Over the last couple years I have spent a substantial amount of time on forums like DNForum.com and NamePros.com, probably too much. Maybe it felt like I was making up for lost time as I was part of these communities back when they were first conceived in early 00’s. For one reason or another I had totally stopped visiting them and pretty much stopped ‘domaining’ for almost five years while I was busy spending (or wasting) my time partying, running illegal poker clubs and managing restaurants. During that time period I maintained a portfolio and sold a few but did very little in the way of monetization, researching or buying/registering domain names.
In 2007, after a trip to Hawaii I returned home with a new vision. I felt I was ready to get back into domaining and eventually development. I found myself on NamePros and DNForum regularly to catch up on what was happening in the industry. To my surprise there were nearly 100k members on NamePros (now over 150k members). I found a wealth of information packed into these forums. I logged in and spent as much as 6-8 hours each day solely on these two boards. Some of the information was not helpful, most of it was. It’s easy to spend countless hours reading, discussing trends and flipping domain names. I came back to NamePros right before the LLLL .com buyout occurred. I was lucky enough to register/buy and flip quite a few for nice profit margins. I do regret being so quick to flip some of the names I picked up however my need for quick return certainly saved me lots of money (difference between profit and loss) since I was dealing mostly with lower quality letter combinations. Ok, getting off track here.
Fast forward –> Today, I still peruse these forums frequently looking for deals and reading through interesting threads. I actually spend just as much time these days buying, researching and selling services related to domaining and web development one domain forums as I do looking for domains to purchase. I very rarely sell domain names on forums anymore, unless I am getting rid of ones I plan to drop. Besides pure domain name owners, there are some really good designers and developers looking for work on forums, in my experience it’s quality work for a very fair price. Of course, DNF and NP have some of the most experienced and knowledgeable domainers as members as well. I have been lucky enough to conduct repeat business with some top notch members and I am very happy to have ‘met’ and worked with these people. Forums are a great place to network. New domain speculators that visit these boards are very lucky to have such helpful members that dedicate so much free and quality advice (if not quality at least it is heartfelt and honest).
Spending hours upon hours a day on domain forums is not really necessary though. It is really easy to get wrapped up in wasting lots of precious time reading and arguing your viewpoints with members holding different perspectives. It seems like people feel they have to dedicate their efforts to defending their investments in public. Of course discussion is very important in learning but there comes a point when it evolves into a pointless and a waste of time. There are senior members at both major domain forums at this very moment defending their viewpoints and engaging in discussion with the same members they have been arguing with about the same topic for over a year, usually in the same thread! Guys, let it go already. My advice is to limit your time on the forums to an hour or two a day. There are so many other resources and places to buy and sell your domain names, don’t limit yourself to just researching on forums. The past few months I have been reading and researching more and more by reading blog posts and articles published by our industry leaders as well as searching for domain name news on other sites like domainnamewire.com. I also search news articles via search engines.
Domain forums have other downfalls too. They are crammed with newbies that litter the sales areas with their new registrations and usually mis-title their sales threads with words like ‘Premium’, ‘Generic’ and ‘Rare’! Usually when you see these words in the title of a thread you open it to find newly registered domains that have no intrinsic value at all. That is to be expected. Also, scammers can be a big problem on domain forums. I must say that the staff at NamePros in particular does a really good job at eliminating the members that are scammers. I have done several hundred transactions on forums and have not been scammed (knock on wood). Be careful, do your due diligence when buying and selling.
Coming up in part two:
Btw.. My handle on both DNF and NP is ‘nicedomains’