OpenSRS: Reseller Friendly since 1999
 

CIRA 2012 Board of Directors Election

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Nomination Committee is seeking interested individuals from across Canada to apply to fill three open positions for the Nomination Committee Slate of CIRA’s Board of Directors Election. Canadians with governance experience and relevant background in industry, technology or the Internet are encouraged to apply.

Applications will be accepted from May 10 to June 8, 2012 at the CIRA website.

.CA Members and Registrants can play a key role in guiding the future of the Internet through their participation in the Nomination Committee Slate. CIRA will be inviting .CA Members and Registrants to participate in this stage of the 2012 CIRA Election.

Ting is now in OpenSRS Offers

Starting today OpenSRS Resellers can offer phone service from Tucows’ US mobile phone service, Ting.

You’ll find Ting in OpenSRS Offers – log into the new OpenSRS Control Panel and click the Offers Manager tab. Once you agree to the terms and conditions, and you’ll be assigned a unique Ting.com URL that you’ll use to send people to Ting to learn about the service.

What’s the Ting Offer?

  • For your customers: Through OpenSRS Offers, you’ll be able to provide a $50 discount off a device purchase to everyone who you send to Ting.

Ting provides cost-savings and better customer service – the mobile phone service your customers deserve. Businesses (and families) can have unlimited devices on one account and they can pool multiple users together usage for greater savings. You can trust that your customers are in good hands at Ting. We’re quite confident that they’ll thank you for telling them about it.

  • For OpenSRS Resellers: Ting provides an additional source of recurring revenue.

When someone signs up for Ting service using your URL or partner code, you get 25% of net revenue generated by that customer for two years.

More Information

The best place to learn more about Ting and see what makes it different is the Ting website. Try out the savings calculator, look at the plans, and maybe even try the service for yourself. Be sure to check out what people are saying about Ting on the Ting Facebook page and on Twitter.

Here’s an example:

My cell phone bill was so confounding, I'd have a better chance of grasping string theory. Switched to Ting, problem solved. @
@SeanGold3
Sean Gold

Getting Started

To get started with Ting in OpenSRS Offers, you can visit our OpenSRS Offers information page. There are some nice marketing resources for you including banner ads, logos, and email/web copy in the Offers section of our Resource Center. If you have any questions, drop by the OpenSRS Forums and ask away in the Ting area.

ORG, PRO and ASIA Promos

A couple of domain promotions that were scheduled to end today have been extended and we have a great new promo from .ASIA!

Extended Promotions

  • .ORG: Our .ORG promotion will continue through the end of June. Get $2 off the cost of .ORG domains. If you already signed up, we’ll extend the promo for you automatically. If you missed out the first time around, sign up today to start saving.
  • .PRO: The .PRO promotion was also extended through until May 30. Save big on .PRO domains – the registry cost is just $1.99 right now – and introduce your customers to .PRO. As with the .ORG promo, we’ll extend the promo for you automatically. If you missed out the first time around, sign up today to start saving.

.ASIA FreeBs

  • .ASIA: FreeBs from .ASIA! Registrants of .ASIA domains will get FreeBs like headphones, and even Android tablets! That starts today and runs through the end of July. There’s no sign up for this one – all resellers are automatically included. More information.

You can see all current promotions on our Domain Promotions page.

goMobi v1.6 Now Available for All Users

As of this morning, the goMobi mobile website publishing service has been updated to v1.6. There’s nothing you need to do – all users of goMobi will automatically get the update.

There are quite a few small changes and additions to the goMobi service, but the overall experience remains very similar to what it was for those using the Site Builder. It remains very intuitive and existing sites will continue to work just fine.

That said, there are quite a few new features in version 1.6:

New Features:

  • Ability to upload icons to features – a much requested feature!
  • Option to add smartphone bookmark – upload a custom icon to be used when users create a shortcut to the goMobi site on their supported smartphone.
  • Live site preview – the site preview in the Site Builder now emulates the experience on a smartphone.
  • Keywords – improve SEO with meta keywords.
  • New icon set – added a new theme.
  • WordPress and Drupal redirection modules – available from the Advanced Feature or Finish page of the Site Builder.
  • Site sharing options added to Finish page – easily promote your new goMobi site on Facebook, Twitter, Email or by QR code.

