Signal to Noise: the tale of how the statsvn.org domain expired

It was really my fault, but I still blame Go Daddy :) Read on...

Go Daddy, probably the only domain registrar weird enough to make you think twice before opening one of their ads at work, tried to warn me by email that the statsvn.org domain was about to expire. In fact, they sent me 5 emails about it. Unfortunately, for reasons explained below, I had set a rule in Gmail to have emails from Go Daddy skip the inbox and get archived to a tag.


A few facts about the email I've received from them over the past year:

  • Emails received from Go Daddy between April and December 2007: 74
  • Legitimate emails warning of expiration or confirming a purchase: 3
  • Quasi-"Spam" and promotional emails: 71
  • Ratio of important emails to promotional ones: 0.0423

I think a ratio that incredibly low justifies having a rule to at least move those messages out of the way and defer reading to some later time. The statsvn.org domain expired on January 17, 2008, but kept resolving just fine for me, so I never noticed anything was wrong until I finally glanced at the 684 emails tagged "commercial" in my GMail account, sometime this afternoon. In a panic, I logged into the godaddy.com site to renew, only to discover that since my registration had expired, it had been removed from my admin panel. Crap.

I called up their customer service, and I'm happy to say this is where things started looking up: no long wait times, no Indian call centers with impossible-to-understand operators! After five minutes I spoke to José, who politely informed me Verisign had the domain in some sort of grace period pool, and I could get it back by paying an 80$ penalty, on top of the registration fee. He accepted a DIGG coupon code for 10% off too :)

Ka-ching. Renewed for two years, everything should be fixed in 72 hours. In this instance, due to the fees, it looks like the spam was profitable even if I never read a single line of it.

statsvn.org is the domain name for the statsvn project. The developer wiki is at svn.statsvn.org/statsvnwiki (DNS issues notwithstanding).

EDIT (2008-02-12): The domain and all the subdomain configuration has been restored, and the wiki is back up. (Even used it myself to copy-paste some command-line options when doing a StatSVN run yesterday.)

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