A sad story often re-told. The Washington Post uses washingtonpost.com for its website but uses the domain name washpost.com for email. This story reports that email communications were knocked out when the renewal notice for the domain name was sent to what the Washington Post describes as “a drop box that was not being monitored,” and the name expired. The Post noticed the de-activation immediately and therefore was able to get it up and running again prior ‘redemption grace period’ and then de-listing.
Incidents of high-profile names expiring are rife (Microsoft’s Hotmail service was endangered a while back). Things that you can do include:
1. Register your important domain names for the longest term possible.
2. Register domain names only on your birthday, so you remember the expiration date.
3. Conduct an audit of your names (gTLDs and ccTLDs), to determine what you have and who the contacts are.
Neal Greenfield, co-author of INTA publication Trademark Law & Internet, is affiliated with SchwimmerLegal, and has conducted audits for large and small domain name portfolios. He would be happy to discuss conducting a domain name audit for you. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.