Monday, May 21, 2012

Cibola: Notes on the names of "gambling halls"

In Vegas ("Cibola"), I noticed a new casino, "Bill's Gamblin' Hall and Saloon" at about the middle of the strip.  I thought about my own blog names, "Bill's".   It did occur to me quickly that maybe there's another counter argument as to why these blog names ought not to become full domain names (previous post).

Although my libertarian leanings would raise no objections, I don't expect a blog to be called anything like "Bill's Gambling Tips" anytime soon.

Could subdomains ever raise a trademark question the way domain names have?  I haven't heard of it happening, but in theory anything that interferes with another entity's branding in the same business category (as USPTO defines it) could raise questions.

Another tip: If you have a sci-fi script set on another world, make the world seem like something that could be modeled into a Las Vegas resort.  (For instance, in my case, a railroad track built as a mobius strip.)   I'm surprised no casino has been based on Clive Barker's "Imajica".  Imagine a resort based on the Five Dominions (and pretty heathen, as in the First Dominion, man beats God).  Or imagine one called "The Cibola", based on the name Stephen King gives Las Vegas in his novel/TV movie "The Stand". 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Should blogs always have separate domain names?


Nitecruzr, who runs the website, “The Real Blogger Status”, has a recent (May 6) perspective on Custom Domains for blogs, a discussion the general principles of which would apply to both Wordpress and Blogger.

This refers to the practice of purchasing domain names and connecting them to blogs (through “Zone files” on sites) for DNS resolution, or sometimes to subdomains (that is, several blogs attached to the same domain with a prefix). 

His link is here  (and his own blog has a separate DNS URL). 

It appears (to me, at least) that there are two possible scenarios.  One is that one some purchases a domain name (which could be from Google, or from any registrar such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions) and connects it to a blog which is still hosted “for free” on the Blogger or Wordpress space.  Or, the second scenario, at least with Wordpress (I can’t tell if this happens for Blogger from the literature) is this: you purchase shared or dedicated hosting service from a major provider (like Verio), get your own licensed copy of the blogging software on your domain space and put all of the content (in blogs or anything else) on the hosted space that you pay for. 

In the latter case, you’re freer from disruption (by the spam blog false positive problem) because you’re not using “somebody else’s free service”, an idea that was floated a lot around the summer of 2008 (as Nitecruzr documents there).  But you have a more complicated software environment, must maintain the blogging software upgrades (or the hosting provider must), and could well have interface problems.  And you may well not have as much space or be able to host multiple blogs. 

Right now, my blogs are simply subdomains of Blogspot (with one addition Wordpress blog hosted as I described in the paragraph above), which means they get indexed and found by visitors immediately when posted.  I point to them with a simple index from my home page of “doaskdotell.com”. From the viewpoint of user ease, there is almost no point in assigning new URL’s (to eliminate the “blogspot” node).  The user needs to navigate only from a simple hyperlink on a very fast-loading home page.  I also have a cross-reference file to help users find the more unusually placed blog entries (mostly movie and book reviews).

Why could there be a trademark question?  New URL’s are allowed on a FCFS (“first come, first served”) or FIFO basis.  I’m not sure that it’s prudent to take on new domain names, which indeed are very inexpensive, and invite unnecessary trademark complaints, which could arise (when they would not with a “blogspot” or “wordpress” in the middle, I suspect). 

But it’s still an open question.  I could look at this differently in the future.  “The best practices” keep changing.  I welcome comments on this question, because it seems like the perspective is changing.