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.XXX Landrush Starts Today

Today the Landrush phase of the .XXX domain extension launch begins.

Landrush is a limited-time opportunity for those who didn’t qualify for Sunrise A, but want to secure a valued .XXX domain name and avoid the first come, first served risks associated with General Availability.

logo for the .XXX domain extensionThe Landrush period runs for 18 days, starting on November 8, 2011. During this time, only applicants who are members of the adult Sponsored Community can apply for .XXX domain names. Apart from being a member of the adult Sponsored Community, there are no trademark or pre-ownership rights requirements during this phase of the launch.

There is no first come, first served ranking during Landrush. Once Landrush ends, any .XXX domain names with a single applicant will be automatically allocated. Those .XXX domain names with more than one applicant will proceed to a closed mini-auction between the competing parties only.

For Members of the Sponsored Community

Landrush is designed specifically for members of the adult Sponsored Community who wish to secure premium .XXX domain names. It guarantees members the chance to purchase premium .XXX domain names or be involved in a closed auction to bid for .XXX domain names.

OpenSRS is fully supporting the Landrush phase, along with all other phases of the launch of the .XXX domain extension. We’ll begin accepting Landrush orders via the Reseller Web Interface or the OpenSRS API as soon as the registry opens.

More information about .XXX can be found on our .XXX Launch information page.

The launch continues with General Availability for .XXX on December 6, 2011.

Take Advantage of .ME’s Momentum

.ME is on a roll lately. More and more .ME domains are being registered and used around the Internet, including some very high profile and very visible sites.

There are now more than 550,000 .ME domains registered, and hundreds of .ME domains are found on the Alexa Top 100,000 Sites list. With stats like that, it’s clear that even the most casual of web surfers will run into a .ME domain in their travels around the net.

How .ME Domains are Being Used

The .ME domain extension is a TLD with some obvious and compelling use cases. Here’s just a few examples in different verticals:

  • .ME for vanity shorteners: WordPress.com has WP.ME for blog posts, Time Magazine is using TI.ME, and Facebook is using FB.ME (and there are many more examples).
  • Personal profile services: .ME is an obvious choice for a site that provides a personal landing page. You might have seen About.ME, and Flavors.ME which both offer customized personal homepages at .ME domains. Users of either service can also purchase their own .ME domain for an even more personalized experience.
  • New web services: There are more .ME domains available than in other extensions, so .ME is getting a lot of love with new web services. You might have seen formspring.ME, join.ME, connect.ME and jetpack.ME among others.
  • Blogs and personal websites: .ME has always been a great choice for a personal site. More and more high profile bloggers and celebrities are choosing .ME domains. Omis.ME, Zee.ME, thecranberries.me and dannybrown.ME are some great examples.

The long and short of it is this: if you aren’t offering .ME domains to your customers, then you aren’t providing them with a great option that will help them find their perfect domain name. Without that perfect domain name, they won’t be looking for additional services like hosting, SSL and email.

On Sale Now!

More information and marketing help to get you started is available here. And remember that we have a great $7.99 promotion on .ME domains that runs through the end of the year.

.XXX Sunrise Extended

logo for the .XXX domain extensionWord has leaked out today that the Sunrise A/B phase of the launch of the .XXX domain extension has been unofficially extended beyond today’s original deadline.

ICM Registry notified OpenSRS and other registrars of this extension earlier this week but asked that we not officially announce the extension. Instead, they suggested that we should simply continue to accept applications until the new closing date of Monday, October 31, 2011.

Now that some other registrars are announcing the extension, we do want to assure you that OpenSRS is also accepting Sunrise applications until Monday, October 31st, 2011 at 16:00 UTC.

While we’re on the subject of .XXX, the Landrush phase of the launch begins on November 8th, 2011. Landrush allows members of the Sponsored Community to apply to secure domains prior to the General Availability phase which happens in early December. More information is available on our .XXX launch Information page.

If you have any questions about the launch of .XXX, don’t hesitate to contact Reseller Support.

Meet our Reseller: Fastline

Thanks to David Lie, CEO of Fastline for taking part in our latest Meet our Resellers feature. Fastline is based in Haugesund, Norway and offers hosting and other Internet services to clients located primarily in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

David and I talked about the business climate in Norway which, like many other countries, is quite competitive. Fastline is doing well, despite the challenges, by offering great technology alongside excellent customer support — a common theme amongst our most successful resellers.

You can read more about Fastline here.

Fastline is representative of the thousands of OpenSRS Resellers in over one hundred countries around the world who look to OpenSRS to provide reliable domain registrations, trust products, email and other services with support and technology they can depend on. Thanks again to David for telling us about his business.

Even More Choice in SSL with Comodo SSL Domain Validated Certificates

We’ve just added two great new Comodo SSL products to the already extensive lineup of SSL and trust products available through your OpenSRS Reseller account.