Enhancements:

  • Improved Advanced Options - makes it easier for users to access advanced options when desired.
  • New site colour options - users can more completely customize the goMobi site to match the colour palette of their existing site.
  • WYSIWYG Editor added to Coupons - make rich, HTML coupons with images and text.
  • Email option added to Find Us feature - let visitors send you an email to the email address of your choice.
  • Additional language options added to Site Translation feature - more languages supported by the built-in translation feature.
  • Email and SMS options added to the Create Link feature - create a link that opens email or SMS on certain smartphones.
  • Additional Currencies added to mCommerce option - support for ten additional currencies.
  • Video feature limit - increased from four to eight.
  • Number of locations - increased from four to six.

 

.COM.BR Added to OpenSRS

The flag of BrazilStarting today, resellers can add .COM.BR to the list of ccTLDs they can sell through OpenSRS.

Brazil is a big and growing market, so the addition of .COM.BR to the ever growing list of ccTLDs we offer is one we think will be of great interest to many of you. In fact, .BR is the most widely used domain for Portuguese language websites, outpacing even .COM in that regard. With a population of over 192 million people, Brazil represents a large market that is also quite technologically advanced.

.COM.BR domains do come with some specific requirements so to help you out with getting the extension added to your integration, we’ve prepared a special pull-out guide . It’s aimed mostly at those doing API integrations, but there’s some great information in there about some of the little things about .COM.BR that can sometimes be tricky. Download in PDF format.

Enabling .COM.BR in Search Results

.COM.BR is automatically enabled for all Resellers. Visit the Settings area for Domain Availability search in the Reseller Web Interface to enable .COM.BR domains in your search results.

Pricing

.COM.BR domains are priced at USD$22/domain year. You can see pricing for all the many TLDs we offer on our pricing page.

As always, our Reseller Support team is there if you have any questions about .COM.BR or any other extension we offer.

Freedom to Connect

If you are at all interested in issues like Internet openness and net neutrality, then you’ll want to check out F2C: Freedom to Connect. It’s a fantastic two-day conference devoted to preserving and celebrating the essential properties of the Internet, coming up on May 21 and 22nd, in Washington, DC.

Read on to learn how to win a free pass to F2C or get a discount on your registration!

This year’s F2C conference features a very strong lineup of presenters and panelists. F2C: Freedom to Connect logoConfirmed keynote speakers include Vint Cerf, Michael Copps, Cory Doctorow, Benoît Felten, Rebecca MacKinnon, Eben Moglen, Mike Marcus and Aaron Swartz.

Here’s a good explanation of what F2C is all about:

The Internet is a success today because it is stupid, abundant and simple. In other words, its neutrality, its openness to rapidly developing technologies and its layered architecture are the reasons it has succeeded where others (e.g., ISDN, Interactive TV) failed.

The Internet’s issues are under-represented in Washington DC policy circles. F2C: Freedom to Connect is designed to advocate for innovation, for creativity, for expression, for little-d democracy. The Freedom to Connect is about an Internet that supports human freedoms and personal security. These values, held by many of us whose consciousness has been shaped by the Internet, are not common on K Street or Capitol Hill or at the FCC.

F2C: Freedom to Connect is about having access to the Internet as infrastructure. Infrastructures belong to — and enrich — the whole society in which they exist. They gain value — in a wide variety of ways, some of which are difficult to anticipate — when more members of society have access to them. F2C: Freedom to Connect especially honors those who build communications infrastructure for the Internet in their own communities, often overcoming resistance from incumbent cable and telephone companies to do so.

The phrase Freedom to Connect is now official US foreign policy, thanks to Secretary of State Clinton’s Remarks on Internet Freedom in 2010. She said that Freedom to Connect is, “the idea that governments should not prevent people from connecting to the internet, to websites, or to each other. The freedom to connect is like the freedom of assembly, only in cyberspace.” Her speech presaged the Internet-fueled assemblies from Alexandria, Egypt to Zuccotti Park.

