CommentsI really enjoy reading all of the great domain blogs out there, and I like to read new blog posts as soon as I find out about them. The only problem is that I often read the posts before people have had time to comment. Because of this, I sometimes miss reading the great comments left by the readers and the responses to those comments.

For example, a recent post on discussed why you should not necessarily sell domains at todays prices. Frank is incredibly articulate and always has amazing insight as it relates to our industry, but when he advised people not to sell, the one point I thought he missed (I know, blasphemy) was this: sometimes you should sell at todays prices if you can use the money to fund the purchase of better names.

After re-reading the post, I found that this point was addressed in the comments:

Posted by andy kelly | March 21st, 2008 at 7:45 pm

I really enjoyed your post – I totally understand your stance re: not selling unless the price is right but you have the luxury of great success (hard earned I know) Bottom feeder dealers like me sell / flip to finance new (hopefully better) domain purchases.
If a domain isn’t paying it’s way in ppc I give it 3 -6 months to get a decent end user offer, if it doesn’t get one in that timespan I flip it regardless.

Just another perspective, Great to see you’re back to making the occasional post ! Seriously, it’s great to have a domain expert blogging and giving his advice to the rest of us – bottom feeders included.



***FS*** Sell if you have to make money .. Nothing wrong with making money, but know what you’re selling and understand the value proposition of letting the good ones slip away, then price accordingly. Thanks for the kind compliment.

Great comment, and great response. Understanding the value proposition is key though. If you can sell a name, and with the proceeds of that sale you can buy an even better name, then you are basically trading up and you will increase the value of your portfolio. Remember that there is also an opportunity cost associated with holding names and not selling.

Then I continued reading and found another great comment:

Posted by dch | March 24th, 2008 at 2:54 am

Frank, great post. In the same vein, any comments on NameMedia and their “business model” of selling all of their assets until none remain?

I can’t imagine smart money investing in that IPO…half of revenue is non-recurring and can never be recovered! Talk about limited upside…

***FS*** Very well said .. Its a faustian bargain trading cash (which ultimately gets spent on salaries and ‘the machine’) for valuable names .. The names have been going up faster than the cash and many a smart domainer has bought good names from NameMedia cheaply.. I suspect they (NAME) think they’ve found a sustainable sweet-spot and can sell in perpetuity without eroding their core, but if you’re selling names that get even 30 unique a month, eventually the valuable marrow of their portfolio will get sucked away.. I guess it depends on how successful they are at replenishing.. I haven’t had any real insight into that end of things there. Clearly they are making a ton of revenue selling their names (20+ mil last year)..

The worst-case fear for industry participants is that NAME burns the furniture selling too aggressively so they can get higher EBITDA in the name of a big IPO pop. Staff backfills the good-names with crap from the drop and longer tail search terms without the same search resonance. The founders parachute out on the back of said IPO.. new management/investors move-in and essentially become bag holding patsys that can’t sustain the name-sales from before the IPO, ebitda falls, and we (the industry) get tarred with the brush of their model when the stock tanks and investors run from our space saying; “Those domain name investing companies are no good” – lumping the entire industry in with NAME’s fate. That’s a worst case scenario.

This response could be a post by itself, so if you are like me and sometimes read blog posts as soon as they are written, then consider going back and reading the good ones again.

George W Bush vs .XXX
By Ryan | Posted in News.

.xxxStuart Lawley and the ICM Registry just lost another round in the .xxx top level domain saga after a federal judge granted summary judgment to the Bush administration. The lawsuit was filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FIOA), alleging improper intervention on the part of the Bush administration after ICANN first approved .xxx and later reversed their decision.

Porn-friendly .xxx domain backer loses suit against federal agencies

The company behind the proposed .xxx top-level domain, which was rejected after the Bush administration intervened, has been trying to dig up embarrassing government documents through a federal lawsuit.

Make that “was trying.” A federal judge on March 12 granted summary judgment to the Bush administration in the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the ICM Registry.





Symbolics.comThe oldest continually registered .com domain name turns 23 today. was first registered on March 15, 1985 by Symbolics, Inc., a public company that produced computer systems for running and developing object-oriented programs in Lisp. It designed and built workstations and created an object-oriented operating system and development environment called “Genera” to run on those computer systems. What does all that mean? I am not really sure, but the domain name has never expired or dropped and it is now owned by a privately held company which got the domain name when it acquired the assets and intellectual property of Symbolics, Inc.

Bonus Trivia: Although is the oldest publicly registered domain, was created several months earlier by the registry to be used as the first root server (registered January 1, 1985). 💡

By Ryan | Posted in domain names.

Offline!If you have ever wondered who owns, I have the answer for you – Network Solutions. They are in the business of selling domain names, so of course they have pointed to a page on their site where you can register domain names right? Wrong. It is simply not being used and does not resolve to anything.

I would imagine the conversation inside Network Solutions went something like this:

NetSol IT Guy: Wow, we own, maybe we should redirect that to our home page.

NetSol Marketing Guy: No way, IT guy. You see, it is all about branding, and we do not want to dilute our brand. We are much more than domain names and pointing to our home page would simply reinforce the perception that we only sell domain names.

NetSol IT Guy: Yeah, but aren’t the people that visit looking for a product that we sell? And, earlier this year, weren’t we so desperate for new domain registrations that we started domain name front running?

NetSol Marketing Guy: Obviously, you have a lot to learn about branding. Anyway, no time to talk, I gotta call my buddy at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and make sure they are not diluting their brand by using their domain –

I understand that many premium domain names are parked or in development, but if you are a corporation that owns a premium domain name that directly relates to one of your products or services, why not take advantage of that?

