This is it #GenXYZ, the final week of our #WebsiteWednesday mini-series highlighting the winners of the .xyz 4th-anniversary website building contest. Last, but by no means least, we’re showcasing ProjectPrivus.xyz, the cybersecurity solution proposed by software developer Aral Tasher.
The idea behind ProjectPrivus.xyz is that migrating consumers to a user centric privacy app would benefit them by providing stronger mobile security while also increasing their awareness of potential threats. Aral created Project Privus as part of a research proposal he worked on during his time at the Florida Institute of Technology, and he shares his hard work with an international audience with ProjectPrivus.xyz.
We got some time with Aral to ask him more about ProjectPrivus.xyz, his coding career, and what life is like for him offline.
XYZ: You have varied skills as a developer, from website design to app development to cybersecurity. Is there one area you enjoy working in most?
Aral: Haha, yes! I’d say the design aspect is my favorite part overall. I really enjoy focusing on the “usability” and “experience design” of a product, and that’s what I’ve been shifting towards lately.
XYZ: What first sparked your interest in coding?
Aral: Similar to many Software Engineers from my generation, I decided that I wanted to become a programmer when I was about 10 because I wanted to make video games. I’m a diehard fan of the FIFA video game series, and at the time my biggest dream was to work at EA (the studio behind the FIFA series.) However, programming wasn’t as popular as it is now in my country, so I actually didn’t get a chance to learn any programming skills until I started college.
XYZ: When you’re not working, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
Aral: Well, the thing with programming is that it’s never just 9-5. Outside of work I spend a decent amount of time on practicing and constantly learning (and re-learning) development skills, but I never work to the point that I’m burnt out. Besides practicing, I like to go to the gym, train MMA, go scuba diving, or do some photography/videography. I try to keep a nice variety of hobbies!
XYZ: What do you envision as the next step in your career?
Aral: Right now, I have a pseudo designer/developer position where I do a little bit of both. But I eventually want to move on and do “User Experience” research only. After having experiences in both academia and the private sector, I’ve found myself the happiest when I’m doing UX Research.
XYZ: What are your goals in the future for Project Privus, and how do you think ProjectPrivus.xyz can help you achieve them?
Aral: Project Privus was a user study I conducted as a part of my thesis. It was a proof of concept that the existing privacy managers are not really helping users understand how their information is shared by the apps they have installed. My advisors and I plan to have the research published in one of the upcoming usability conferences next year, and we hope that this will ignite more interest in usability research for other cybersecurity tools as well.
ProjectPrivus.xyz helped me reach out to a larger audience than just the professionals in the field. The thesis is quite a heavy read and it’s not written for everyday people, but thanks to ProjectPrivus.xyz I had a chance to boil down the findings into something that anyone can read and understand, which hopefully will increase more awareness for the research and the field.
XYZ: What is something you see on the horizon as a major technological hurdle we will have to overcome?
Aral: I think this research touches up one of the major hurdles that we are facing right now, which is privacy. I defended the thesis a few weeks after the enormous outrage with the Cambridge Analytica incident earlier this year, and I believe that people have been getting more worried about their privacy ever since. It’s nearly impossible to have complete privacy with all the connected devices we use, but with more usable security tools I think we can at least help everyone get a better understanding of how the process works.
Sometimes bringing the change you want to see happen can be difficult because your idea to fix a problem may not be simple for anyone to understand. In Aral’s case, he was able to convey his privacy solution in a way that any mobile device user could understand through his .xyz site. Do you have an idea to make a positive change? Get your .xyz domain and get started bringing your message to the world.
Domain investing is a business almost as old as the internet itself. You’ve no doubt heard about the success stories from the early days of the web and those savvy investors who made millions from selling domains. Now there are hundreds of new domain extensions available and there is a greater supply of valuable online real estate to be bought and sold.
If you’re looking to get into domain investing or have your own portfolio of domain names, here are 5 tips to get your domains found and sold.
