Tuesday, October 09, 2012


If you type "www.revolution21.org" into your web browser now, something will happen.

That's an improvement over what's been going on here -- or not going on here, actually -- for more than a week. About that, I have just two things to say:
● Never assume that pointing your Internet domain name at this website instead of that will be anything but a harrowing, drawn out, overly complicated and crazy-making experience.

● Avoid Network Solutions as a host for your website or as a registrar for your domain name.
Revolution 21's long not-so-national nightmare began as the web-hosting contract ended. Basically, I didn't want to pay significant green just for Network Solutions, may a camel pass gas in its tent, to host a website that did little other than point you to this blog, 3 Chords & the Truth and where to buy R21 swag. That and a couple of email addresses.

The plan was to leave the domain name -- revolution21.org -- registered at Network Solutions (pretty cheap and the contract had yet to expire) and just have the web address point right here to Revolution 21's Blog for the People. After all, the blog is where all the website action is anyway and, as you've no doubt noticed, it now has several pages for all the same destinations and explanations.

And the hosting is free on Blogger. That, my friends, is a big monetary and operational "Well, DUH!"

EXCEPT. . . .

To redirect your domain name, Google/Blogger gives you one set of instructions and Network Solutions gives you another. Blogger's won't work with Network Solutions -- indeed, the web host rejects one of the DNS addresses Blogger says you must enter -- and Network Solutions' do nothing on the Blogger front.

So you call the technical support at Network Solutions late one night -- actually, early, early one morning -- and the Guy Somewhere in Timbuktu gives you a third set of instructions that turn out to be somewhere on the bad side of bulls***.

So later that day, you send a help request in writing with a detailed summary of the problem and "27 8x10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what it is." They say they'll get back to you within a business day.

A business day passes. Nada.

Another half a business day passes. Nada.

You're doing a slow burn, and you do some research on the Web. And from running across many of Network Solutions' unhappy customers who became grateful ex-customers, and from seeing rave reviews of DNS hosting companies that actually can get your domain to work with Blogger, you decide to just transfer your domain to a better place. In this case, that better place is easyDNS in Toronto. Even between the devalued American dollar and the strong Canadian one, the price is what I was paying at That Whose Name I'm Done Uttering.

OF COURSE, after you've signed up with easyDNS -- which will redirect your domain name for you . . . for free -- then TWNIDU starts trying to rekindle the geek romance when you call up to inform them of the coming tech divorce. And then . . . then you hear back from tech support regarding that written help request you sent.

The service rep writes that he's sorry about the delay, and won't you please give him another chance or he won't be able to live with the shame and the loneliness and the regret, that he'll do something drastic if you don't take him back, he swears to God!

ACTUALLY, that's not exactly true. He wrote to apologize for my request being sent to the Group W bench, and to say that TWNIDU could just go ahead and reconfigure my settings and redirect the domain name for me.

For a minimum of $99.

Sorry, dude. The tech support from north of the border is fast, friendly, personal and free . . . and now everything works just fine. And we also find time to chat about beer a little.

Did you know that beer on tap is unheard of in Ontario, and you have to go to the provincial bottle shop to pick up a six-pack? Bien sûr, there are no such stabs at prohibition across the border in Quebec, for the Gallic heart (mine included) requires an unregulated sip, snort, quaff or blast every now and again.

Tonight, when I typed in "www.revolution21.org" and, lo, the blog appeared, I just may have hoisted a couple of cold ones in sudsy tribute to the good people of Canada . . . and their technology sector.

To TWNIDU, I merely say "FU."

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