Win a Free Pass, or Get 33% Off Registration

F2C meshes very nicely with our corporate ideals about how the Internet should work and how it needs to be protected and nurtured. Our mobile service Ting is a proud sponsor of the event and we have a couple of discount options for those of you who are looking to attend.

  • First up, we have a free pass to give away to one person. We simply ask that you email us and give us a short explanation on why you think you should attend. Act fast – we’ll have a look at the emails and choose a winner on April 11th.
  • For those who don’t get the free pass, we also have a discount code that you can use to get 33% off the registration fee. When you register, use promo code “TING33″.

The cost for the conference is $349 until April 16, after which the cost goes up a bit. That discount code will work until April 30.

For more information, and to register, visit the F2C: Freedom to Connect website.

Holiday Hours for Good Friday, April 6th, 2012

Our Toronto office will be closed on Friday, April 6, 2012, for Good Friday. While most OpenSRS staff will be off that day, Reseller Support will continue to be available 24/7 to assist you.

Here are the hours by department:

Department Dates and Hours
Technical Support Regular hours
Payments Email support: payments@opensrs.org
Compliance Closed Apr. 6
Service Bureau Closed Apr. 6

Please note that during this closure, there will be no orders or requests processed for the following TLD’s: (.at, .ch, .li, .dk, .com.mx).

Change is Coming, Are You Informed?

Last week at WHD.global, Thorsten Einig, our Managing Director for Europe, gave a presentation titled, ”Change Means Opportunity – Key Domain Trends for Hosters in 2012″.

In the session, Thorsten mapped out some of the trends and changes coming to the domain industry in 2012, and provided some key insights and ideas for hosting companies looking to take advantage.

2012 is going to be a year of big change in our industry. The introduction of new generic Top-level Domains will have major impacts on everyone across the Internet, including hosters. Make sure you are well informed about what’s going on, and armed with a plan so you’ll be able to find the opportunity in a time of change.

Below you’ll find Thorsten’s slides from the session. If you have any questions, feel free to ask away in the comments – we’re happy to share our knowledge and insights gleaned from 15 years at the forefront of the domains industry.

WHD.global Session Notes – “Hosting after Megaupload.com: Risks, Opportunities and Chances”

Many of us OpenSRSers are in Rust, Germany this week for the WHD.global show. To give you a flavour of what this conference is all about, I’ve attended a few sessions and will provide some notes here.

Today I took in a very interesting session at WHD.global talking about the recent Megaupload case and the impacts on hosting companies.

The presenter was David Snead, an American attorney specializing in Internet business law and advice.

David took some time to explain the Megaupload case, and the indictment, specifically around what Megaupload is alleged to have done. You can read a very good article about the case from the New York Times, so I won’t go into details here.

David summarized the key learnings for hosting companies as it pertains to being the hosting providers for businesses like Megaupload.com. It’s very important, obviously, for hosters to ensure they are properly protected from any legal implications that might come as a result of being the provider to a company like Megaupload.com.

There are a number of key points for hosters:

  1. Understand jurisdiction: David points out that governments often try to extend jurisdiction outside traditional borders. In the case of Megaupload, the servers were in the USA, data travelled through other countries and employees of the company were found in seven different countries.
  2. Boot bad users: David suggests that hosters not be shy about firing bad customers. Once the hoster is aware that a customer is doing something that is outside of what the law allows (or even close), it’s important that the hoster act to remove that customer, or potentially face legal issues themselves.
  3. Have Terms of Service that work: the basis of being able to ensure customers are not participating in illegal activities is to have an effective and functional terms of service that is enforceable.
  4. Understand culture and how that plays into enforcement: David suggests that it is critical to understand the cultural customs and laws outside of the hoster’s own country and in any areas where the hosting company might reach. That means they need to be aware of things like gambling customs in certain countries and US states, anti-government and free-speech issues in some places, and of course intellectual property and copyright issues in many countries.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider here for hosters. The most important thing is that hosting companies make themselves aware of the current situation as it pertains to legal issues, and also that they seek out legal help and advice when required.

Exciting New Developments in ccTLDs

It’s been a busy few months for ccTLDs at OpenSRS. With so much happening, we thought it would be a good time to provide an update on all the good news.

