What I do isn’t always pretty, glamorous or noticeable. But I will say in the case of domain forensics and sleuthing, it’s critical to a business. The SDIPLA is a VOLUNTEER professional organization. The board changes, the members change, information isn’t always well documented in these types of groups and critical information can be lost or misplaced.
We had an old website location, software, hosting, domain registration company that was a reseller to another company and a domain registrant that had no idea he was listed as such since the domain was registered 12 years ago. Fortunately, his email still worked. This isn’t always the case and further detective work must be done.
I had to locate the existing ‘map” of their online presence – who had which pieces, how to get into the accounts, change contacts, verify accounts and finally consolidate to one location with the new website. Some of these domain registration companies don’t have listed phone numbers, or make is so difficult to get stuff you OWN, you want to pull your hair out. That’s what happened here. It took us two weeks of contacting, waiting, following up, verifying and changing information before we could accomplish the goal of consolidated access. Online Chat and email sent to the existing domain registrant, forwarded to me was the only option. He had to verify ownership with copies of credit card masked out, utility bill with matching address, his first born (just kidding). The registrant has a full time job as an attorney – he didn’t have time to do chats and play in this scavenger hunt. That’s my job. A lot of time on hold, a lot of transfers, a lot of waiting and keeping all of the players straight. The reseller wouldn’t respond, so we had to transfer to their main company and set up new account, wait for that transfer to initiate the final transfer, wait for reseller not to respond again, and then finally complete the task.
As each piece started to reveal information and fit with the next, we all got excited. This process took about 7 hours and 12 days to complete, chipping away here and there. Today we received notice that it is completed! WOO HOO! One stop hosting, domain registration, DNS. One shared text document with all of their online presence information including LinkedIn group access, owner, Twitter, Constant Contact. We are migrating this group to use GoogleDrive to share and collaborate. We are considering using Constant Contact for event registration and membership management – simplify and gain control.