You won’t be able to sell your domain if a buyer isn’t seeing it, so it’s recommended that you list your domains on online marketplaces. A few of the most popular domain marketplaces include:
Since you will likely receive more inquiries when selling your domain through a marketplace, it’s recommended you do your due diligence and make sure you verify the interested buyer’s identity. That way you can avoid scammers or bad actors and get an honest transaction when selling your domain.
It’s typically recommended to research historical sale prices of domains with comparable keywords to the domains you want to sell, which can help determine the market value of your domain(s). One service you can use to conduct this research is Namebio.com, which has a searchable list of publicly recorded domain sales and allows you to filter them by keyword, domain extension, pattern, or price.
While length and keyword relevance are strong determining factors in value, the popularity of the extension your domain is on can also factor significantly into the final sale price.
If you’ve put in the work to list your domain in online marketplaces and have expended effort promoting that it’s for sale, you may also want to be sure you set up notification systems so you don’t miss the chance to discuss selling your domain with interested buyers. You can manage your domain portfolio via an excel spreadsheet, or you may want to consider using a software like DomainPunch.com to keep track of your names and offers received.
You can list your contact information on the site, and most online marketplaces have notification features built in, so you may want to take advantage of those as well.
In conjunction with listing your domain on the aforementioned marketplaces, you may also want to consider direct outreach to potentially interested parties. You may consider looking at domain investors who publicly list their domains for sale, and see if you have names matching some keywords they invest in that you can reach out to and offer your domain for sale.
You could also find companies or individuals in an industry related to your domain name and contact them to make them aware the domain is for sale. You can craft a quick email letting them know you plan to sell the domain and that you want to get in touch as you think they may be interested. This kind of outreach can help you connect to buyers in the verticals who stand to benefit most from acquiring the domain you are selling.
If you and your interested buyer have agreed on a price, you may want to use an escrow service for the domain transaction. Escrow services act as a third party that securely establishes a transaction between you and a buyer, passing the domain to them and the purchase fee payment to you. Some escrow services that are offered online are Escrow.com and Sedo.com.
While these guidelines can help you sell your domain at the price you are hoping for, selling domain names can be a very nuanced process and it may take some practice and learning to get a full grasp of the industry. Doing as much research as possible and getting an understanding of the domain selling process is also recommended to ensure you have success in the domain aftermarket.
Ready to invest in some keyword domains and get involved in the domain aftermarket yourself? Be sure to check out the .xyz premiums page at www.gen.xyz/premiums, where you can browse premium .xyz names and secure 1 and 2-letter domains, 1 and 2-number domains, or any of the thousands of keyword names in our variably priced premium tiers. You can also complete your portfolio by using our CNOX tool to search for valuable domain names that have been registered in .com, .net, and .org, but are still available in .xyz.
Don’t miss your chance to invest in valuable domains. Head to www.gen.xyz/premiums now to download full premium domain lists!
Today’s #WebsiteWednesday is the 3rd instalment of our 4 week series highlighting the winners of .xyz’s 4th-anniversary website building contest. If you missed the previous two winners be sure to go back and read about their awesome sites! This week we’re sitting down with web developer Sasha Tran, an accomplished coder who has cultivated a positive community among her Instagram followers. She created her prize winning site, ColorTuesday.xyz, as a way to grow closer to that audience and use her platform to showcase its members.
ColorTuesday.xyz is an entry form for members of Sasha’s dev community to share a color that resonates with them. Sasha then collects the entries and posts them weekly on her Instagram story with the hashtag #ColorTuesday. She uses her .xyz site to bring her following closer together and leverages her own popularity to support the overall dev community, which is a mission we can definitely get behind.
To get to know more about Sasha, we asked her a bit about her motivations and her history in the dev community.
XYZ: You’ve done a mix of freelance developing and work as a UI developer for HP, Apple, and now Level Studios. Do you have a preference between working for a company or picking up your own independent projects?
Sasha: Both pose different challenges that have their benefits. As a freelancer, I had the opportunity to pick the type of projects I wanted to work on. Many times I would choose projects that I wanted to sharpen my skills on and that I could develop from the ground up. Working at a large company gave me more understanding of the full life cycle of projects that have been around for many years. It gives me an appreciation of the collaboration needed to get a well polished project out the door.
