CATEGORY: Domains

The ’93Now What?’94 Series Intro

One of the questions I get asked over and over again by people outside of the domain name industry is “why do I need a domain?” the second most often asked question is “What do I do with my domain name?” Over the next couple of days I’ll be sharing some short articles with you. Articles targeted to those very people: end-users. Individuals and companies looking to register a domain name for a new business, a new product or any number of other reasons want to know what the can and what they should do with their newly minted Internet real estate. I owe a debt of gratitude to a talented young content writer who is here helping us out this summer. If Kevin Crane comes knocking on your door looking for a job, he’s got my endorsement and I thank him for his leg work and efforts on this series. The entirety of which will later be posted on the Name.com website.

The first and most important thing to do is make sure your domain name is secure. You spent some time and effort finding just the right domain name. You might have even paid a premium for the name in the aftermarket. Taking a few minutes to make sure that all of your contact details are accurate and that your domain name is locked from malicious changes and/or hijacking is a smart investment of a few minutes time.

Next, making sure that you know the username and password for your domain name registrar is another important item to check off. If you went through a designer or web host for your domain name you’ll want to make sure that you retain full rights to your name upon the termination of any relationship with that third party. Name.com recommends always registering your own domain names. Domain management isn’t difficult and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Finally, you may want to take advantage of multi-year discounts if your domain name registrar offers them. There are multiple reasons for doing so, including the peace of mind of having an extended registration (up to ten years) and not having to worry about annual renewals as well as the fact that Google looks favorably upon domain names which have expiration dates well into the future.

Bido.com Unwrapped

Recall Media’s one-name-per-day auction site, Bido.com bowed today with the inaugural auction of DiscountImages.com. Was is a success? Only the team over at Bido.com can say for sure. There were four bidders with a total of 20 bids on the name. That’s better than almost all of the low reserve/no reserve names at the last TRAFFIC auction in Orlando. The end result was a winning bid of $911US.

The appraisals for DiscountImages.com varied from lows of $500 to highs of $15k targeted at end-users. My own appraisal of $750-1500 was based on a variety of factors including past sales, recent offers on my own domains, industry trends and end-usage. I might have a couple of factors I’ll keep under my hat, but overall this isn’t rocket science. End-users are not the target for Bido.com and value expectations that take the end-user into account aren’t going to hit the mark here.

Does having industry expert appraisers weigh in on a name help or hinder the auction process? It might mean that some names get less, but I think it’s best for the industry as a whole. Overpaying for names means the industry is in a bubble (and look where that gets the real estate market). Having realistic appraisals and data on the likely end-use and/or development for a name presents us all with the opportunity to create a stable marketplace that will continue to grow over time.

Would I use Bido to move some of my names? You bet. There are many names in my portfolio that I either hand-regged or picked up in a drop or otherwise paid very little for. Why would I *not* take a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars for them? Are there names in this group that I’m not willing to trust the model to? Of course. But the crown jewels are few and far between. Domain investors who can be honest with themselves over their portfolio and the likelihood of a big payday for those mid-tier domains might find great success at Bido.com.

Cheers to the Bido.com/DNZoom team.

Keyword Search Headed For A Breakdown?

As the Internet swells with more information every second of the day we will find keyword search results less and less relevant. TechCrunch recently reported on the limits of keyword search and the inevitable breaking point. Direct Navigation offers any business a short cut to being found.

While the point behind that post is that the semantic web will save us all when that breaking point arrives, it’s hard to miss the alternative: Direct Navigation. Arguably, generic domain names will be seen as the authority space on the web for the associated terms. When these domain names find their way in the hands of end-users or investors who are willing to put in the time, money and effort to develop them we’ll see more people trusting their address bar to get them to relevant information.

Until that time we’ll see PPC revenues continue to fall. Why? Well, a number of reasons really, but one of the major reasons is more domains names that ever are parked with monetization companies. As a savvy Internet browser I get frustrated when I type in a URL hoping to find content and getting hit with ads. I’m hardly unique. The more ads there are the less attention is paid to them.

As a domain name investor you’ve probably got at least a couple of great direct navigation domain names. You’ve got a leg up on 99% of the websites on the Internet. You’ve got the Park Place spot versus their Baltic Avenue. Use it!