I don’t get .asia
By Ryan | Posted in ccTLD.

.asia?The .Asia landrush period ended today, and no matter how many press releases I read about it, I still do not get .asia. Don’t get me wrong, I understand what they are saying and it sounds fine on paper. Promoters of .asia say that the Asia/Pacific region is one of the fastest growing online communities in the world. In fact, they say, it contains 60 percent of the world’s population and over 500 million users connected to the internet.

That statistic sounds great, but how does it work in practice? Say I was the CEO of the Acme Company, and I wanted to expand to areas outside of the southwest United States. Maybe I want to sell my Acme products in China and Japan. Should I register to show how much I “get” the region and “understand” the culture of the people in the area? If so, what language should I use for my site? Would people in China be more likely to visit or If they were to visit the .cn website, they could reasonably expect that the site would be written in their language, but with more than 90 languages in the Asia Pacific region could they have that same expectation if they visited the .asia site?

Also, is the word “Asia” meaningful for people in the region, and is the word “Asia” used in any native language? What if the situation was reversed, and the Chinese created a “great” extension to reach the people in the North American region. Would any of the English, Spanish, or French speaking residents of North America visit a site with the “. 北美洲 ” extension?

A big market for this TLD will likely be companies looking to protect their brands, and speculation on a few valuable keywords will pay off, but beyond that I just don’t see the value in this TLD.

By Ryan | Posted in UUOPD.

Moscow.comToday’s UUOPD (Unusual Usage of Premium Domains) website is Moscow is the largest city in Russia and also the capital. With a metro area population over 14 million, it is ranked as one of the 15 largest cities in the world. Moscow is also the world’s billionaire capital, home to the largest number of billionaires in the world and in 2007 Moscow was named the world’s most expensive city. So why does qualify as a UUOPD site? Well, is owned by First Step Internet, an ISP in the small town of Moscow, Idaho – population 21,000. The website is used as a portal for news and information about Moscow, Idaho, but as it states on the middle of the home page:

Latest News:
There are no current news items.


Click here to read about previous UUOPD sites.


Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names (RNIDS) began registering .rs domains today, March 10 at 12 noon.

List of Accredited Registrars


Fox LostOn February 8, 2007, the Fox News Network announced that it was launching a business news channel. Later that day, a company by the name of Worldwide Directory Services registered the domain name Fox news was unable to gain control of the domain because they did not register a trademark for the term until July 16, 2007.

Fox News, the cable television news channel of Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corporation, announced its intention to launch a business news channel on 8 February 2007.

On that same day Worldwide Directory Services (WDS) registered the domain name But because Fox News did not register any trade marks for the term ‘Fox business network’ until 16th July that year it was not entitled to force the handover of the address.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) arbitrates in many disputes over domain names and can order their transfer if three conditions are met. The name must be identical or confusingly similar to a trade or service mark held by the person who wants to gain control of it, the person holding the domain name must have no rights in it, and the domain name must be registered and used in bad faith.

All three of these conditions must be met if a name is to be transferred, and Fox failed to meet the second.


I think that at least nine times out of ten, the Complainant would win a case like this, but the real lesson here is that you should always purchase your domain names, and then announce your new service. This is a mistake that keeps repeating itself in the corporate world.

The complete ruling: Fox News Network, LLC v. Domains by Proxy, Inc. / Worldwide Directory Services

Domain Name Industry Brief
By Ryan | Posted in News.

Domain ReportHere are some interesting statistics from the recently released Domain Name Industry Brief:

  • In the fourth quarter of 2007, there were more than four million domain names registered per month (more than 133,000 new registrations each day)
  • New registrations grew by four percent quarter over quarter and by five percent year over year.
  • The largest TLDs in terms of base size were .com, .de, .net, .cn, .uk, .org, .info, .eu, .biz and .mobi. (Are there more registered .mobi names than .us names? Another interesting mobile internet statistic here)
  • Impressive growth among ccTLDs; .cn, .ru, .es and .tv experienced double digit growth in the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarter.
  • In the third quarter of 2007, the registry renewal rate for .com and .net was 74 percent.
  • 23% of all .com and .net domains resolve to a parked or “coming soon” page.

Source: The Domain Name Industry Brief – Vol. 5 – Issue 1


Purple.comMy friend Peter at Domainers Gazette has a great series entitled CTOPD, or Creative Targeting on Parked Domains. Similarly, I often stumble upon a premium domain name that is used in an unusual way. Inspired by Peter’s naming convention, I will call them UUOPD, or Unusual Usage of Premium Domains. Today’s UUOPD is The site is, quite simply, purple. That’s it, just purple. Well, actually there are a few hidden pages and subdomains as well as a FAQ that contains some very funny answers:

Q: I like purple! What can I do?
A: You can be a part of the purple affinity program!

Q: This is really lilac / pink / other, not exactly purple. Could you make it more purple?
A: No. (What color it appears is also dependent on your monitor and its calibration.) Actually, the page used to be #DD00FF from circa 1994 until late 2006, resulting in numerous complaints that it was not quite purple. On 6-Nov-2006 I changed it to #7D26CD based on various recommendations. It’s darker than the old purple, but more clearly purple. You can compare it to blue here.

How long has purple been here?
A: Since 1994. Here’s an old response from whois when I still used NSI.

Q: I’m at a loss. What do other people think?
A: Check it out for yourself!

Q: This is weird / useless / other.
A: That’s not a question.

Q: Are there any games?
A: Yes, there’s the Purple Game. A purple squirrel is animated on your screen. Your task is to click on him. If you are successful, you win. Win or lose, the game continues without pause. Only the squirrel knows.

By the way, I played the Purple Game and won …I think, or maybe not. 😛

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