Archive for the ‘Strategy’ Category

Why Bruce Marler Can Keep Credit.club

Because he’s smart, and a developer.  Almost as soon as credit.club was registered, a great looking site went up on the formerly registry reserved domain name.  If you have questions about how to increase your credit score, p2p lending or any other credit topics, it’s worth checking out.

If you haven’t already heard, the .Club registry made a mistake (or technical error) when moving the credit.club domain from the registry reserve status in order to register it as part of the .club’s Startup.club program.  This allowed the domain to be hand registered at Name.com for normal regfee ($10.99).  There was a huge fuss and folks demanding answers on NamePros thread and on other forums and blogs about how someone can just hand register this caliber of name when it was previously priced at $200,000.

I am not accusing anyone of any wrongdoing here or conspiracy and I certainly agree with the sentiment from most that .Club made a wise decision letting the registrant keep the domain.  I am skeptical that if a pure domainer would have registered credit.club during that window and simply parked the name or left it undeveloped that they would have been able to keep it.  Anyone else think it would have been taken back from the registry?  The official response by Colin Campbell (CEO of .Club registry) on the Credit.club situation in Analysis Part B and C (bold below) indicate that if the site was not developed and launched that it likely would have executed its ‘right’ to take the domain back.

The facts about credit.club.

As promised below are the facts and analysis conducted by Jonathan Frost, our in-house attorney.

Facts:

· The Operations Department, which manages Company domain name registrations, planned a transfer of <CREDIT.CLUB>, along with 130 other domain names, on 2015-01-13 as part of the Company’s Startup.club promotional program.

· On 2015-01-13T20:11:40, the Operations Department removed <CREDIT.CLUB> from the registry-reserve in order to register it as part of the Company’s Startup.club promotional program.

· Between 2015-01-13T20:11:40 and 2015-01-14T21:51:25 (25 hours, 49 minutes, and 45 seconds), the status of <CREDIT.CLUB> was unregistered and unreserved. At that time, the Operations Department did not have knowledge that the registration had failed. It is not clear whether the failed registration was a result of human error or system error.

· At 2015-01-14T21:51:25, a registrant (the “Registrant”) using domain privacy, without the knowledge of the Company, registered the domain <CREDIT.CLUB> at Name.com.

Analysis:

a) Mistaken Registration

The Registrant’s registration of <CREDIT.CLUB> on January 14, 2015 was due to a mistake made by the registry. The mistaken nature of the registration is clear as the domain name was publicly advertised as being a premium domain name in the Startup.club program and the Operations Department documented its plan to register the domain name to a Company subsidiary for promotional purposes. However, on January 13, 2015, when the Operations Department attempted to register <CREDIT.CLUB>, the registration failed, and the failure was not detected at the time.

b) Right to Rescind

The Registration Agreement between Name.com and the Registrant, the RRA between Name.com and the Company, and the Registry Terms and Policies all contemplate registrations that occur as a result of a mistake by the registry, and the registry may rescind such registrations.

c) Conclusion

Thus, it is within the Company’s contractual rights to cancel the registration for <CREDIT.CLUB>.

Further to his analysis and conclusions I can personally state that no one in .CLUB had any conversations regarding credit.club with the registrant at or before the registration of credit.club.

The registry does not believe it is in our best interest nor the best interest of the registrant to pull the name back given the substantial investment in time and money he has invested to launch credit.club. I informed the registrant of such matters and wish him a continued success.

SOURCE NamePros Official .Club Showcase and Discussion

Again, I am more than happy for Bruce and congrats on the awesome domain and site. I’m a firm believer that you create your own luck and with quick action on the domain registration and launch of the site, he definitely deserves to keep the domain.  We will never know what the .Club registry would have done if the name was registered by a domainer then sat undeveloped or parked.  I’m just playing devils advocate here for all the folks singing praises of .Club for letting the registrant keep the name 😉

*For the record, I am a fan of .Club – it is a solid extension and they are doing a great job of showing other gTLDs how to successfully launch..

One Way to Acquire the Domain (types) You Want

While searching for a name in a certain niche or in pursuit of building a strong domain name portfolio, simply buying hand registered domains just won’t cut it. Buying domains names from premium marketplaces like Sedo, Afternic, etc. can be a great way to build a good portfolio but at the same time may also be very expensive and the negotiation/sale process can be quite lengthy. Of course, I always recommend anyone dabbling in domaining learn to benefit from drop catching and backordering.

All of the above are great ways to acquire domain names but another interesting way to buy domains is by starting a thread on the most popular domain name forums (DNF and NamePros) in the Domains Wanted section.  The great thing about posting buying requests in the forums is that you are in total control – you determine your budget and criteria and that’s it, just wait for the messages to come in.