Domainers Go Social With Two Networks

ocial networking has been hot for a while now. It’s often struck me as funny that an industry that is all about networking hadn’t embraced the trend. That’s all changed. Following on last month’s launch of Randy Charach‘s Synergy Domain Club, Steve Morales has launched GeoDomainer.com.

Both networking sites are built on the back of Ning and make great use of the technology. Best of all if you have an account at one you needn’t create a new account/username for the other.

Synergy Domain Club has racked up about 135 members in just a couple of week, no doubt due to Randy’s natural knack for networking. GeoDomainer is off to a good start as well. I don’t think either site will eliminate the need to get out and meet other people in the industry, but perhaps open a dialog you can continue in person.

When you join be sure to friend me.

iGoogle as Social Network?

Google recently announced the opening of the iGoogle Sandbox with associated support of the OpenSocial API.

iGoogle sandbox supports OpenSocial 0.7, including friends and activity streams as well as a home and canvas view of your gadgets. Later, iGoogle will support the requestSendMessage function to facilitate growth of your gadget.

Is Google readying iGoogle aka Google Start Page for use as a social network? It would certainly mean they have a leg up. Millions of people already have a Gmail or Gmail for your domain account so flipping the switch to the Start Page wouldn’t require a creating a new account anywhere.

Name.com has been offering fully integrated Google Apps for about a year now. Using the Start Page as my daily dashboard allows me to manage all of the various tools I need everyday and soon I’ll start poking some of our development staff to create some tools to make that even easier.

If you want to start using iGoogle/Start Page just register or transfer your domain to Name.com today – Google Apps are free and Name.com offers the easiest way to get you Start Page going.

SimulScribe Buys PhoneTag.com: Rebranding for Growth

TechCrunch is reporting that Voice to Text messaging provider SimulScribe has acquired the domain name PhoneTag.com for $30k and is planning on rebranding under the new name starting April 25. It appears that Strong Inc. was the seller.

The name SimulScribe totally sucks for our business. People have a real challenge remembering the name and they cannot spell it, which is a real problem considering that new customers need to type in our web address to sign up. When your company offers a consumer product that relies on viral marketing, a difficult name is a really bad thing. In fact, I’m constantly amazed at how well we have been able to do with such a shitty name.

I am not sure I could be in greater agreement that this company needed a new name. I had no idea what they did based on their name. While it’s still not obvious from PhoneTag.com I at least know it has something to do with phones and it’s catchy.

TechCrunch is also running a poll on whether readers think the name was overpriced or not. As of this writing 320 respondents say no, to 87 yes.

Easy Name.com Availability Checking Tools

In addition to our own cross browser domain availability checking tools, RegZap and WhoZap, we’re pleased to announce that Name.com has been included in the latest version of QualityNonsense’s Domain Lookup FireFox Extension.

Domain Lookup is a Firefox extension that helps you discover valuable generic domain names while surfing the web. Just select the text you wish to check and hit the shortcut key. Domain Lookup checks availability at your favourite registrar in a heartbeat.

If you’ve never used this extension before you’ll be automagically set up with Name.com as your default registrar by using the link above. If you want to switch to using name.com you’ll have to tweak your settings to select Name.com.

Finding ways to make registering an available domain name easier is one of our most consistent efforts and I would like to thank Richard Kershaw for including us in his spiffy tool.

Domain Roundtable Auction Results April 2008

The auction has been slow starting, but there are spurts of activity. So far the most action has been on lot #82 – Retire(d).net, which sold to the room for $23,500.

Through 90 lots there’s been 20 sales for $82,970 total. More to come.

Through 160 lots 38 names have sold for a total of $177, 520

Here are the final results. Note, several domains were revisited after the gavel originally dropped.

83 Names sold for a total of $416,012.

That’s a tenth of the total $ and about half of the total number of domains from the first DomainTools.com auction in Seattle. Attendance was down considerably from last year. I’m sure that contributed to the lack of blockbuster sales. Last year saw three high five figure deals, four six figure deals as well as a million dollar winning bid on Rebate(s).com totalling $2.5m. This year those deals were conspicuously absent. The big winner this year was Debug.com at $25k. The average sale was just over $5k.

