Oct132010

laptop-new-extensionsImagine websites like Mercedes.Benz, Coca.Cola, Bud.Light, White.House, Disney.World. What if, instead of rolling out a handful of new domain extensions (like the proposed .xxx, .nyc, .web, etc.) each year, all possibilities of domain extensions were instantly available.

In this scenario, instead of picking from existing domain extensions like .com, .net, .org, you could simply choose a name to go before the dot, and a name to go after the dot. You could register Bluth.Company or Moes.Tavern for your business. You could register Kenny.Powers as your personal website or Bedford.Falls for your city.  The possibilities are almost endless.

This system could also disrupt current country code values, especially for the less adopted cTLDs.  Imagine being able to register .usa instead of sticking to .us. or .britain instead of .co.uk.

One of the reasons that new extensions have been relatively unsuccessful thus far is because it is hard to get the word out to the masses. Each new extension (think .mobi, .tel, .museum, .aero, .jobs or .travel) must face this uphill battle alone and attempt to tell the world that they exist. Years after launch, many people still have never heard of these new extensions that are currently available.

What happens if, instead of attempting to announce every new top level domain extension, the public begins to understand that two words connected by a dot signify a website address.

So how would it work? The new system would be similar to the old system in that you pick the part that goes before/to the left of the dot. Next, instead of choosing from a small list of possibilities for the extension, you would pick whatever you want to go after/to the right of the dot. If the combination was not already taken, you could register it. If the extension to the right of the dot did not exist, it would be created instantly. You could register whatever you want and create any extension you want.  Want to register pickle.donkeyknife as your site? Probably not – but you could.

pickledonkeyknife

So, would this really be a dot com killer?  Maybe eventually, but probably not anytime soon and perhaps not in our lifetime.  Even if this new system were possible, global advertising dollars and brands would likely still only promote their .com websites.  New TLD extensions have mainly been a footnote in the domain name story thus far and have served to reinforced the importance, trust, authority and value of a .com domain name.

Feb162010

I typically like to wait for an end user to approach me with a good offer, however sometimes it is nice to just sell some domains on your own schedule. I have a couple of big purchases on the horizon, so this week I have been testing a few of the auction sites.

First, I went to Bido to see what it was all about. The system there did not seem very intuitive and it appears that you have to pay to list your names, then people have to vote on it, then if you get enough votes it goes to auction, and even then it may or may not sell. I started to list a name there and then canceled the listing and decided to try something else. I know that many people are happy with Bido and it sounds like it is improving each day, but I am just looking for something easier.

Next, I listed a small group of names on Godaddy Auctions. When you visit the Godaddy Auctions page, there is a link that says “list a domain” and you can list it as buy it now, offer/counter offer, offer/counter offer with buy it now, or a seven day auction. If you have names registered at Godaddy, you can also list a name by logging in to your account’s domain manager section, then selecting the name and clicking the tab “cash in” and selecting “List on GoDaddy Auctions.” The only difference here is that I was unable to select the 7 day auction. The buy it now, offer/counter offer, offer/counter offer with buy it now options were there, but no way to push a name from your account to an auction. I would like to be able to send a name from my account to a 7 day auction, and was unable to do so without leaving the account manager section, going to the auctions section, and then manually enter the name and selecting a 7 day auction. Am I missing something here?

I then remembered seeing a “List Now on SnapNames” link in my Moniker account so I decided to try that. I selected a small group of names from my Moniker account and clicked the “List Now on SnapNames” link. I was taken directly to SnapNames and was given the option to set the minimum bid price and auction start time. So far, I have found this to be the easiest way to sell names – just a few clicks and I was done.

If you are in no hurry to sell your names, I think the best places to list them are Sedo and Afternic. If you want to sell some right away, I think that Moniker to SnapNames system is the easiest. Let me know what you think though – where is the best place to sell your domain names?

Jan32010
DomainState.com is for sale
By Ryan | Posted in Forums.

Just received this via email:

After over 7 years of running Domainstate we have decided to sell the site. It is with a sad heart that we have realised that it is no longer something we can commit the same level of energy as we once did.

Our aim is to have the site sold within the next couple of weeks and we are considering offers now so any interested parties please contact us ASAP at admin@domainstate.com.

We’d recommend that anyone with any particularly sensitive information within their private messages take advantage of the archive/delete facility within the private messages section of the user control panel in anticipation of a change of ownership.

We’d like to thank everybody for their contributions to the site over the years and wish everyone well for the future.

Domainstate Admins

There is a thread to discuss this here:

http://www.domainstate.com/showthread.php3?threadid=103873&s=

Thanks to Snoopy, Matt and Safesys for creating such a great resource and best of luck with the sale and your future endeavors.

Dec112008

laptop-netsolTen years ago today, I registered my first domain name.  At the time, registrations cost $70 for two years.  Check out the scan of the invoice below.  Also, you did not have to pay right away.  You could actually register a name and they would send you a bill in the mail.  This resulted in the earliest form of “domain tasting” where someone could “register” a name and then try to sell it before they had to pay the bill.  If they sold it, they would pay the bill when it arrived and transfer the name to the buyer.  If they did not sell the name, the would simply not pay the bill.

domain-registration

Also, in case you are wondering, the domain I registered is one I use for my personal email address.  I still like it, but it does not have much resale value.  I didn’t start registering more valuable names until a few years later.

