Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Is Advertlets Serious About Their Business?

The recent domain expiry problem with Advertlets.Com seriously begs the question: How serious is Advertlets about their business? In their Quick FAQ on domain issue posting, they explained what happened: “A complication regarding the renewal process of the domain for Advertlets.com. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.”

I think they owe everyone, especially their customers, a much better explanation than that. What was the complication about? How complicated can it be to renew domain names? Besides, domain registrars do send out renewal reminders at least one month before the domain expiry. What can be so complicated that Advertlets cannot sort out in one month?

A business like Advertlets depends on its Internet presence, and a working domain name is certainly an important pre-requisite for its Internet presence to work. A typical brick-and-motar business can probably live with Internet outage, even if they do sell products or services over the Internet. For example, so what if Pizza Hut went off the net for a day. Big deal. I doubt it would seriously affect its business nor annoy its customers. But what if Amazon.Com went off the net?

The worse thing is that when Advertlets went off the net, blog sites that put up Advertlets advertisements ran into trouble: Visitors to their blog site found themselves redirected to a placeholder for the expired Advertlet.Com domain. It is one thing to be “out of service”, and another to bring all your customers down with you! Perhaps Advertlets needs to rethink how their advertisements are marked up in sites.

As I am writing this, Advertlets put up a new post claiming the issue has been partially resolved. Really? The WHOIS database continues to show that the domain is expired. The Internet DNS root servers for the .COM TLD also show that Advertlets.Com is currently parked at dns.parkpage.foundationapi.com. Who are they trying to kid? Their post also asks readers to leave comment to let them know “which areas are not facing the problem anymore”. If it works for anyone, well, then something is wrong because it is not supposed to work given that the DNS root servers are not updated!

I think they don’t know how the Internet works. How sad for a business to depend on the Internet and yet not understand how the Internet works.

ps: I don’t mean to be overly critical. I hope this would be a reminder to other Internet businesses to be mindful about “little matters” that can become big problems. đŸ™‚

Update (7 Jan 2008): Apology from Advertlets. Still doesn’t quite answer my dying question of “what happened”, but nevertheless, time to move on.

8 thoughts on “Is Advertlets Serious About Their Business?

  1. The point is that right now, the DNS root servers and authoritative for the .COM TLD have NOT been updated. There are no changes to be propagated if the root servers themselves are not updated. If Advertlets has renewed their domain, then their domain registrar is not very on about effecting the changes.

    (Ok granted some registrars are slow. DNS cannot be partially working if the root servers themselves are not updated.)

  2. Hi Advertlets Support:

    The DNSStuff link you provided shows “right now” that the domain is still expired. The nameservers shown in the record is information in the WHOIS database (and which is expired); It is not the same as NS records in the DNS.

    You will notice by querying any .COM authoritative servers that they are not updated. (Yes, still not updated right now.)

  3. What I am really pissed off about is that the code is always open to malicious attack. For it not to function is one thing. What happens is whenever anything wrong is with advertlets, all blogs carrying their script goes down with them.

    Server load too much- sorry, everyone’s blogs will not load.
    Malicious opening of other sites- sorry, it was our advertiser or someone else, not us , just because it came thru our code, well, but we didn’t do it. What stupidity is that?

    And now this- we didn’t renew our domain name so our stupidly written code is going to shut down and redirect everyone’s site to the domain registrar’s site. Now think about this seriously people … if their code, which sits on our blogs, can do that in one fell swoop- think of the damage someone can inflict.

    I had recently written about removing the code and am glad I kept it off my main sites after advertlets asked me to put the ads back up for testing purposes. My other sites were down- on the same day I did an ad campaign. Yeesh!!!!!!!!! (http://entrepreneur.com.sg/wordpress/?p=136)

  4. Advertlets Exposed:


    For all of you who have probably known that Advertlets is well known for slow, or even no, payment terms, you might be wondering, what the big deal is this post all about….

    Here is the big deal:

    An email was sent to Advertlets CEO, Josh Lim, this morning (24th March 2009) at 1147 hours with regards to a business enquiry on Advertisements and our dear Advertlets CEO actually replied not once, but twice at 1155hrs and 1220hrs.

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