These two new Comodo SSL Digital Certificates — Comodo SSL and Comodo SSL Wildcard — are exclusive to OpenSRS at launch.

Both new products are available today through the Trust Manager tab in OpenSRS Control Panel and via the OpenSRS API. Full pricing and product details for these and the rest of the Comodo SSL product line is available on our website.

Powerful, Affordable Protection

  • Comodo SSL provides powerful, cost-effective security to e-commerce sites. Comodo SSL provides all the same features as the rest of the Comodo SSL line, including 256-bit encryption along with the widely recognized Comodo site seal.
  • Comodo SSL Wildcard adds wildcard support allowing purchasers to protect unlimited sub-domains with a single SSL certificate.

More Choice

These two new SSL products from Comodo further expand the OpenSRS Trust Service product line-up. With even more choice in brands and products across a range of price points, our Resellers have the ability to satisfy the varied security needs of their customers, from individuals to small businesses and right up to the largest enterprise customers.

A Winner in our Trustwave SSL Incentive Program

We have a grand prize winner to announce in our Trustwave SSL Incentive Program.

Congratulations to Jeff Layton of Tech One Computer Solutions in Pennsylvania, USA. Jeff sold a Trustwave SSL certificate during the promotional period and was the lucky winner of an Apple iPad 2 when we did the drawing earlier this week.

Like many OpenSRS Resellers, Jeff runs a computer and web consulting business in his part of the world, providing services to small businesses in his community.

Congratulations to Jeff, and thanks to all of you who participated. Thanks also to Trustwave for providing the prize.

Holiday Hours for Canadian Thanksgiving, October 10

Shopping for pumpkins in Ottawa (courtesy Wikipedia)

Monday, October 10th, 2011 is Canadian Thanksgiving, which means that our headquarters in Toronto will be operating on holiday hours.

Typical Canadians – Always Trying to Be Different

For trivia buffs, there’s a really good reason why Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October while Americans wait until November (and no, it’s not because we’ll be snowed in – har, har). A quick check of the Book of Knowledge (aka Wikipedia) reveals the following:

“By the end of the 19th Century, Thanksgiving Day was normally celebrated on November 6. However, when World War I ended, the Armistice Day holiday was usually held during the same week. To prevent the two holidays from clashing with one another, in 1957 the Canadian Parliament proclaimed Thanksgiving to be observed on its present date on the second Monday of October.”

So there you have it – we’re just trying to avoid conflict in our usual Canadian way.

Holiday Hours

Now on to the official business: Our Technical Support team continues to be available 24/7 to assist you. Please note that during this closure, there will be:

  • No orders or requests processed for the following TLD’s: .at, .fr, .ch, .li, .dk, .com.mx
  • No special processing for .ca (registrant transfers, conflicting and municipal registrations) or .eu/.be (redemptions).

Here are the hours by department:

Department Dates and Hours
Technical Support Regular hours
Payments Email support: payments@opensrs.org
Compliance Closed October 10th (Monday)
Service Bureau Closed October 10th (Monday)

Our normal hours will resume on Tuesday, October 11. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

OpenSRS WHMCS Module Now Available

Note: an new, updated set of plugins for WHMCS are available through our website. Visit: http://opensrs.com/site/integration/tools/whmcs for more information.

We’re happy to announce a new officially supported module that integrates OpenSRS into the popular hosting control panel WHMCS. This module is developed by OpenSRS for use by our Resellers.

This first public release of the WHMCS Plugin for OpenSRS includes:

  • Improved support for ccTLDs
  • Name Suggestion Tool lookups
  • Full DNS Management (using the OpenSRS DNS Service)
  • EPP Lookup support
  • Domain renewal support
  • Nameserver registration
  • Improved Administration Interface
  • Whois Privacy support including the ability enable and disable WHOIS Privacy
  • Tech contact locking
  • Registrant username and password bypass
  • Increased security
  • Better authentication error handling/messaging

Available for Download Now

Download the current release (v4.5) in .ZIP format: WHMCS OpenSRS Module v4.5 (574KB).

Visit http://opensrs.com/site/integration/tools/whmcs for more information on updated WHMCS plugins for OpenSRS services.

Other 3rd Party Tools

This new WHMCS plugin gives our Resellers more ways to integrate with OpenSRS. We are also working on official plugins for Parallels including PBA, PBAS and Parallels Plesk as we announced at HostingCon 2011.

For a full listing of third-party hosting panels and billing systems that feature OpenSRS support, visit our our 3rd Party Plugins page.

Meet our Reseller: HostingPanama

A couple of months ago we had the opportunity to sit down with Eduardo Vilá, Chief Sales Officer for HostingPanama while we were at HostingCon 2011. We spoke at length about the business, the market in Panama and beyond, and how HostingPanama’s partnership with OpenSRS is working for them.

