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Custom Domain FAQs

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

We've had some good clarifications, questions and concerns raised over the new custom domain name feature we've added; this FAQ addresses, well, the most frequent ones.

Q: Isn't it true that custom domains aren't really domains?

A: Well, yes, technically speaking, "custom domains" are actually subdomains of feedblitz.com, that's true. Our custom domains are like having a dedicated URL for your newsletter at FeedBlitz. They're just the same as having a blog "XYZ" at xyz.blogger.com or xyz.wordpress.com or xyz.typepad.com - all these XYZ's are subdomains of the relevant site (and, dollars to doughnuts, all these hypothetical sites will be run by different people writing about XYZ, whose names are XYZ, or who think that "XYZ" is just a darned cool name for a blog - and the non-uniqueness of "XYZ" is very important, so bear it in mind as you read on).

Q: Do I have to buy the domains you reserved for me?

A: No; we're simply giving you the right of first refusal. There's no obligation; your services will continue on as they do now. If you don't want anything we reserved for you, don't buy it. There can only be one xyz.feedblitz.com, however.

Q: Can I buy any domain?

A: Yes, as long as its available and it isn't being used to spam or abuse others. The fee is $9.99 per domain per year, or about 84c a month, or just under thruppence a day.

You can use the ones we reserved for you, others that are suggested at www.feedblitz.com/f?pl_domains but not reserved, or define your own in the slots provided.

Q: So, in theory, Time Magazine could buy newsweek.feedblitz.com?

A: You mean, just as they could - in theory - register newsweek.blogspot.com or newsweek.typepad.com or newsweek.wordpress.com or newsweek.biz (etc. etc. - you get the idea), if those names were available? Yes, in theory. But in practice they don't, of course, and even if they did what they can't do is use any of these - from FeedBlitz or any other service - to infringe Newsweek's intellectual property. If they did, then the domains would be removed ASAP by the provider once the good folks over at Newsweek got wind of it.

FeedBlitz will treat spamming on custom domains the same way we do those trying to abuse our mail servers: swiftly and with prejudice.

Q: But those blogging services have been / are being abused by spammers. Why are FeedBlitz custom domains going to be different?

Unlike the free blogging services, FeedBlitz requires a credit card to acquire the domain. You have to buy these things. It's therefore much more time-consuming to abuse FeedBlitz the way, say, Blogger is often prone to. It's a lot more expensive to do so as well and, because of the credit card requirement, the audit trail is deeper and subject to validation. TypePad is rarely abused by spammers for just this reason - you have to pay them.

Plus, if there is abuse, we'll kill the domain and block the user without hesitation.

Q: What happens if I don't buy a custom domain? Will FeedBlitz "sell" it and my good name to anyone?

A: If your reservation expires then it's removed from the database (you may see it suggested again; FeedBlitz recalculates suggested domains for you every time you visit the domain management page, but they're never stored unless you reserve or buy them).

We are not maintaining a "registry" of subdomains for resale (in fact, anyone discovered reserving domains for the purpose of reselling them to their "rightful" owners will be treated as a spammer - swiftly and with prejudice). We're not going to run out and say "xyz.feedblitz.com wasn't picked up - who wants it?" It's not what we do. Subdomains are strictly a usability and brand reinforcement feature for publishers which we think has value and is worth $9.99 a year.

That said, if someone else wants "xyz.feedblitz.com" and they're not infringing your intellectual property (i.e. copyrights, trademarks etc.) or otherwise libelling you, then they can have it - there's no reason not to. For example, your blog may be "xyz.blogger.com" but there will be others named similarly at other services (e.g. our hypothetical "xyz.wordpress.com" and "xyz.typepad.com") ; there may well also be offline "brick and mortar" businesses too - perhaps there's a bistro called "XYZ" just around the corner from you. They could all buy and legitimately use "xyz.feedblitz.com" if they wanted to. If you recall the first answer, "XYZ" is probably not unique to your site. Abuse will not be tolerated; but similarly we will not discourage legal, reasonable use either.

Q: How may subdomains can I buy?

A: There are no limits, but (again) we won't permit abuse of the facility. That said, there can only be one "xyz.feedblitz.com" - which is why we're giving current publishers first refusal now.

Q: Can I have fourth level and higher domains?

A: Sure. You could define "sales.xyz.feedblitz.com" and "marketing.xyz.feedblitz.com" for example, and associate different newsletters or landing pages with each one.

Q: Can I buy using PayPal?

A: Not at the moment, no, unless you have the PayPal debit card, which I think will work.




Blogger Alanna said...

Ah, the clarification really helps. Thanks for taking on the questions so directly. Many thanks!

3:35 PM, August 05, 2008  

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