.FR domains: fully automated and available to EU residents

One of the fastest-growing ccTLDs in our offering over the past several months has been .FR, the ccTLD for France. As a result, we have just wrapped up a major overhaul of our integration that will make the extension much easier to sell.

A number of improvements are now live, including:

  • Full provisioning automation: Fulfillment time for .FR orders no longer takes several business days. Instead, names are registered immediately.
  • Automated data collection: When placing an order, it is no longer necessary to provide relevant additional information in the order notes. Instead, these are now all added via the order form directly.
  • Expanded registrant eligibility: now any person or company based in the .European Union can register a .FR name, making it a viable extension for any person or business in Europe.

These, along with some additional changes to .FR, are now live both in the test and live environments. Please be sure to consult our documentation for additional information.

Now live: dozens of new extensions that are easy to integrate

Late last year we announced the availability of many new ccTLDs via our acquisition of EPAG Domainservices GmbH. Since the announcement, we’ve been hard at work iterating on our offering and adding new features, including:

More automated ccTLDs, more information

We’ve refactored many of the extensions we rolled out last year to no longer be asynchronous. Instead, the vast majority of our extensions now return immediate responses, instead of having to regularly check an order’s status. You can find out which extensions are fully automated using our new, handy ccTLD guide.

Even more extensions: .TW, .AG, .CO.IM

Taiwan, Antigua and Barbuda, and .CO.IM (a new addition to the several extensions we offer for the Isle of Man) are all new to OpenSRS this month. Like the other dozens of extensions we’ve introduced thus far, there are no additional data requirements.

Positioning a litany of ccTLDs

With the massive expansion of our ccTLD portfolio beginning late last year, we’ve now introduced 113 new second and third-level extensions – all from the same interface and API. We realize all these extensions aren’t for everyone, so here’s a look at how we recommend you approach them both internally and to your customers.

New European markets

The introduction of our new ccTLDs led to a number of new, popular European extensions. We recommend taking a look at .PL (Poland), .PT (Portugal), and .UA (Ukraine) at the very least.

The Americas

One of the regions we get asked to expand upon most these days is Central and South America. We’re pleased to now carry several popular extensions from the region, including .PE (Peru), .PR (Puerto Rico), and .UY (Uruguay).

“Specialty” extensions

Historically, we’ve categorized extensions like .CO, .ME and .TV as “specialty” extensions – ones that have purposes beyond only serving their regional markets because of their unique branding and usage abilities. We’ve now added several names which we believe fit into this category, as they have great potential as unique extensions and do not have any additional residency or data requirements:

  • .IM (Isle of Man), .SO (Somalia), .LA (Laos), .AM (Armenia), .FM (Micronesia).

Other new regions

Several other regions and extensions also feature prominently in our list of ccTLDs, including .JP (Japan), .MY (Malaysia), .IL (Israel), .ZA (South Africa) and .NU (Niue). All of these have already proven popular among OpenSRS resellers and are worth checking out.

You can see a full list of all our new extensions by geographic region here.

Although there have been a lot of developments regarding ccTLDs recently, we believe this is only the tip of the iceberg! Keep an eye on this blog throughout the year as we continue to add more extensions to OpenSRS.

Facebook: a friend or foe to hosters?

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of guest posts by Phil Shih, founder of Structure Research.

There is little doubt that Facebook has at least in some way become a competitive threat to hosting companies. People use Facebook as both a publishing and communication medium and it has become central to their daily lives. Even just a few years ago people may have chosen to publish a blog or personal website. Or they may have signed up for an account on Flickr and shared their photos there. In some cases – like Flickr – they would have used a free service. But in many cases they would have spent money on a domain name and some Web hosting. Fast-forward to 2012 and its clear more people are opting to use Facebook as a replacement for hosting a Web site. The larger consumer market, as a result, has become much more difficult to target.

But individuals are not the only demographic using Facebook. Businesses have been drawn to the power of the social network and have launched company pages there. Facebook has so much momentum we are even beginning to see the facebook.com/companywebsite URL more often than the traditional Web address in advertisements. With the amount of traffic going to Facebook it is simply good business to have a presence there. Ignoring Facebook is tantamount to shutting a business off from a significant piece of the market.

