testimonialsWe interviewed many web design firms for our business. Pearse Street was the only one to immediately understand and share the vision for our social network & mobile applications. We truly have a consultative partnership committed to creating a world class product. We are grateful for the good work of all the talented people at Pearse Street and their commitment to our work together.
- Mark Deatherage
Food Explosion LLC
Connect with us…
How to Pick a Winning Domain Name
On our social network development travels, we are occasionally tasked with helping our clients research and choose a domain name. This is a serious effort, as it will represent not only the website but the over-arching business brand as well. Below are some quick guidelines on how to start this process and our general rules of thumb.
Business & Domain Name Compatibility
When choosing a business name, with very few exceptions, it’s very important to make sure that you are picking a name that can be represented well as a domain as well, ideally a .com. It’s not like putting your name on a business card anymore. Most businesses now require a web presence, and easily locating that URL should be considered. An example would be our own business name, Pearse Street Consulting, Inc. Thankfully Dublin’s Pearse Street was still pretty underdeveloped when I took my first entrepreneurship plunge, so the domain www.pearsestreet.com was available. If it hadn’t been, I would have likely looked elsewhere for name inspiration.
Short and Sweet
The next challenge of course is finding a viable domain that is easy to remember, i.e., short and sweet. For example, www.pearsestreetconsultinginc.com is not what I would consider short and sweet, so you won’t find our website there. Finding catchy domains is easier said than done with dwindling free domains, and you may find better luck purchasing domains from sites like Afternic and BuyDomains, but expect to pay more than a few dollars for them. When recommending names, I try to go with two words or less, words that are not commonly misspelled and combinations that roll of the tongue easily.
Get Even Shorter with Extensions
It’s always a good idea to buy up the common extensions to your domain, including the .net, .org and if you are feeling ambitious, the .us and .biz. It ensures that someone else won’t snatch it up and try to sell it to you when you start making your millions. Another cool trend is to explore tiny URLs as secondary domains, utilizing international extensions. For example, we have pearse.st, which we haven’t done anything ingenious with yet (wait for it!). The .st is the Internet country code top-level domain for São Tomé and Príncipe. Go figure! A few things to consider here is that these domains are typically a little more expensive than regular .coms and .nets per year, they take longer to purchase and activate, and there is always a level of uncertainty with how reliable or stable the country of origin is, which is why it’s good policy to have his as a secondary versus primary domain.
Here are some helpful sites for your domain name search, and I’ll add to these as I come across more:
-Yahoo Small Business: Great site for researching available domain and related suggestions and purchasing domains in bulk at good prices
-Panabee.com: This is a fun site to find unusual names using word combinations
-Afternic.com: My go-to spot to find premium domains
-101domain.com: One of many sites that sell international extensions
Security is Key
This week Facebook rolled out an option to use the encrypted HTTPS option when browsing the network. This comes after the release of a browser extension, FireSheep, which makes it easier for others sharing your open wireless connection to access your account credentials. Interestingly the creator of the extension built it specifically to encourage sites like Facebook to lock down their security standards. While FireSheep has been available for several weeks, this transition by Facebook comes days after Mark Zuckerberg’s fan page was hacked. Interesting!
Thankfully our techies got wind of FireSheep pretty early on, and we immediately had a meeting to discuss security upgrades that could be made to our own software to deter similar abuses. Formerly it was our recommendation to protect all network user data using SSL, however we have since optimized our software to run entirely through HTTPS. As of January 2011, any new installations of our social network framework comes with a strong recommendation to opt for this additional layer of security. Other sites that encrypt all data and interactions would be etrade.com. mint.com and online banking sites.
Now you may wonder, why don’t all sites do this if it ensures the highest security? Encrypting online interactions adds a layer of security, but it also adds a layer of complexity to any development project, especially a small one. To secure your website, you need to purchase and set up an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate for your domain. Also, the additional work of encrypting interactions can put an added strain on the server, potentially requiring additional hosting power behind any highly trafficked website to ensure quick load times.
However, while social network status updates may not compare to initiating financial transactions online, we feel that as long as there are tools available to easily compromise the user accounts of any site, no matter how casual, our software should thwart those attacks and protect network users from those types of vulnerabilities. We’re glad that we were able to act on this new development quickly and offer our clients this option for additional security in the future.