XYZ: You share a lot about the lifestyle behind being a developer on your Instagram page. What to you is the most enjoyable part of coding?
Sasha: I love it when I come up with an idea and can spend a few hours or an afternoon and bring it to life with just a code editor. Of course sometimes it takes longer than that, but it does not feel like work at all. Sometimes sharing that process and lifestyle inspires others to take a step in their journey, which means so much to me.
XYZ: Do you have a story of a particularly difficult or challenging project that you worked on?
Sasha: I think a challenging part of freelancing was with clients that did not know what they wanted. This often resulted in a lot of revisions and unnecessary work. What I learned from these experiences is the importance of managing expectations early on, as well as spending the extra time upfront to really extract the essence of what my client wants and detailing that thoroughly in the scope of work.
XYZ: What inspired you to create #ColorTuesday?
Sasha: Colors make me really happy. I thought one day, “what better way to connect with my followers than to share what I love?” It started as an Instagram story asking people to DM me their favorite colors and I reposted them. The process was very manual in the beginning, with me Photoshopping and then posting colors one by one. Eventually I automated the process by creating the ColorTuesday.xyz website for submissions. I also created a secret admin page to help me generate color palettes from all the submissions.
XYZ: What plans do you have in the future for ColorTuesday.xyz and your community of followers?
Sasha: I have plans to showcase color palettes generated by the community where people can find inspiration. I want to allow users to create and share entire palettes. Oh, and gradients too!
XYZ: Do you have any projects on the horizon that our #GenXYZ readers should be on the lookout for?
Sasha: I’m still at the planning stage for the next project, but it’ll be big! :D Stay tuned.
If you’re part of a close-knit online community, finding new ways to connect with your fellow members and increase the overall image of the community is exciting and rewarding. Like Sasha, you can bring your community closer by creating a unique .xyz domain to help promote your friends and collaborators, and together you’ll amplify your message to a worldwide audience.
We’re in week two of our 4-week #WebsiteWednesday series highlighting our .xyz 4th-anniversary website building contest winners, and this week is all about the artful creativeness of Keenetics.xyz! But what makes Keenetics.xyz and it’s creator Eric An so unique?
For our judges, it was his skillful presentation of his many artistic talents, his site’s modern look and feel, its easy navigability, and his superb branding with the clever name Keenetics.xyz. We wanted to discover the inspiration behind Eric’s brand and his work, so we sat down with him to talk about his life, his portfolio, and more.
XYZ: Between your videography, photography, and writing work, you’re truly an artist of many talents. Do you have a favorite among those three?
Eric: I moved around a lot growing up due to my dad’s work, so I picked up many hobbies during times where I was still in the process of making new friends. Out of all my hobbies, I would say videography is my favorite! I had a mentor who worked professionally under a film production company, and I became super fascinated by all the details involved in film making.
XYZ: What inspired the name Keenetics.xyz?
Eric: I am currently a part chemistry student, and in Chemistry, kinetics is defined as “rate of reaction.” I combined that word with the word “keen”, which means showing enthusiasm. I love how this word reflects how quick I am to being enthusiastic when it comes to capturing different parts of my life in the form of art.
XYZ: Where do you draw the inspiration for your work?
Eric: I draw inspiration for my work from respecting different cultures and being interested in what makes their culture unique. For example, I am personally not a very fashionable person. But having friends who love street style, I wanted to respect their passion for clothes and see what is behind the culture that catches their attention and make it my own.
XYZ: Do you have plans for your career post-college?
Eric: I interned as a web developer this summer and grew interested in digital marketing. I am going to look into a career in that field and hopefully I’ll be making websites and apps for businesses!
XYZ: What motivated you to create Keenetics.xyz and choose a .xyz domain?
Eric: I wanted a personal portfolio and thought a lot about what I wanted my domain to be. I wanted it to be unique. I came up with the word Keenetics before making my site, and when I searched for different domains my eyes drew immediately to .xyz. X Y and Z are the last three letters of the alphabet. In a sense, I took it as a “period” which goes at the end of a sentence. For me, .xyz is that period for my domain name.
