Best Practices on Domain Name Choices: What TLD should I use?

As a follow up to my previous post on domain name choice best practices, here's an additional two cents I wanted to share. Because I get this question all the time -- should I use my ".com" domain for my email program? Or should I register a ".email" domain or a domain under some other cool and hip TLD?

Egypt’s economic court fines insecticide company for SMS spam

Sometimes those of us with a quite-possibly-myopic worldview might assume that outside of North America and Europe, spam regulation doesn't exist. Well, here's an example where Egypt's National Telecom Regulatory Authority filed a complaint against an insecticide company for, among other things, sending unsolicited mobile text messages. That resulting 900,000 Egyptian pound court fine works out to almost $56,000 in US dollars.

Yahoo Groups is changing

The folks behind Yahoo Groups sent out a notice a couple of days ago indicating that they are making changes to Yahoo Groups. They say that these changes are to make Yahoo Groups more email-oriented by removing the ability to participate in Yahoo Groups discussions on the web.  They'll be taking away the "message board" style communication functionality to drive Yahoo Groups communication back to email. 

SPAM Alert!

Not that kind--the other kind! From Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine: Trendy chefs are celebrating SPAM coast-to-coast, and they’re leaving us in the dust.

Chicken-fried spam tacos? I want to try those!

Can I use FOIA to source lists?

Sure! It's legal. Is it wise? Um....let's skip that point for a moment. Let's start with, "it's legal!"

What does "FOIA" mean in this context? Wikipedia to the rescue:
 The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, is a federal freedom of information law that requires the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government upon request. 
Apart from the U.S. federal government's Freedom of Information Act, the U.S. states have their own varying freedom of information laws.
Querying a government agency to get information back is almost always referred to as "obtaining this information via FOIA" even if that's not exactly the correct governing law in some circumstances.

Google: No favors at Gmail

Tulsi Gabbard's presidential campaign is suing Google for various reasons, primarily for suspending her Google Adwords account. Not really email related, so not really my realm to cover. But something did catch my eye when Laura Atkins blogged about it last week on Word to the Wise:

  • Gabbard's lawyers included a statement in their complaint about how Google's systems were relegating her campaign's mail to the spam folder at Gmail.
  • Google's response, as quoted by Laura, is something that I would sum up as, "Shrug. Go read our sending to Gmail best practices page." Ouch.

Anyway, my point here is, Google doesn't do "favors." It doesn't matter if you're a big brand, a well respected company, a Fortune 50 financial institution, or a presidential candidate. They're going to put your mail in the spam folder if they data shows that's where it should go.

To fix it, improve what you're doing. Send more engaging mail. Submit requests to Google to ask them to reconsider spam folder deliver, if appropriate. (This does actually work.) But going outside of process, whether it be to ask a person there for a favor, or to sue them over it, isn't going to be the way to get your mail delivering to the inbox.

Just another reminder that inbox delivery is driven by data and best practices, not relationships (friendly OR adversarial).