PetBam to be Featured on ‘The Balancing Act’ Airing on Lifetime Television
‘The Balancing Act’ airing on Lifetime Television will feature PetBam, the pet social network in a segment airing on March 9th, 2011.
‘The Balancing Act’ is an ambitious television program illuminating new ways for women to achieve success in all areas of their lives. The program, which runs every morning from 7–8 EST and PST on Lifetime, is dedicated to creating trusted solutions for women facing today’s greatest challenges. Renzi Sandras, PetBam’s founder, says, “We were thrilled when approached with this incredible opportunity to get the word out about PetBam.”
“With PetBam, I wanted to create the ultimate social networking website for pets and their owners, and being featured on Lifetime’s The Balancing Act is a surefire way to let people know that they never need to be separated from their pets again.”
PetBam (the “Bam” stands for “because animals matter”); live for only a few short months, already has many active members. PetBam tailors the social networking experience by offering four account types: owners, breeders, shelters, and veterinarians.
Owners can post photos and videos of their pets and enter contests, as well as meet other pet owners and connect with services. Breeders and shelters can advertise their services and post photos of pets available for adoption. Veterinarians register with the site in order to provide information on their services and connect with potential clients. Users can search for specific breeds on PetBam, as well as filter searches for breeders and veterinarians by state.
In addition, PetBam features a Lost & Found section to help lost pets find their way home. Users are encouraged to form and join groups. The Pet Memorials section provides a unique forum for people to remember old friends. PetBam’s blog provides animal lovers with timely information.
PetBam provides pet owners and animal lovers with a one-stop social networking experience for everything related to pets. Pet ownership definitely weighs in on the positive side of life’s ‘balancing act’.
Hot Ponies Social Network
HotPonies .com was created with a vision of presenting ‘The Premiere Online Horse Community for the Equestrian Industry. Hot Ponies.com offers all aspects of needs and wants for the individual rider with a love for competition. The purpose of HotPonies.com is a showcase and a resource for their members to connect and share their accomplishments whether as a novice or a professional in the Equine Industry across the nation. HotPonies.com is a unique social networking platform. The defining feature of HotPonies.com is the stage and the spotlight to showcase the accomplishments of the Horse Lover but also to boast and brag about their horses. As a member you can customize design your profile, share your favorite event competition videos, photos and show off your blue ribbons.
The creators of HotPonies.com live and breathe the Art of the Equestrian and their true love of competition. They saw a need for a real online community they wished to fulfill in the in the horse industry. HotPonies.com is based on a horses accomplishments and this social networking site will help illustrate an individual horses’ performance and accomplishments. A place to brag, record, and collect fans for your horse! People who own horses have one sure quality in common, a strong emotional attachment to their horse. The members of HotPonies.com will have an ability to share all aspects and their personal winning tips about equine science, horse breeding, horse trading, horse racing, or even horse insurance.
JoinHaiti.org Aids in Networking & Rebuilding Effort After Haiti Earthquake Disaster
Salem, MA (PRWEB) January 19, 2010
In the aftermath of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, JoinHaiti.org calls concerned citizens everywhere to act. JoinHaiti.org is an online community dedicated to connecting those affected by the earthquake devastation in Haiti. Friends, families, survivors and organizations involved in the rebuilding effort are all encouraged to join.
Perhaps most importantly, JoinHaiti.org offers a “Loved Ones” section for friends and family to communicate with survivors in real time and look for others who are missing. Users can post full names, last known location and photos of their loved ones. Offering hope to friends and family, this section also provides users a chance to mourn those who have been lost.
To address specific concerns, such as rescue and rebuilding efforts, JoinHaiti.org allows users to form and join interest groups. Users can also post blogs regarding their own personal experiences with this disaster and get up-to-the-minute news coverage and events through a news blog and live Twitter feed. Users can also quickly register using Facebook Connect, and for French-speaking visitors, the site can be easily translated at the click of a button.
Recognizing an immediate need for a centralized location for finding loved ones and sharing communications from those who have been reachable following the Haiti earthquake disaster, Pearse Street, Inc. C.E.O. and creative director, Fuchsia McInerney, mobilized her design and social network development team to conceptualize, build and launch the site in a matter of days. “In addition to donating to the cause, we all felt strongly that we could make a difference by creating the site, even if it meant connecting only a handful of family members to each other. It is our hope too that once the rebuilding effort begins, the site can be a resource for volunteers and organizations to coordinate their efforts effectively to build a stronger, more prosperous Haiti.”