You can read more about HostingPanama in the latest article in our Meet Our Resellers series.

We love working with the leading hosting companies in countries around the world – companies just like HostingPanama. And we’re committed to helping all of our resellers to continue to grow their businesses even further. Special thanks to Eduardo and his staff for taking the time to hang out with us in San Diego.

SiteLock and TRUSTe Join the Trust Service Lineup

Starting today, OpenSRS Resellers can sell two new Trust Service products, SiteLock and TRUSTe.

SiteLock Website Security

SiteLock Website Security provides website security scanning that identifies vulnerabilities and protects sites against threats. SiteLock is offered at three different levels of service – SiteLock Basic, Premium and SMB Enterprise. Similar to other Trust services like SSL certificates, SiteLock is provisioned through the OpenSRS Control Panel. Plans start at just $10/year.

TRUSTe Privacy Policy

TRUSTe Privacy Policy lets you help your customers increase sales with an online privacy policy that turns consumer confidence into clicks. OpenSRS Resellers can offer two TRUSTe privacy solutions to their customers – TRUSTe Website Privacy and TRUSTe Website Privacy with Seal. TRUSTe is also provisioned and managed through the OpenSRS Control Panel in the Trust Manager tab. TRUSTe plans start at just $15/year.


We have much more information about SiteLock and TRUSTe on our website in the Trust Service section. Learn about the various features and benefits of both products and see full rundowns on the differences between the different plans available for each product.

Learn more at our webinars

We’re hosting a pair of webinars in the coming weeks to help introduce SiteLock and TRUSTe. You’ll learn not only how the products work, but also how to provision and manage them using OpenSRS. And we’ll share marketing advice and ideas to kickstart your sales efforts.

SiteLock Webinar
Available for on-demand viewing

TRUSTe Webinar
Available for on-demand viewing

Tucows’ Employee Lucas Cochran and His Discovery Channel Debut

If you’re a fan of the Discovery Channel, you may have seen our very own Lucas Cochran during Daily Planet’s, “Future Tech” a new segment that covers Tech, Gaming and Social Media.

Lucas is no stranger to the camera. In 2009, he had his own show called “Pimp My PC” on Butterscotch TV, where he helped viewers creatively customize, personalize and trick out their boring beige box PCs.

During business hours at Tucows, Lucas is our go-to guy for all things related to IT and can be counted on to handle everything from the deployment of an authentication cluster, to troubleshooting audio/video issues on Skype.

But labeling Lucas the Tucows IT guy and leaving it at that just wouldn’t be fair…

This man has the geek cred of ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ lead character Lewis Skolnick, combined with the stage presence and comedic timing of Jerry Lewis, and the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Ron Popeil. When George Clooney needs help with the ladies AND programming his VCR, Lucas is #1 in his speed dial. At least, he will be as soon as George sees this episode of FutureTech.

A word of caution however: never (ever) agree to play Star Wars trivia with this man (you will lose), and never, ever bet Lucas that he’ll be unable to get an old Logitech webcam working on a MacBook Pro (I lost $5 bucks to him this way just last week).

But seriously, Lucas is a great example of the super talented people we get to spend out days with at Tucows/OpenSRS. His intrinsic desire to teach himself new things, combined with his super friendly nature and ability to teach others will undoubtedly make him a great addition to the Daily Planet team and we’re all extremely proud of him here at Tucows.

Congrats Lucas!

To see what Lucas has to say, check out the segment of FutureTech on this week’s episode of Daily Planet.

.XXX Launch Updates and Webinar Archive

If you missed our .XXX launch webinar last week, we have the archived version available now for on-demand viewing.

logo for the .XXX domain extensionPatrick Donaldson, Registrar Liaison for ICM Registry and Adam Eisner, Director of OpenSRS Product Management, shared some good information to help you make the most of the launch of this new domain extension.

Win-Win-WIn

Patrick talked a bit about how .XXX is a win-win-win for everyone involved – the adult entertainment industry, consumers and those who want to avoid adult content online.

One of the key points that Patrick made was that regardless of what your customer base is like, there is an opportunity with the launch of .XXX to help them out. If you want to provide services like hosting or domain registration to those in adult industries, then you can help them acquire new .XXX registrations, or domains matching their existing .com domains. For those who don’t wish to be a part of the extension, then you can help them out with blocking registrations or simply registering the matching .XXX domain to the existing .COM or other extension.

There was also a lot of information from Adam about the different phases of the launch including what happens and who can register domains during Sunrise A and B, Landrush and General Availability.

View the archive here.

.XXX in Horizon Test Environment

In addition to the webinar, we can also tell you that .XXX is now available in our Horizon Test Environment for testing. That includes both the Reseller Web Interface, and the API. If you plan to participate in the launch, log in to the Horizon Test Environment RWI and see how things work.