Will Facebook replace the traditional domain + website model?

So is Facebook going to do the same in the business market? Is it going to replace traditional Web sites and further impact the hosting business?

The short answer is no and this is at the heart of why we believe that Facebook is actually more a friend than foe. That is right. The social network that is stealing business away from you is still a friend to be embraced.

Let me explain. The notion of Web presence has changed. It is not just about a Web site anymore. Web presence is multi-faceted. It is about a Web site, a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. People go to all three places and in no particular order. This does not mean that standard Web presence is losing value. Far from it. In fact, all three are important and they complement rather than replace each other. But in the business arena Facebook pages are reinforcing the value of the Web site rather than replacing them. They are driving traffic to each other and extending a company’s reach to a wider audience and with greater speed. At the end of the day the real issue is how to integrate all three and find synergies between them.

Opportunities for hosters

And this is where hosters can jump in. Hosting is no longer just about providing a domain name and space on a server. It is about helping customers solve problems in the realm of Internet technology. With Facebook and Twitter, online presence has become much more complicated and that is great news for hosters. They have an opportunity to step in and add value by sorting through and making sense of that complexity. Hosters can build out social media Web presence for customers. They can help set up services where they create and manage Facebook pages and align content and messaging with the traditional Web site (that is of course still hosted with them!). Over time we fully expect hosters to take advantage of APIs and build automated tools for managing multiple Web presences from a single platform – owned and monetized by the hoster.

There is no denying that Facebook is in some ways a competitive threat. But the good news is hosters can offset the negative impact by moving up-market and focusing on the business space where Facebook is a just another part of the complexity that is the modern Web presence. Bring Facebook in and make it a part of the hosting value chain and you will see how it can be turned from a foe to a friend.

Leap Day Domain Registrations Explained

Tomorrow is a leap day – February 29 – an extra day that shows up in February ever four years (well, sort of. Years that are evenly divisible by 100 are not leap years, unless they are also evenly divisible by 400, in which case they are leap years).

That has some implications for domain registrations. Sadly, it does not mean you get four years for the price of one.

Rather, most registries have policies defined to account for registrations that happen on leap days.

In most cases, domains registered on February 29 will expire the following year on February 28. A few registries use March 1 instead.

That begs the question – is it possible for a domain to expire on February 29? The answer is yes depending on the specific extension and registry policies.

For example, if you register a .COM domain on February 29, 2012 for a four year term, you’d expect the domain to expire on February 29, 2016. However, the registry policy states that .COM domains registered on February 29 will always expire on February 28.

Does that mean that there will be no expiring .COM domains on February 29? A quick check around seems to suggest that the answer is yes. Anyone have a more definitive answer?

You can consult documentation for a list of which registry uses which dates for expiry. Check page 72 of the Reseller’s Guide to Domain Name Registration and Management. You’ll note that .BZ, .IN and .WS do in fact allow four year registrations done on leap days to expire on leap days (assuming there is one four years after the registration).

Crystal Peterson from .CO Internet has said in a blog post today that a four year .CO domain registration done on March 1, 2012, would lead to a domain with an expiry of February 29, 2016. Anyone care to test that hypothesis tomorrow?

The good news? OpenSRS has all the logic built in to properly account for and handle leap year registrations for all TLDs and services.

Enjoy the extra day!

Bulk Tools Now Live in New OpenSRS Control Panel

If you’ve logged in to the new OpenSRS Control panel in the last couple of days, you’ve likely noticed a big change. There’s now a “bulk action” menu in the top right corner of the panel that allows you to easily perform bulk changes and modifications to the domains in your reseller account.

If you’re familiar with the bulk domain name tools we already offer through the existing Reseller Web Interface (RWI), some of the features will be familiar to you. Simply select the names you wish to modify, then select the action, and you can perform all the changes currently available today through the existing RWI. There are, however, some great changes and upgrades:

Ability to modify domains based on search parameters

One of the big changes we made when we launched the new control panel was to add powerful search and filter tools. You can now use these tools to select the names you wish to modify. For example, if you want to renew all expired names in your account, you can now do this by searching for expired names, selecting them in the result set.

