Advice News

Ten Things Domain Investors Should Know This Week

I am trying a new initiative on NameTalent with this post. In each post in this series I will list 10 things from the previous week or so that domain investors should take note of since they may lead to actionable items. In essence the format will cover what is new and why should I care.

I will keep each description short, and most will have a link for further information.

My hope is that busy domain investors, in particular, may find these helpful as a checklist of some items they may have missed. Not all items will apply to all domain investors, but I hope that all items will be be viewed as valuable by some domain investors.

We already have good sources of industry news, major sales, what is at auction, etc. so I am not trying to cover that space for the most part.

This series will be on a trial basis. I will see how useful domain investors find it after a few posts and decide whether to continue it.  I welcome your comments on NamePros or in the comments here.  

The List

While I will do these on a  weekly basis, and will cover roughly items from the preceding week, I do not plan to be strict regarding the time frame. So here is my list for the period up to March 13, 2019.

  1. The .com hand registration contest for March is on fire! After an active contest last month, the .com hand registration contest at NamePros is even more active this month.  Names must be hand-registered in the month of March, with up to 5 entries per member. A name can have been previously registered (and expired) as long as it is currently available as a hand registration.  Contests are good ways to be motivated to find a  great name and learn from the submissions of others.  Check it out here
  2. Do you have names registered at Alpnames?  If so you need to read this NamePros thread. Due to Alpnames financial issues, apparently (not confirmed), the face of the registrar site is not working and has not been for a few days. Experienced domain investors show you how you can still manage your domains via a LogicBoxes interface, and share advice on what you should do regarding domains there. Note just as we went to press Kevin Murphy of DomainIncite published an article providing some additional information on the situation.
  3. You do Dofo, don’t you? While Dofo has been around for some time, the powerful and user friendly one-stop method for searching for domain names is a valuable innovation  in domain investing.  Michael Sullivan did a great interview with Macit Tuna of Dofo here on, or you can head directly to the Dofo site at this link. I plan to do a guide or review of the product on NameTalent in the not too distant future.
  4. DEV off to rapid start! The .dev domain extension is off to a rapid start, surpassing 100,000 registrations in just a few days of general availability.  Some big names had active sites at launch and many developers got basic sites up quickly. You can read my pre-launch article on the .dev extension here. As for .app and .page, .dev is a secure space requiring that all websites use https.  
  5. Current Promotions. There are always numerous active promotions and I won’t try to cover them all.  A few that I took note of are $6.99 .com at Dynadot and NameSilo at time of writing and the $1.99 .best at Dynadot this month. have some good values on a variety of extensions in their mid-month promotion but act fast as it has a limited time period. I am not sure whether this is a change or short term promotion, but the former FFM extensions (now Registry Services) all had  their registration prices and renewal prices lowered significantly. Interestingly the renewal is substantially less than registration or transfer, contrary to the usual pattern.
  6. Enhancements at NameBio. The essential tool for exploring domain sales, NameBio, has added a few additional options for the time period for your searches – you now can search for the past 1,2,3, 5 year periods (2,3, are new) along with search on a specific recent year. I also note that they now have passed the 1.4 million domain sales mark.  They offer free search as well as paid subscription plans with additional features and access.
  7. Have you heard of reinforcement learning? Artificial intelligence (AI) has continued to evolve from rules based techniques to methods based on adaptive learning.  The folks associated with MIT Technology Review recently did an analysis of more than 16,000 AI papers found on arXiv (a preprint server for scholarly scientific publications) and found a big increase of late in reinforcement learning.  This is AI that is meant to mimic animal learning through rewards and punishments.  I think this is important to the domain community for two reasons.  First, it is a niche that may be important to some domain investors. Secondly, I see reinforcement learning offering promise to significantly improve the quality of automated domain appraisals.
  8. ICANN 64 meeting and sale of O. The ICANN meetings are concluding in Japan. While many matters of importance to domain investors were discussed, one small item that will doubtless get a lot of public attention is permission for Verisign to sell the domain name, with the profits going to support charitable causes. The O sale will probably fire up some general public interest in domains, and that affects us all. Most of us may feel distant from ICANN, but it is important to follow what this critical body is deciding. You can follow updates from the ICANN 64 meeting here.
  9. A New Evaluation Tool. An experienced domain investor has released a new automated appraisal tool after a year in development.  While I have not looked in enough depth at NameWorth to offer an opinion, I did try out a few names and like the format that results are presented in.  He provides multiple price levels for each domain – e.g. if you auctioned it off what would you probably get for the domain name versus holding out for a lower probability high value end user sale. He has subscription plans at various levels, or you can do up to 5 per day, 20 per month with a free registration (not sure if that is just at the start).  It seems to mainly (only?) work with .com at the moment.  The price levels seemed high to me for a startup product. Learn more about the NameWorth here
  10. A Domain Meetup.  Legendary domain investor Rick Schwartz (TheDomainKing®) is organizing a domain meetup in Asheville on Aug 1-3. You can listen to Andrew’s interview with him on DNWire.  I took away from the interview that he is hoping to revive some of the feel of the early domain meetings in this sponsor-free event. The event seems aimed at full-time professional .com domain investors.  The format is simply sitting around a table  with each person describing their situation and ideas for a few minutes, followed by informal follow up discussions during social events and after the meetup. You can contact Rick through his blog to express interest or ask questions, although registrations are now being done through EventBrite. He has a post with information including prices posted here – the event has grown from his original plan to a limit now of 160. His historical account of how his interest in Asheville started by accident, and an early domain meeting there, are interesting reading. 
  1. Smart Advice for Domain Investors.  Over at DNGeek Keith deBoer wrote one of the better pieces I have read on smart domain investing.  If you have not already done so, give it a read at this link.

Get In Touch

We noticed a number of other interesting domain developments, but want to keep each issue to just 10 items (plus sometimes a bonus item).  Stay tuned in about a week’s time for another list of 10 things I think you should be sure to notice! 

Have an idea you think merits attention? Reach out to me by email (Bob (at), on Twitter (@AGreatDomain), at NamePros (DM Bob Hawkes) or through comments to this post. If there are any corrections, please make them in the comments.  As always, thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Final Words

Finally, I wanted to congratulate Andrew at DNWire for celebrating 14 years of providing valuable news and insights to the domain community. If you are not following his blog posts and listening to his podcasts you are missing a lot of important information!

Disclosure: I have no association with the products and services listed here and were not compensated in any way to mention anything in this list.  

About the author

Bob Hawkes

Domain analyst and commentator with particular interests in quantitative analysis, new uses for domain names, nontraditional end users, and bridging the gap between the domain community and end users. Background in science, research, education, outreach and communications, as well as almost two decades running a small home-based business. My first domain name acquisition was 2001. I hold a modest domain portfolio with legacy, country code and new extensions. Based in western Canada, but my domain outlook is global! My goal is to provide fresh insights and an evidence-based balanced outlook on the domain industry.


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