Anytime I start a thread in these sections of the forums I get dozens of messages from members on the forums with domain names that fit the criteria in my ‘WTB” posts.  It is important to set very specific guidelines for the kinds of domain names you want when writing these posts.  Even still if you are specific in identifying what TLD, budget, length, age etc of the kind of domain you want to buy, you still may get a few off the wall domains sent in that you will have to ignore.

While you will have likely have a lot of messages to discard, you will be surprised at the quality AND quantity of domains that members will send over.   One thing I really dig when buying on both forums is the fact that the buyers and sellers are generally very fast with their transactions.  Of course, do your due diligence and look at the forum members iTrader rating and check up on the domain(s) before making any deal.  Something to keep in mind while buying domains on forums is that since you are talking directly with the domain owner, this is a great place to network and negotiate for a better pricing, bulk deals, etc.  So if you want to buy more domain names and have clear niches and keywords in mind, I definitely recommend putting a feeler out there on the forums.  When you start your thread topic make sure you include the following information.

* Set a clear budget (per name or per lot)

* Be very clear on the TLD(s) you are looking to acquire

* Be as specific as possible of the type of domain name you want – provide clear examples (length, numbers, hyphens, # of words, etc)

* Make sure you have members PM you their domain for sale instead of post it in your thread

* Specify payment methods you accept

Do You Own Your Name .COM?

Why It’s Important To Own Your Name .Com

One third of the people on our planet are now connected to the internet; that’s over two billion people worldwide. The internet has become a place where you can learn, do, watch, buy or sell anything you can ever imagine. The internet has all but eliminated the need for us to leave our house. We can get entertainment, human interaction, food, clothing, grooms and brides all from the comfort of our chair. This incredible boom has made the importance of owning your own personal domain name vital, as it is the hub for which you are known in the online world. Here’s some of the key reasons why:

It’s Online Real Estate– When people use Yahoo, Bing, or Google to search for an exact term, the .com is generally going to be the first result that pops up. A lot of people around the world will even just type the term in with .com at the end. The first website that they find using either method is the one most people believe is the authority.

Best Place to Start a Website– Your Name .Com is quick and easy to remember for the people that know you. It saves you the hassle of having to create a new brand and embed that in the head of your target audience. Website hosting is affordable and building a website is easier than ever. With free programs like WordPress, you don’t need to understand complex codes to be able to create a professional looking website.

Protection– Angry rivals or astute individuals with dollar signs in their eyes will not hesitate to purchase your name .com. Once it’s in their possession, it’s an arduous process to win it back. In the meantime, they can make a profit off of your fortune or slander your name.

It’s Professional– Any serious businessman improves their stock with their name .com. Business cards and resumes alike look stronger and a candidate more desirable. Morgan Linton, serial entrepreneur and International Channel Manager for Sonos Inc. told Astounde, “No question, if you plan on doing anything important in your life, it’s vital to own your name dot com.”

Flexibility– Once you purchase a domain name, it’s yours. Despite the occasional price increase from ICANN, you can register your name for as many years as you want and lock in a certain rate. No one else can stake a claim to that name so long as you renew it when it comes time. Not only that, there is no requirement to build a website on it, you can just hold the name in your account.

Ease of Maintenance– Unlike most things in life, your domain name only needs to be addressed once per year. Not only that, but you’ll receive a friendly e-mail reminder to do so. Imagine if the same could be said for haircuts, your garden, dinner, your marriage, or feeding your pet.

Branding– You are in complete control over the ‘you’ that other people see when searching the internet. You are in charge of the information, pictures, professional reviews and other information that a friend or prospective colleague will see. Your brand is in your hands.

Customized E-mail Addresses– No more [email protected] or [email protected] With your own domain name, you can create any e-mail address you can think of @yourname.com.

Help Avoid Confusion– There could be another John Smith out there who enjoys taking ‘artful’ photos of naked men, and decides to post the videos and pictures of such on your name .com. You can avoid this potential shortcoming by locking up your domain name.

Price– Buying a domain name is one of the best bang-for-your-buck purchases you will ever find in your lifetime. A domain name can be had for $9.99 on most domain registrars ($8.95 on DomainIt.com). If you click on the link below, it’s only $7.99. That’s the equivalent to one mediocre value meal. Amortize the cost over a full year and it’s just over ¢.02 per day.

Despite all of these positive reasons why owning your name .com is important, there are still millions of people around the world that don’t see the value. Many people do, though, and you may very well find that your name is already taken. If you are one of the lucky people whose name isn’t already taken, what are you waiting for?

Written by Mike Awada, founding editor at Astounde.com, a hip, future tech and gadget online magazine.