Sep242008

The Bobblehead KingThere was a special surprise at the registration desk given to the first 250 people who arrived at the TRAFFIC conference in New York; a custom Rick “The Domain King” Schwartz bobblehead. The custom bobblehead was produced by Bobbleheads.com owner Warren Royal and approved by the domain king himself. 250 of the bobbleheads were given to attendees of the TRAFFIC conference, and the remaining 250 limited edition bobbleheads are now available for purchase at Bobbleheads.com using the following link:
http://www.bobbleheads.com/product/tabid/85/p-168-domain-king.aspx

😉

Update: Michael Berkins is auctioning a signed Rick Schwartz Bobblehead on ebay for charity, ending October 6, 2008.

Sep32008

Check out this great video by the guys at QuietLibrary.com. If you thought all the good names were taken, think again, …AND get your credit card ready!

😀

Also, check out the Domain Name Dollar Store online at www.DomainNameDollarStore.com

Jul232008

Google digs digg!Google is arguable the best search engine out there, and yet when using it we sometimes get poor quality search results and “made for adsense” sites. In fact, many of us in the domain and/or SEO industry are responsible for some of those sites. What is a “made for adsense” site? Well, they can be one page landers or they can be large, multi-page websites and they typically have 3 adsense ad areas per page. On the surface, they seem to contain relevant content, but when you actually read the text you discover that it is keyword rich and information poor. For example, here is an excerpt from a site that I would classify as “made for adsense”

Bacardi’s current headquarters and main production facility is situated most fittingly at an island in the Caribbean known as Puerto Rico. It is at the capital of this Caribbean paradise that one of Bacardi’s major facilities is situated.

What? Did it just take 38 words to say “Bacardi is located in Puerto Rico” 🙄

This is where the Digg voting method could help the search results. Google could display their search results along with a way to vote on the results. Useful sites get voted up, bad sites get voted down. This social search feature would not replace their algorithm, it would likely be one additional factor that they could use to improve the results or pagerank. They could also add digg style reviews or comments for each site.

Keep in mind that this is all simply speculation, but perhaps it is part of the motivation behind the rumored Google purchase of Digg. Obviously, any changes to the Google algorithm will have massive impact on domainers and site owners. If people are able to review site content, it could be bad news for meaningless “made for adsense” sites. On the other hand, it could be good news for people who develop sites with great and unique content. Content (ideally combined with a great domain name) is and always has been king, so those who develop quality sites with great content should have nothing to worry about.

Jul172008

Sold!The auction for Video.us ended at 12pm this afternoon, and this time it sold for $12,000. The name sold for $75,000 last year and then $18,500 earlier this year.

Check out Ron Jackson’s recent post on DNJournal.com for more information about the strange history of this domain name:

In the past 15 months, two previous owners lost big bucks after buying Video.us only to see the registry delete the domain for Nexus/WhoIs violations. Now we will see if the third time is the charm for this star-crossed domain. The story began in April 2007 when a European company bought the domain from its American owner for $75,000 (the highest reported price for a .us domain to date).

Read more…

Jun292008

The puzzle image on the home page is a good fit for this puzzling name.

Ok, so I think I found the worst company name ever combined with the worst choice for domain names ever. This one is so bad, it might even make Aaron from good URL bad URL cry. It is so bad that I had to stop and take a picture of it (check out the picture below). My wife and I were driving to a restaurant when I noticed a sign with a company name – ΤranDotCom. I said “Hey, that’s a pretty good domain name, Τran.com.” My wife said, “Yeah, but why did they spell out the dot, instead of just using the symbol?”

Company Sign

I quickly pulled out my iPhone and entered “Τran.com” and sure enough, they do not own it. I said, “you don’t think…” and then entered “ΤranDotCom.com” which not only worked, but made the story even better. ΤranDotCom.com actually redirects to their company site at “www.ΤranDotCom.info.” Yep, that’s right, their company website is officially ΤranDotCom.info. I’m sure they are a great company, but I wonder how much time they waste just explaining their website address to people.

Can you imagine working for that company and talking to a customer on the phone.

Employee: Hello and thank you for calling ΤranDotCom.
Customer: Hi, I visited Tran.com and I could not find out anything about your company.
Employee: What website did you visit?
Customer: Tran.com
Employee: Oh, our website is actually ΤranDotCom.info.
Customer: Well, I just entered Tran.com.info and nothing happened.
Employee: Would you prefer to just send us an email?
Customer: Sure, what is your email addres?
Employee: Our email address is info@ΤranDotCom.info
Customer: Ok, got it. info@tran.com.info

Actually, I think that they probably had a few too many conversations like that because after reviewing their website, it appears that for email they are using tdcemail.com. 🙄

Bonus Picture: Employee of the month parking spot
Employee of the Month Parking
Understandably, the employee in charge of domain name selection has never parked there.

Jun202008
UUOPD – Mix.com
By Ryan | Posted in UUOPD.

Mix.comToday’s UUOPD (Unusual Usage of Premium Domains) website is Mix.com. Mix is not just a three letter domain, it is also a word with several uses. Apparently though, the owner thinks the best use is to put a picture of a girl in a bunny suit with a couple of fire extinguishers, next to a picture of a daffy duck jack-in-the-box Christmas ornament. I am starting to think that in order to get these images, the owner just went to Google image search, clicked the “I’m feeling lucky” button, and then did not get lucky.

Moving on, we see a couple of links that say “What we do” and link to Barnes and Noble. The link shows results for a search on Barnes and Noble for the search term “Bill Youdleman.” According to whois, Bill is the owner of this site. According to the Barnes and Noble website, he is an engineer on these CDs, which I guess explains why he registered this domain name.

Seriously though, congrats to Bill for having the foresight to register such a great name seventeen years ago, in 1991. :mrgreen:

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