Just last week ICANN (International Corporations for Assigned Names and Numbers), who controlled the World Wide Web’s domain, started selling the .XXX domain names.
Some histories about the .XXX domain first.
ICANN wanted a special domain to differentiate the pornographic websites than regular websites so that regular users won’t stumble onto a pornographic website by accident, and parents, IT managers, and etc can filter these websites with .XXX domains easily to prevent the teenage child, workers and regular people can and will be blocked easily from these pornographic websites.
Very good intention. But seriously?
The AP reports that 80,000 XXX domains were sold in presale and many companies like Pepsi and Nike lined up to purchase adult domains. The University of Kansas reportedly just paid $3,000 for a variety of XXX URLs.
Nike will not want the domain Nike.XXX to be registered by some dubious companies and turn Nike into pornographic brand with a Nike porn site. Furthermore, universities will not want to allow pornographic websites to use their names, such as MSU.XXX or MSUGirls.XXX. So most of these 80,000 XXX domains were sold to legitimate corporations seeking to protect their names, brands and corporate images.
How about the real pornographic websites? From the information that we gather, there were just a few real pornographic companies registering them. A lot of these pornographic websites make their fortune when users stumble onto their websites, so the good intention of ICANN on preventing innocent people from stumbling onto a pornographic website is a moot point. Furthermore, with the .XXX domain, they can be blocked easily (just a simple *.xxx will do) so it is not a surprise anyone with half a brain that real pornographic websites will not take up the triple X domain.
A quick tour to GoDaddy website, one of the largest web hosting companies and domain registration companies in the world, showed that a .XXX domain is USD99 per year, while regular domain ranges from USD 11.99 to 19.99 per year.
According to the website, if I wanted to launch an adult website under that URL, I actually have to become an “Internet Community Member” and then confirm my status of “the sponsored adult entertainment community”. My guess is that this is how the ICANN polices the URLs, to ensure that someone isn’t registering someone else’s brand as a porn site. I have no plans to do so, which conveniently means I do not have to become a part of the “Community.” GoDaddy tells me this too, and is — fortunately, I guess — only too happy to help me park my URL for the same exorbitant fee.
Atop GoDaddy’s XXX domain registration page is this: “Let’s be adult about it. Create an adult Web presence or protect your brand.” This is followed by an explanation of why you’d want to register an XXX domain. Note what it starts with:
Secure your brand. Protect your reputation.
Perhaps you’d like to create an adult entertainment website. Or maybe you’re here to keep your brand from being registered as a .XXX by someone else. Whatever your reasons for wanting a .XXX domain, you’ve come to the right place. To check the availability of your domain, type the name you want into the search box above.
The message is clear: If you don’t want someone launching a porn XXX domain with your name or brand, you’d better let GoDaddy take your money and register it for you.
This scene was like during the early days of the web where companies and person rushing to snap up domain names to protect their own interest or making some quick money by selling the legitimate domain back to the companies. But this time there is a differce in one fundamental way: Those snapping up the domains for protection will never use them. No one outside the porn industry wants to run a live XXX domain website. These businesses and universities are simply buying them in what GoDaddy actually calls “Defensive Registrations” to hide them from view forever (and they’ll pay GoDaddy yearly fees to do so).
I think GoDaddy should send ICANN a flower, a box of chocolate with a Thank-You note while laughing all the way to the bank.
A lot of times for those of us in online marketing and online advertising, we had a hard time explaining to our clients how does Google Adwords work. Sometimes the whole thing can be quite confusing to them and after a much detailed explanation, the clients normally (we hope) will get it.
Today we stumbled onto an interesting articles from Word Stream and they explained how Google Adwords work, in an infographic. It’s easy to understand, and taking a subject of complexity making it super easy to understand.
Source from: Word Stream
It has been wildly speculated that Adobe will announce the development of Flash Player for mobile platform will come to an end very soon.
It is no surprise. Earlier in March, Adobe announced Flash to HTML5 conversion tool code name Wallaby. That was the first sign of Adobe giving up the development of Flash Player for mobile platform.
Sources close to Adobe that have been briefed on the company’s future development plans have revealed this forthcoming announcement to ZDNet:
Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.
