Saturday, May 30, 2009

Network Solutions Will Cut Your Prices - If You Ask

The laws of free enterprise can do good things, especially the law that says when two companies offer the same service at wildly different prices, something has to give. Like many who run blogs and web sites, I manage several, and have several domain names on standby. When I took over the Money and Minds blog, the domain name was managed by GoDaddy. Looking at renewal options, I saw that it was only going to cost me $9.99 to add an extra year. It seemed awfully low compared to Network Solutions where I had my other domains since the 1990s. I decided to check, and found that adding one year to my domain name managed by Network Solutions would have cost me $34.99.

If there were only a few dollars difference, I wouldn't have bothered changing providers, but being close to renewal on another domain, I decided to transfer that one over. After arranging the transfer on GoDaddy, I called up a customer service representative at Network Solutions. Once he found out I was going to make a switch, he immediately offered to extend my registration not by $34.99 a year, but by $8.75 a year. Unfortunately for him, I'd already paid my money to GoDaddy, so that transfer was going to go through. Smelling an opportunity, I asked if the same $8.75 deal was good for all of my other domains. His answer was yes. He was more than happy to extend my registrations of all my domains at that lower price.

I don't know why Network Solutions insists on charging more than three times the amount GoDaddy does for the very same service, and only offering a competitive rate when they are about to lose a customer. I do know that if they offered me this deal, they might offer you the same. If you are a Network Solutions customer, ring them up and mention that you want to transfer your domain management elsewhere. If you don't use Network Solutions, and a renewal would cost you more than $8.75 a year, either ask for a discount or go shopping for a better value.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Making a Home Page Only Link for a WordPress Blog

If you create a standard WordPress blog, links that you add to the sidebar will appear on every page of the site. If you only want a link to only appear on the home page, you can follow one of the options suggested by one of AirSafe Media's partners:

Option 1
: Create your own sidebar code that will display a specified link only on the home page

Option 2: Use a code like the following:

Just replace [LINK URL] with the appropriate URL and [LINK TEXT] with the appropriate link text.

If your home page resides in a location other than /index.php, then replace that with the appropriate option (for example, /default.html or /default.php, etc.)

I welcome any comments or feedback you may have. I would especially welcome any suggestions for creating a home page only link in Blogger. I've done it, but it was somewhat complicated, somewhat time consuming, and more than a little bit frustrating.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How Uses Twitter

When I started the aviation safety site back in 1996, I didn't have a built in audience or any offline publications, so I had to continually evolve how I used the web site and other online resources to find and build an audience. Along the way, one of the key tactics I developed was to look at emerging trends in online communication and to use those that help to serve the audience.

Twitter was one of those technologies. Once I saw that Twitter was getting some traction and being increasingly adopted by users, I incorporated it into several elements of the universe. Specifically, whenever I send out a mailing on the opt-in mailing list, that mailing list automatically generates a tweet. I also tie in the two top blogs with my Twitter account, and those also generate tweets for each no entry. Finally, if there is a breaking news item like a plane crash, I typically use Twitter to send out a brief headline and a URL to a web site page or blog post with additional information.

One of the unexpected benefits was that Twitter and related technologies opened up additional options for connecting with the audience. The most direct is the connection opportunities with those who choose to follow on Twitter. The other is the Twitter search function at It is a great tool for quickly finding useful links to breaking news stories. For example, after a plane crash, there are usually hundreds of tweets coming in every minute, and at least a few will have links to news media and other resources that have timely information on an unfolding event.