Who is redirecting trixbox/Asterisk@Home web traffic?

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Randy Savicky
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Who is redirecting trixbox/Asterisk@Home web traffic?

Have you noticed how http://www.asteriskathome.com points to http://www.asterisknow.org/, a site that promotes AsteriskNOW, a new software distribution that includes a customized version of Linux, Asterisk, the Asterisk GUI, and all other software needed for an Asterisk system. AsteriskNOW is promoted as an easy to install turnkey installation when it says, "AsteriskNOW includes all the Linux components necessary to run, debug and build Asterisk, and only those components, so installation is easy." Doesn't this turnkey Asterisk sounds eerily similar to the old Asterisk@Home project which was recently renamed to trixbox?

The site www.asteriskathome.com is offering a competing product to trixbox (Asterisk@Home), which is now owned by Fonality. Fonality is a company that sells PBXtra and is a competitor to Digium.. www.asterisknow.org, where asteriskathome.com redirects to, is registered to you guessed it -- Digium Inc. which now offers an Asterisk distro that "aims" to be as easy to install as trixbox/Asterisk@home. Quite a nice rivalry, eh? While I applaud Digium for adding a GUI and making AsteriskNOW an easy to install Asterisk distro, why take a domain name associated with a competing Asterisk distro and competing company? My first thoughts on this were:
Why even go there? Is Digium’s goal to rank highly on the search engines for the search term “asterisk at home” or “asterisk@home” so that they direct people to their competing solution?. Seems a bit childish.

Personally, I doubt most Asterisk fans aren’t already aware that Asterisk@Home is now trixbox, so I doubt Digium will get any search engine referral traffic even if they did rank highly for the keywords. I’ve been to Digium’s offices and I know they are filled with many smart Linux people, so surely they know they won’t get any SEO benefit from registering www.asteriskathome.com. So is the motive simply because they could do it or should we view this as a childish prank?

When I visited Digium's offices I heard a group of employees playing some Linux shoot-em up game and shouting (gotta love that corporate environment). :) Now, I can only picture a group of Linux gurus huddled around, as they clicked the Submit button to register this asteriskathome.com domain followed by a few chuckles. But then it occurred to me that perhaps Digium wasn't involved with this at all. I checked the whois directory and saw that the domain was registered to Mitchel Constantin from a company called Dirty Clothing. I googled his name and see that he is indeed on Asterisk's mailing lists and seems very involved with the community - however he doesn't appear to be a Digium employee.

After some further investigation I discovered he works for or wrote the Asterisk application called Snap, that includes a dialer and call popup application for Asterisk with Outlook integration and a Firefox plugin. Actually, this seems like a pretty cool app that I'll have to check out.

Obviously, Mitchel is a huge Digium fan, the company that founded the Asterisk movement, and which apparently has spawned at least one 'domain turf battle' by a devoted (zealous?) Digium fan.

Lame to take this domain & direct it to Digium's website? Or pretty funny?
You make the call.


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