Business

Changing email from lines

I need a solution for re-writing the from fields of inbound emails. There are a few correspondents in the various areas of life who insist on not putting their full names in their email clients. In the cases where I've talked to people this is often in the mistaken belief that it will help keep them from getting spam. In reality it makes spam filters much more suspicious of the email and ultimately only makes it harder on the ultimate recipients.

Apple Mail does a decent job when you're looking at the individual message. As long as the user's real name is in the address book it shows their real name even if they've supplied something else. But in the list views there's a bigger problem. It is not much fun to try and figure out which of the 3 Mikes sent an email in a list where it would have been much easier if they'd had the courtesy to include their full name. Along the way perhaps there will be more education about not looking like spam. And then again maybe I'll get mail more than the once-weekly trip to the spam filters.

Apple's Complete My Album is good but not enough

Apple, Inc. today introduced Complete My Album which allows users of iTunes Music Store to be credited the purchase price of the single tracks they've bought from an album when purchasing the album. “Music fans can now round out their music collections by upgrading their singles into complete albums with just one click, and get full credit for those songs they have previously purchased from iTunes,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes.

He goes on with the expected statements about how great this is. It is, however, pretty good and not great. What would be great is if the music companies would pull their heads out of the sandbank they're building and realize that they should make it easy for people to buy songs and provide incentives for people to buy songs when they have one or two songs from an album that they didn't buy from iTunes. In this way the industry could start to turn the whole of music sharing into a marketing tool. Instead of getting their heads in the game the music industry seems to be set on repeating the failure of print media. Perhaps some day the industry will wake up and realize it's 2001 already.

RegisterFly ICANN accredidation terminated

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced Friday that it is terminating RegisterFly's accreditation as a domain name registrar.  I've written previously about problemswithRegisterFly.According to ICANN's site "between now and 31 March RegisterFly is required to unlock and provide all necessary Authinfo codes to allow domain name transfers to occur. Any and all registrants wishing to transfer away from
RegisterFly during this period should be allowed to do so efficiently and expeditiously. "

A recent lawsuit between the two shareholders of RegisterFly brought many questions to the fore about the company's financial situation. One is left with the impression that the IRS will have a lot of work to do sorting this thing out. That being said a judge recently awarded control of the company to Kevin Medina who was recently ousted as an employee by the board. In ICANN's March 8th update on the RegisterFly situation the company said "ICANN has demanded that RegisterFly immediately act to provide authorization codes and has also demanded a meeting with RegisterFly (and other relevant parties that are assisting ICANN) to resolve RegisterFly's reported failures."

I'm a little leery of recommending domain name registrars these days but will say I've had great success for the last couple of years with GoDaddy. Bob Parsons, Go Daddy's CEO, offers that they will help the RegisterFly refugees. To take advantage of the offier RegisterFly customers should visit https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/transfers/registerfly.asp.

ICANN says that at a meeting next week it will be discussing "the reform of the Accreditation policy and process." The proverbial cow has left the barn and ICANN is looking to close the door. While the move will be too little too late for those caught in the RegisterFly trap. One hopes that most of the RegisterFly victims will be made whole and that ICANN will make a provision for more closely examining companies' applications for accreditation. In RegisterFly's case the problems were evident long before the company earned ICANN accreditation.

Pseudo viral networks replace web rings

In the early days of the web and the start of the page rank notion links from other sites was the goal. Web rings sprang up like grass in spring and one could find a web ring for lopsided pine trees on the south side of the house. As this happened web users soon realized these networks weren't all that useful for finding information. At the same time the amount of information on the web was blossoming and users time became ever more scarce.

This is all a long way of starting to talk about what is happening here. The site purports to be building a listing of the "100 most prolific bloggers". The thing is the bar is set so very low (1000 posts) that most anybody who has blogged for any length of time would be in the list. Apparently no attention has been paid to the top bloggers. How many posts make up this blog? I'm not sure Dave Winer even knows but it is certainly one heck of a lot more than the 40,000 listed at the top of the aforementioned page.

The ultimate question is what does it matter? Is a prolific blogger somehow better than a non-prolific blogger? What does making more posts really represent? In many cases it represents a lot of pretty poor writing without anything of much interest being said. Most readers would rather have a few well written stories than volumes of the poorly researched and poorly written things that fill up some blogs when the goal is "how many times can I post today".

If you can't beat 'em....

Evidently GM is not happy about loosing ground to Toyota in the race to be the #1 car manufacturer in the world. The tactics employed by GM are funny though. Instead focusing on better cars or improving customer service they are rigging the vote of an online, non-scientific, reader's poll for Newsweek. Surely the time devoted to this little Rovian endeavor can't have been better spent improving product.

Manufactured Housing reform

The manufactured housing industry prides itself on the affordability of their homes. There certainly seem to be benefits to the factory built options, especially in rural areas where the ability to bring in contractors and do site-built homes is limited.

What the industry has not yet adequately addressed are the snake-oil methods of many dealers. Bait-and-switch and practices are all too common in the industry. Over the next few months I'll be publishing some of the documents from a recent experience we had with a deal that fell through when the dealer upped the price by 33% at the last minute. We'll also setup an area for those in the market for a new or used manufactured home to share information.

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