Six Domain Investing Tips From Mike Mann

Mike Mann posts domain investing tips periodically via his Facebook page. Mann is very outspoken and even controversial on Facebook.   Many of his posts discuss domaining, domain sales, web development and general entrepreneurship. 

Domain investing tip:  Proper domaining is a matter of filtering with many methods to get the .Com cream to rise to the top, the main one being “crowdsourcing” filtering, let the crowd tell you whats best and then you determine whats underpriced. For example someone in the crowd already registered it, the crowd bids it up, the crowd sends traffic to that term, the crowd bids on those words in Google, the crowd helps Google determine ranking, one from the crowd needs to buy this name later at a huge markup after a bunch of hits and other price requests from the crowd. Ie the crowd signifies demand, the supply is just one, and you need a great price and keyword .Com that will live for eternity.

Domain investing tip:  Buy .Com expressions that are spelled perfectly, contain keywords, lots of business use the words, in growing industries, and someone already thought of because “all the best ones are gone”. The issue is that it’s a buyers market and you can get such names for around $350 that should be worth considerably more now and in the future, and you can use them and potentially collect and leverage some traffic while they rise in value if you are careful.

Domain investing tip:  If you own great .Com domains GoDaddy, Sedo, and NameMedia/BuyDomains/Afternic have excellent systems for selling them online, and many other brokers can act as intermediaries too; but for web based selling systems, theirs are best established.

Domain investing tip:  Do a lot of research on your target names on google and using special tools related to keywords, comps, seo and ppc, similar names and sites, etc. Bid real low for the best ones when you are done with your careful study.

Domain investing tip:  If SmithInsurance.com cost you $15/yr and takes you 10 yrs. to sell thats a $150 investment. If there are more than 3 “Smith Insurance” companies in the world then most likely over 10 years you can sell it for at least $1000 and collect some traffic in the meantime assuming its not a trademark and you have done nothing illegal.

Domain investing tip:  When you are buying the best .Com’s (only names worth risking) test the limits of your seller since its a buyers market currently. Bid way too low until they sweat, then you know you are near the right price when they are ready to walk.

I interviewed Mike last December if you want to read more about his domaining background and strategy.  Which one is your favorite quote? Why?

Saturday Tidbits

A new gTLD conference was announced this week. The Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress will take place March 12-13th in New York city.  The founding sponsor is Afilias and it looks like it will be a very informative conference which will see several workshops, roundtable discussions and speakers including Donuts Inc CEO Richard Tindal, Neustar’s Senior Business Executive Ken Hansen, CEO of PIR (.org) Nancy Gofus and Director of Global Communications at Deliotte Bill Barret among many other highly qualified speakers.  Early signup is $995, you can get more info and register here.

A few .COM sales to speak of were announced or revealed this week.  Sedo brokered the sale of Paste.com for $100,000.  The buyer, Paste Magazine currently has their new .com acquisition forwarding to PasteMagazine.com.  It was revealed that FreeWebsite.com sold for $500,000 earlier this year.  FreeWebsite.com recently launched with a similar feel to the Web.com business model offering free websites for business owners.  Sedo also recently brokered the sale of Jane.com for $60,000.  While we’re on the topic of domain sales, Marchex released a list of it’s top 500 end user domain sales over the last few years.  Andrew at DNW did a great job of analyzing some of these sales in a part one and two of his Marchex end user sales posts.

End user sales are the goal of Domain Holdings Group this month as it’s reported they are attending the largest energy and construction conference in the Middle East, ADIPEC.  The show kicks off tomorrow and Domain Holdings will be there looking to make connections and taking premier .COM domains to the table for their clients.  Gas.com, Oil.com, Energy.com, AbuDhabi.com and Dubai.com are being brokered by DHG and they are really going the extra mile(s) to spike interest in these top .com domains.  Way to go Domain Holdings! This is a great way to get exposure for your clients domains.

Two UDRP decisions and a RDNH decision were in the headlines this week.  A UDRP on Buff.com was rejected by the respective UDRP panel and CrowdSourcing.com was also spared in a decision that was put forth without the owner even responding to the UDRP.  Tarheel Take-Out, LLC of Chapel Hill, North Carolina is the newest addition to the reverse domain name hijacking hall of shame.  They brought a case against owners of Takeout.com, Versimedia and their attempts to take the name backfired. Read more about this case on TheDomains here.

Adam Dicker launched a new video blog in the last couple of weeks that is piled with invaluable information for domainers looking to improve, monetize and successfully sell their portfolios.  I haven’t gotten a chance to watch every video yet but I’m really looking forward to spending a lot more time at TheArtOfTheName.com.  Thanks to Adam for launching such a valuable resource for domainers!

 

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