We’ll continue to update our .XXX launch information page as required. Documentation for the RWI and API has already been updated and posted in advance of the launch.

Further Strengthening Our Commitment to Europe

OpenSRS has been focusing heavily on Europe for the past few years. We’re quite confident that we’re the best choice for European companies looking for a partner they can count on that understands their business, culture and specific needs.

200 TLDs by the End of the Year

Alexander Schwertner, Managing Director, ePAG

The recent acquisition of ePAG by OpenSRS further illustrates this commitment to Europe. With ePAG, we’ll be able to dramatically extend our ccTLD coverage to include most, if not all, of Europe. We expect to be able to offer the ability to register 200 different TLDs by the end of the year.

Welcome ePAG to the OpenSRS Team

Joining the OpenSRS team as part of the ePAG acquisition is Alexander Schwertner, who is the Managing Director for ePAG. Alex has extensive experience working with European resellers at ePAG. He’ll continue to work at ePAG, with a specific focus on ccTLDs.

In addition to Alex, Jan Leendertse and Evelina Joschko will also be joining the OpenSRS European Team, continuing in their roles in sales and account management.

Welcome to Alessandro Baruffi

I’m also very happy to introduce yet another new member to our European team – Alessandro Baruffi. He is responsible for account management and business development throughout Europe and is based out of our office in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Alessandro Baruffi

Alessandro Baruffi, Account Manager

Alessandro speaks English, Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese. I’m happy to say that we’re almost at the point where you’ll be able to talk to OpenSRS in whatever language you are most comfortable with.

Come Meet Us in Person at WHD.local

If you would like to learn more about OpenSRS and meet Alessandro, Alex or myself, various members of our team will be touring Europe in the coming weeks for the WHD.local events.

The first stop is Cologne, Germany, on September 14th and from there it’s a nearly two month trip around Europe including stops in Poland, Turkey, Netherlands, Russia, Romania, UK, France, Spain and finally Switzerland.

Get more information on WHD.local, including free registration codes (value €199) by clicking here. We look forward to meeting you at an event in your city!

Another Trustwave Incentive Winner!

We have another winner to announce in our Trustwave SSL incentive program.

Joe Wolff won a $50 Amazon gift card simply by selling a Trustwave SSL certificate in August. Customers who buy from eRacks.com are now nicely protected with 256-bit encryption thanks to a Trustwave Premium SSL with Wildcard cert.

Remember that this incentive program continues through the end of September. We’ll have another surprise winner to announce sometime in September. And one lucky reseller will win an iPad 2 courtesy Trustwave. All the details on the promotion are here.

Holiday Hours: Labour Day, September 6, 2011

Next Monday, September 6, 2011, is Labour Day here in Canada (aka Labor Day if you are in the USA) and that means some special hours for a few departments here at OpenSRS.

First, the official business: Our Technical Support team continues to be available 24/7 to assist you. Please note that during this closure, there will be:

  • No orders or requests processed for the following TLD’s: .at, .fr, .ch, .li, .dk, .com.mx
  • No special processing for .ca (registrant transfers, conflicting and municipal registrations) or .eu/.be (redemptions).

Here are the hours by department:

Department Dates and Hours
Technical Support Regular hours
Payments Email support: payments@opensrs.org
Compliance Closed Sept 6th (Monday)
Service Bureau Closed Sept 6th (Monday)

About Labour Day

With that stuff out of the way, I will note that I used to find it kind of ironic that we celebrate Labour Day by not working. However, a quick read on Wikipedia revealed that the origins of Labour Day in Canada can be traced back to December 1872 when a parade was staged in support of the Toronto Typographical Union’s strike for a 58-hour work-week. Makes much more sense!

Absolutely True Facts about Canadians

As is also the tradition here on the blog, I’ll now provide some interesting insights and facts about what we do on long weekends in Canada so that we can further some stereotypes about Canadians.

Here in Ontario, Labour Day is an official day of mourning for kids, and a day of wild celebrations for parents (by government proclaimation). You see, it’s the unofficial last day of summer as everyone is back to school dark and early on Tuesday morning.

It’s also yet another opportunity for many Canadians to drink beer and head for the cottage (preferably in the opposite order – drive to the cottage, then drink beer – Arrive Alive. Drive Sober). In fact, this weekend is one of the last chances to get out on the water before the switchover from jet skis to snowmobiles happens (typical September weather for Toronto is shown to the right).

Those that stick around the city, especially here in Toronto, get to enjoy the last couple of days of the Canadian National Exhibition (the Ex!) just a few minutes south of the Tucows head office at the CNE grounds. It’s deep-fried everything for two weeks. Last year it was deep fried butter…this year it’s deep fried Coke!

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