XYZ: If you could give one piece of advice to the aspiring artists of #GenXYZ like yourself, what would it be?
Eric: One piece of advice I would give to aspiring artists would be to create, because it leaves memories. It’s easy to want more exposure on your work; and just as easy to be disappointed if that is your goal. But if, in the moment, you think of what you’re creating as what you’re leaving behind as memory, it feels worth it. I’ve gone back to photos and videos from my past millions of times, and every time I am so glad I decided to create content.
Your passion can guide you to create wonderful things, and it can also inspire that same passion in others. Eric’s portfolio serves as a great example to show aspiring artists everywhere that creating and showcasing their art is just a click away. Open your passion to the world on your .xyz domain and you’ll find, like Eric, that your potential to create and share your gift is endless.
Our 4th-anniversary website building contest ended last week, and as you’ll know, if you read last week’s #WebsiteWednesday, we’ll be sitting down with each of the winners in the next 4 weeks to get a deeper view, not just of their .xyz sites, but of the creators behind them. This week we’re starting off with rising young developer Nadia Rodriguez’s handy mobile coding solution Codeful.xyz!
Our panel of judges loved Codeful.xyz’s sleek design and layout, as well as the very apt mobile coding solution it presents to a common problem developers face: the inability to code on-the-go. After sitting down to chat with Nadia, it was easy to see how her driven attitude toward coding led her to creating such a unique and useful site.
XYZ: What inspired you to become a developer?
Nadia: When I was in 11th grade, I took “Intro to Engineering” as one of my electives. My teacher eventually introduced us to coding. At this time, I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career, but after getting into HTML and CSS, I knew that I had found something that I really enjoyed doing. I started coding in class whenever I got the chance and started going through tutorials from codecademy, freecodecamp, w3schools, etc. Eventually, I got a laptop and started coding at home as well. What fascinated me was the ability to create something out of nothing.
XYZ: Do you have a favorite project to work on?
Nadia: I like working on personal projects the most. I do like working on client projects, but with personal projects you don’t have the same pressure. With personal projects, you don’t have any limits. You’re able to be 100% creative and the possibilities are endless.
XYZ: Outside of coding, what are some of your favorite things to do?
Nadia: Outside of coding, my favorite thing to do is spend time with my girlfriend and my family. I’ve also been trying to get in the habit of going to the gym (which I’ve been “trying” to do for a long time now). I don’t do much outside of coding other than that though, but I’m gonna try to change that!
XYZ: Tell us a bit about your Instagram profile.
Nadia: So in September 2017, I started realizing that there was a whole community of developers on Instagram. There were some profiles that I looked at and thought, “wow I want my feed to look like that,” or “well I wanna post about that, maybe I should!” So I decided to get out of my comfort zone and started posting about what I was learning development-wise. My first post was my Asus laptop hooked up to an ethernet cable, charger, and an external mouse and keyboard. I had just “hackintoshed” my laptop so that I would be able to learn iOS development. I then started writing on Medium, which I am planning to do more of as well since I only have 2 posts right now.
First time experimenting with the app Principle. 😛 Im thinking of this being the features section in the Codeful website. I want the shapes to morph smoother so when i actually put it into the website i was thinking of maybe using anime.js but I’m honestly not sure if that would be the best to use, any suggestions? 🧐
When I started posting about development, I only had about 600 followers. Along the way, somehow people were actually liking my content. Now I have over 5,000 followers, which is still pretty unbelievable to me. To think that over 5,000 people looked at my profile and liked it enough to follow it is amazing. Growing on Instagram has led me to get my first client ever. It opened up so many opportunities that I am extremely grateful for. It has led to me to really grow even more as a developer.
XYZ: Do you have any advice for the aspiring developers of #GenXYZ?
Nadia: I was never good at advice, but I think it’s super important to not give up. You’re gonna come across a lot that you’ll have no idea how to do and you might feel like you’re not going to be able to figure it out. Development can be frustrating and, honestly, it will make you want to pull your hair out sometimes! But if you just keep trying, you’ll eventually figure it out, and when you do it feels like a huge accomplishment to just accomplish even that one small task. Also, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone or to ask questions whenever you need help!