Lot | DomainName | $

3 SecretCodes.com $4,500
4 Service.org $12,000
10 MentorOhio.com $200
12 Pintos.com $1,500
21 CleverLyrics.com $300
26 HospitalClothing.com $3,500
29 MortgageProposal.com $410
35 DataBeam.com $1,000
38 DomainNameTransfer.com $3,000
43 CamperShow.com $1,000
46 XmasToys.com $3,800
47 BusinessRefinance.com $3,100
48 EuropeanExcursions.com $500
49 FloorRemodeling.com $900
51 TradeStocks.cc $100
54 FreeNameServers.com $1,001
63 HuntingtonCalifornia.com $1,850
66 DrugAbuseTreatment.com $2,900
80 SendBulkEmail.com $900
81 NameParking.com $15,000
82 Retire.net $23,500
88 SecretIngredients.com $2,000
93 LakeMohave.com $3,000
94 KitchenAndBathroom.com $3,200
101 AutoRespond.com $2,900
102 BasicInstall.com $400
103 330.com $23,000
105 Dangers.com $7,600
108 WorldExchange.com $4,700
109 Chopstick.com $10,000
110 BigStore.com $6,000
111 TvMarkets.com $7,000
112 ToyMarket.com $4,500
115 FreeGuide.com $4,700
119 DigitalRights.com $4,000
122 Keyword.net $4,000
124 AutoDirectory.com $8,200
126 RefinanceDebt.org $1,000
129 Approvers.com $1,000
141 Crier.com $1,750
142 CollegePlacement.com $2,000
152 SiteInspector.com $2,500
156 RacingSuspensions.com $1,500
158 CuteDoggy.com $400
161 RetirementInvestments.com $2,900
164 NewClosets.com $2,000
165 MyQuote.com $10,000
170 BoundModels.com $250
171 Taliban.com $7,000
172 Fatherless.org $300
174 LakeMichiganWaterfront.com $1,200
179 GreatHaircut.com $300
180 InkRefiller.com $500
189 SwingerSpace.com $5,000
190 BuyMedication.com $1,250
193 AmsterdamVacations.com $5,000
198 Tempe.mobi $1,600
204 WirelessMouse.com $11,000
205 conf.com $6,600
209 AllergyProblems.com $5,000
221 FoodExports.com $1,000
233 TheTemple.com $1,300
243 Debug.com $25,000
247 ModelingJobs.com $16,000
254 Moral.com $11,000
256 FrenchCooking.com $4,900
257 Robbin.com $4,300
263 Shaft.com $17,000
264 Ammunition.cc $200
270 Cosmetics.net $18,000
275 CreditScoreTracker.com $2,500
280 Pallets.net $2,100
281 Skids.net $500
289 Hyperlinks.com $17,000
294 TransportShips.com $201
296 Insulators.com $11,000
303 FitnessNet.com $6,700
308 VideoArt.com $4,200
313 Famo.com $3,500
314 RomanticRestaurant.com $10,000
316 Stubborn.com $12,000
326 Complacence.com $1,000
348 Preannounce.com $400

Aside from the numbers the auction moved much quicker than last year. I’m not sure about the future of Roundtable/DomainTools auctions. They are up against the juggernaut of Moniker/SnapNames. I like the idea of the Roundtable auctions because the auction agreement is much less restrictive than Moniker’s, but at the end of the day if the bidders aren’t showing up it isn’t going to matter.

Password Security Gets Another Helper in PasswordBird

Do you worry about someone busting into your domain accounts? You should. As domain asset values continue to rise the threat to their security rises as well.
If you’re like most people you use the same password for lots of websites and services. Further, the password you use ise probably based on a special number or name in your life. Your anniversary, your dog’s name, your address, etc. All of these things are standard fare for someone trying to get into the very sensitive data you’re trying to protect. The problem with ultra secure passwords is that they are difficult to remember. PasswordBird aims to help make life easier by blending some of the important information in your life into a memorable password.

Provide PasswordBird the following data:

  • A special name
  • A special word
  • A special date

And PasswordBird provides you with an eight character password. Now those passwords aren’t ultra secure, but they sure beat using any dictionary word or short phrase which is what many people do. If you don’t like the password that was generated you can generate another based on the same information you provided or you start from scratch with a new search.

To improve the security of the PasswordBird passwords you can swap one of the letters for an uppercase and add a special character. You can test the security of these and other passwords you may want to use at PasswordMeter.