CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,
CharlieMC
charliemc

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Lost a Domain... (sigh)

Sorry I haven't been around -- but basically I haven't been able to even get into LiveJournal recently when I've had the chance. So...

What's up here?

Marilyn is somewhat better -- though she's still running a temperature and has a nasty cough. She went to her evening meeting, regardless. There wasn't anyone else who could replace her, so she pretty much had no choice.

Happily, sister Sue and Nicole came by (after Sue had picked Nicole up from school) and took the car to get the tank filled. We were almost out of gas, but haven't been out with the car since bringing it home last Wednesday night.

Marilyn pulled herself together and headed to the office (where the joint meeting of Portland's sister cities is taking place) around 4:00-ish.

Meanwhile, I'm dealing with the loss of one of the festival's official websites (!!!).

If you've never bought a lot of domains (Marilyn and I have, good thing), then you may not know how all of this works. You buy a domain and register it -- and if you're smart, you do this for five years. Then when those five years are up, you get a notification via email (one email only, mind you) that the domain needs to be renewed. If you don't renew in time, you lose your domain -- and usually someone else buys it right away.

Why?

Because they hope to sell it back to you -- for a (large) price. And/or they hope to use your domain traffic (assuming you have any) to promote their own agenda (usually advertising). What a massive scam this whole thing is!

Because I've been there, you always want to keep an eye on your domain (or domains) on a regular basis -- probably annually, at the very least. It might sound stupid, but it's easy to lose track of domain and domain renewals over time. And the notices are sometimes one only -- and then mere days (!!!) before the renewal has to happen.

Once you lose a domain, it's highly unlikely you'll ever get it back again. And keep this in mind: What's being done is totally legal. It might not be ethical, but it's legal!

The festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization -- which basically means we're on a very tight budget. There's no way we can come up with some large sum of money to buy a domain name back again. (sigh)

Now we have to figure out where we go next. Do we try to purchase the old name? Do we try to purchase a new one? I'm not directly responsible for the website in question (originally purchased in 2001), which is one of the reasons I don't have any info about it.

Now the company that does this website will have to reload the entire thing. Meanwhile, we're linking the current name (that we've lost) in several places -- and we need to pull those links, pronto!

What a mess.

I wish you could renew for 10 years -- or even 20 -- at a time. I wish someone would come up with a service that maintains domains for businesses for a reasonable price. I wish I'd thought to check into this months ago (when we had the scare about the main festival domain)... It just wasn't on my radar.

I've been adamant from almost day one (since I took over IT and the website for the festival) that we need GENERIC email accounts for registering everything cyber that we deal with. And that more than one person needs to be aware of important accounts like this that can have such a major impact. I do NOT use my personal email account at the festival to set up accounts, because I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and the account could be deleted -- and then the information is sent into a black hole.

This is in line with my concern that I also have all of the account info (especially passwords) so that I can keep them in a secure place -- a place that our Chief Operating Officer is also well aware of (and can access). I keep much of it cyber, by the way (in a secure place). But I also have well-secured digital files (I rarely ever maintain hard copies of sensitive materials), that I keep backed up.

I'm off to mess with linkage now -- until we figure out our next step. And as Marilyn is our COO, I'll need to consult with her about this tonight. Lilia and I have talked, so she knows where we stand at this point.

There are a lot of legal-yet-unethical ways to make $$$ in this world. I hope I'm never tempted to participate in any of them...

Tags: 2011, 501(c)(3), april-2011, car, domain, domain-renewal, festival, festival-domain, lilia, livejournal, marilyn, marilyn-sick, meeting, money, nicole, sister-cities, sister-sue, unethical, work
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