Real-time progress bar

You can now easily follow the progress of your bulk change request using the control panel’s real-time progress bar. From this screen, you’ll be able to track progress of a job, view the estimated time to completion, and even start/stop existing jobs. It makes managing and tracking the progress of a bulk change simple.

Handy export tool for most services

We’ve also introduced a new tool that allows you to export any result set to .CSV format. Simply run a search, select the results and click “export to .CSV”. You’ll then be able to download the results of your search in file format. The export tool is now available for Domains, Trust Service, Publishing and Offers.

We hope you take a moment to check these new features out, and hope you find them useful!

OpenSRS Joins Parallels Domain Name Network

This morning at the Parallels Summit in Orlando, we announced that we’re joining the Parallels Domain Name Network (DNN).

This means that service providers who use Parallels can now easily sign up to become an OpenSRS Reseller and start selling domain names, SSL certificates and more through Parallels products.

If you are at Parallels Summit, drop by our booth in the expo hall and we can tell you more.

Here’s the full text of the release:

TORONTO and ORLANDO, FL, Feb. 15, 2012 – Tucows Inc. (NYSE: TCX) (AMEX: TCX) (TSX: TC), a global Internet services company dedicated to making simple useful services that unlock the power of the Internet, today announced that its OpenSRS wholesale services division has joined the Parallels Domain Name Network (DNN), allowing Parallels partners to quickly and easily signup to sell OpenSRS services.

Service providers using Parallels Automation, Parallels Business Automation Standard and Parallels Plesk Billing can now become OpenSRS resellers through the Parallels DNN at no charge. OpenSRS has now been integrated into Parallels billing applications with new, fully-supported plugins that enable resellers to sell and manage over 100 different domain name extensions, SSL digital certificates from five leading brands, and mobile websites.

“Joining the Parallels DNN is the logical extension of the work we’ve done over the last few months to integrate OpenSRS across Parallels software portfolio,” said Dave Woroch, EVP Sales, Tucows. “We’re excited that service providers using Parallels can now quickly become OpenSRS Resellers and take advantage of our industry-leading customer service and extensive lineup of products and services.”

The announcement was made at Parallels Summit 2012, the leading global annual gathering of the hosting and cloud industry. OpenSRS is a Gold Sponsor. Visit OpenSRS at booth #300 on the show floor to learn more about the full range of OpenSRS wholesale Internet services, and to see Parallels plugins for Parallels Business Automation, Parallels Business Automation Standard, and Parallels Plesk Billing in action.

Learn more at http://parallels.com/dnn

About Tucows

Tucows is a global Internet services company. OpenSRS (http://opensrs.com) manages over eleven million domain names and millions of email boxes through a reseller network of over 12,000 web hosts and ISPs. Hover (http://hover.com) is the easiest way for individuals and small businesses to manage their domain names and email addresses. Ting (http://ting.com) is a mobile phone service provider dedicated to bringing clarity and control to US mobile phone users. YummyNames (http://yummynames.com) owns premium domain names that generate revenue through advertising or resale. More information can be found on Tucows’ corporate website (http://tucows.com).

Tucows, OpenSRS, Hover, and YummyNames are registered trademark of Tucows Inc. or its subsidiaries.

For further information:
Le Quan Truong
Director of Marketing, OpenSRS
(416) 538-5450
ltruong@tucows.com

Holiday Hours for Family Day, Monday February 20

Our Toronto office will be closed on Monday, February 20, 2012, for the Province of Ontario’s Family Day holiday. Family day is a fairly new holiday in Ontario – we first celebrated it in 2008. It’s designed to give us all a break in February, and a day off work and school to spend time doing stuff as a family.

Most of us will be doing just that, but some staff will still be in the office to help you out if you need it. As usual, Reseller Support continues to be available 24/7 to assist you.

Here are the hours by department:

Department Dates and Hours
Technical Support Regular hours
Payments Email support: payments@opensrs.org
Compliance Closed Feb. 20
Service Bureau Closed Feb. 20

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).

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