27 Jun 2006 9 am eastern

A Fine Day to Quit Sniffing Glue

Last night, some weird instinct made me post a duplicate Event Apart NYC schedule here, and it’s a good thing I did. For this morning, An Event Apart dot com was gone. In its place was a smiling “coming soon” placeholder, courtesy of domain registrar GoDaddy. I was not notified that the domain was about to elapse. I was not notified that it had elapsed.

Now, GoDaddy is run by smart people, and notifying customers by email that their account is about to expire is undoubtedly something they do. I’m sure they tried to contact me. There at least a dozen ways one or more email messages intended to reach me could have gone astray. Not their fault. And, although I cringed with shame at this technological depantsing, not really my fault, either. Only someone with an obsessive-compulsive disorder would log in to a registrar every few days just to be sure one of their domains wasn’t about to expire. The problem isn’t people, it’s email.

A suggestion to GoDaddy and similar businesses: given that email has become extraordinarily unreliable, especially for people who receive vast quantities of it; and given too that many customers change email accounts from time to time, and in so doing, may become unreachable; wouldn’t it make sense (and be kind of cool) to offer your customers RSS feeds in addition to email notification? An RSS feed might send a notice when a customer registers, another when the account is set to expire in 60 days, still another when the expiration date is 30 days away, and so on.

Most people who do what I do don’t see half their mail, but they always check their RSS reader. Is my freely shared thought.

So, back to my briefly elapsed domain (which, thank goodness and American Express, is once again online). Did I mention that I am a walking usability test? I’m sure I’ve told you that, but maybe just not lately. What works fine for the average user almost never works for me. By the way, the average user was recently spotted in Northville, Michigan, purchasing 10 lbs. of potting soil and a garden hose.

Anyway, An Event Apart is back.

Filed under: An Event Apart, Design, Ideas, industry

One Response to “A Fine Day to Quit Sniffing Glue”

  1. Mark Bixby :: Graphic Design :: Albuquerque, NM said on

    [...] So not for a second does anyone believe he’s the wandering noob he appears to be during his recent challenges with an expiring domain, and his flickr Pro account. One important lesson companies can learn from him is “don’t bury your mistakes”. Without malice for the companies that failed to watch his back, Zeldman shares his mistakes, and offers advice for preventing these situations in the future. A genius, a visionary and a guru – but human like the rest of us. It’s his brand. [...]

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