Additionally, the e-mail briefing to Adobe’s partners has been summed up as follows:
- Adobe is Stopping development on Flash Player for browsers on mobile.
Adobe is now focusing their development efforts on:
- Applications for mobile
- Expressive content on the desktop (in and out of browser)
- Increasing their investments in HTML5 in general
So what does that mean to web developer?
First of all, we can’t say that we didn’t see it coming. There were signs all over and especially when Apple’s Steve Jobs refusal to provide support for Flash for Mobile on iPhone and iPad platform.
Secondly, there were lots of web developer has already developed websites that support Flash and will have to invest the time and resources to continue to provide support to these websites, or have to take the next step by converting the Flash websites to HTML5 platform.
At Zymora we do not encourage our customers to develop a Flash website because we always felt that if the whole website is developed using Flash, the performance and loading time of the page became an issue, and with the booming of Tablet (iPad and Android tablet), smart phones (iPhone, Android phones, BlackBerry, etc), the Flash website will have performance issues and most often than not, will not be displayed at all. That’s hundreds of millions devices that can’t access the website.
HTML5, we believe, will be the platform that we should all invest in. That is the reason why we invest our time and effort to gain traction in the HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery platform as we want to provide the best flexible solutions to our customers.
Update:Even as this post is published, ZDnet has just confirmed that Flash is Dead, Long Live HTML5
Exactly 10 years ago today, Apple Inc. introduced the iPod. It wasn’t the music player that had the largest capacity. It wasn’t the music player that offered the best music quality available. But it was the music player the revolutionized the music industry.
How did Apple do it?
It was the design. It offered what others didn’t offer.
For example, the Creative Labs Nomad was better as it had bigger capacity, and it offered great sound quality. But it was huge, chunky, and got too many buttons and options. And then there was Sony which was pushing hard for the MD format, where users had to download the music, insert the MD drive into the PC, synchronize the music, insert the MD drive into the music player, and again, there were many fancy functions.
What Apple did was the complete opposite. It offered very simple design, simple functionality, and offered iTunes to provide “one-stop” music purchase and synchronization. Want to play music? Press one button. Want to select different track? Scroll the wheel. And then people caught on because of how iPod was beautifully made and offer seamless and simple music purchase and listening experience. It became a big hit, and online music store started to boom.
So how do we translate that into our daily life? How do we translate that into web application?
A visitor that comes to the website need not select so many options. As a designer, our main aim is to provide the simplest navigation experience that we can offer, without users clicking pass some secret code to find the information that they are looking for. It is technically cool to offer a website that offer functions such as background color, music track, different elements, and etc. But the million dollar question is: do the visitors need this? Most often than not, they don’t. Making it too fancy will actually make them feel visually impaired.
It is extremely important to know what are the main function of the website. Is it to promote a product or service or is it function to provide information of the product or service? Is it function to provide video or music, or is it function to provide news about the video or music?
Once the main function of the website is defined, then it will be easier to start designing the website as we will know what we should include (features) into the website and how the design should flow.
Like functionality, we should offer a simple yet elegant website design that offer easy to find information. For example, the menu must be clearly labelled for the sake of easy navigation.
Less is more – Robert Browning (1812 – 1899)
If we look at Apple product, for instance, we see the iPhone that offer less buttons. In fact, they removed the keypad, they removed the call or end call buttons. All they got was the big home button at the bottom.
Some websites cramp all the information into main page, or some show very little information and users have to click through many links to find out what they are looking for. The ideal way is that on the main page, when the visitors scroll from top to bottom, they already have an idea what the website is about and what kind of information they can expect.
As for features, that’s always a struggle in terms of web design. But we have to draw a clear line that features do not equal to functions. A website can have many features that offer the visitors a unique browsing experience, but having too many functions will spoil the visitors browsing experience.
It is important to remember the distinction between product functions and product features. Functions are the “product’s answer to the set of user tasks”; features are the “user tools” inherent in the product used to perform the functions (Wood, 1995). Placing a telephone call is a function; the dial tone and the touch-tone keypad are features used to accomplish the function.
So we need to distinguish the difference between a function and a feature. Once we get that out of the way, we will be able to provide specific one or two functions but with many features.