XYZ: What made you choose .xyz for the Codeful.xyz website?
Whatever it is that motivates you is worth not only pursuing, but sharing with others. Like Nadia, you can work on your passion and share it with others on your .xyz domain and take your ideas to the highest heights you can imagine. Ready to get started bringing your big idea to the world. Then get your own .xyz domain today and get started!
For the past two months, in conjunction with our 4th-anniversary campaign, we’ve been holding a website building contest. If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know that the 4 winners will each be receiving an iPad Pro and a $500 donation made to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on their behalf from XYZ.
Now that the contest has ended, it’s time for the really fun part: announcing the winners! When all was said and done, we had so many great entries, and it was difficult for our panel of judges to choose. They graded all of the submissions received, and chose the 4 winners based on the following criteria:
With that criteria in mind, here are the winners of the XYZ anniversary website building contest!
It’s no secret that the world all but runs on technology nowadays, and with our greater reliance on smartphones and other internet connected devices, our personal information has been put at a higher risk than ever before. As a software engineer with a Master of Science, Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, Aral Tasher devoted his masters’ thesis to fixing this issue, and created ProjectPrivus.xyz to share not only his findings, but to give an easily digestible overview of his research, and a preview of his “Project Privus” service he proposed as a solution. Aral’s site has an impeccable modern style, well organized content, and an inviting color scheme, all on a perfectly branded domain.
Linking your social media to your website is a great way to unshackle yourself from the limits of social media platforms and create a truly unique experience, which is exactly what Sasha Tran did with her site ColorTuesday.xyz. Sasha connects her followers with ColorTuesday.xyz by having them choose a color they like, then shouting them out each Tuesday on her Instagram profile. Her domain name inspires curiosity and invites participation, and the unique color changing tool she created on the site is a great feature that strengthens her personal brand online and invites more visitors to her social media page.
With his mix of film, photography, and personal writings, artist and Keenetics.xyz creator Eric An has molded a superb personal site that brings you into his world, while offering an easily navigable layout that lets you peruse the online halls of his work. Add to that the clever portmanteau of “kinetic” and “keen” as Eric’s chosen brand name, and you get a truly complete representation of how to express your artistry on a personal website.
Many coders and web developers know the struggle of having a breakthrough idea about a project they’re working on… while they’re away from their computer with no way to work on it. Codeful.xyz is aiming to change that by developing a service that allows developers to work on their projects via their mobile device. With an easily navigable layout and straightforward domain name that provides all the pertinent details to its target audience, Codeful.xyz is a fantastic example of how to create a website that promotes your app or product.
Lawyers.xyz – Personal injury law-firm with an excellent keyword domain name to match.
OceanaLife.xyz – A digital oasis in both blog content and aesthetics.
Future16.xyz – A great example of displaying portfolio work in the entertainment industry.
W-T.xyz – This web toolbox is creative in its content and execution.
SoftWork.xyz – Call to action buttons make for a great website – it allows the visitor to clearly understand what the site’s purpose is. The CTA buttons on this site are no different.
AndreGonzs.xyz – This personal portfolio site is clean and easy to navigate.
Lisiri.xyz – A creative way to display social media links, and the customized cursor is a unique added touch!
HappyHealthyHolistic.xyz – This blog is an awesome example of how to bring your hobby to life on a .xyz domain!
ToTheRescue.xyz – A philanthropic platform for various charities and donation centers; an amazing way to give back to the community!
CAC.xyz – This social media-linked personal site draws visitors with a very short and memorable domain name.
Congratulations to all the winners, and a big thank you to everyone who submitted their awesome .xyz sites and supported our 4th-anniversary campaign by participating. We’re so proud to have had the support of #GenXYZ in our fight for internet freedom and innovation online, as together we raised over $10,000 to donate to EFF and Tsinghua x-lab. Be sure to read our 4th-anniversary campaign recap if you haven’t already, and tune in the rest of the month as we’ll be highlighting each of the 4 winners sites in their own #WebsiteWednesday posts!