and squatting it. I can't say for sure whether they monitor their searches like this, but if operated one of these websites, I sure as hell would!
The next steps involved calculating the difference in timezone (2pm Pacific Time worked out to be about 6am Australian Eastern Standard Time on a Saturday morning) and then getting up early to register it, as soon as it became available. Ben came through with the goods and in the end we registered the domain name for about $10 Australian. Bargain, I say!
Added Twitter authentication to comments:
I have added a "Sign in with Twitter" button to the comment form which authenticates the user using Twitter's OAuth API. People can now click this button to retrieve your name, website and display picture from your Twitter account. The access request is read-only, so rest assured there will be no sneaky tweets popping up blatantly promoting Tony Milne or this website. Give it a try when you get to the bottom.
Added Akismet spam detection to comments:
It's felt a lot like a war zone recently - my blog comments were being spammed quit heavily with all sorts of nasty Internet filth, literally hundreds a day. So much so that I have temporarily disabled my comment notification system, which sends a Direct Message to my Twitter account each time someone comments.
Added a sliding dialog to display related posts:
If you read all the way to the end of this post and glance to the right, hopefully you'll see what I'm talking about. :) I've seen this piece of functionality popping up (or should I say "sliding out") on a few sites around the web, and for good reason really. It's a quick and easy way for you to provide the user with more content of a similar nature to what they just read, in a fairly unobtrusive manner. All of my related posts are hand picked, rather than auto-generated so they should be pretty relevant to the reader.
That's all for now.