CATEGORY: Business

The Business Case for Your Own Top-Level Domain Name

Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership brought us a free webinar: “Who Should Invest in a dotBRAND?” Now here’s the deal: Beginning on January 12, 2012, you can apply for any kind of new dot–not only the dotCOMs or dotORGs, but a whole new world of generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). Coke might buy .Coke and Pepsi .Pepsi. You could even buy .Happiness.

I should that mention that while some of the brand domains won’t be available to the public, as many as possible will be found at Name.com. That covered, we hoped to find out something else: Is this right for you?

Evaluate Business case of your own dotBrand

In the beginning, it was weird. The presentation was stilted and filled with nervous trepidation, like they were being held hostage by a gun-toting naysayer. I pinged that to Ashley, our marketing coordinator, and she said that maybe they were trying to weed out the bad applicants. The awkwardness highlighted the very real debate about the necessity of these new domains. Our hosts were wrestling with the negative aspects of owning one. However, if you stayed long enough, you would be comforted by benefits of paying $185,000 to apply for your own top-level domain. First, let’s take a look at the downside of ponying up for your own TLD.

Downside to your own gTLD:

1. Cost. Yah, you’re looking at $185 grand to get started, and there’s ongoing annual costs that could run at about $250,000.
2. From start to finish it seems like a lot of work. Think about all that comes with migrating to a new site let alone a whole new gTLD. You’ll have to reignite your SEO, spend on a new awareness campaign and get your already overworked IT to segue your old dot into your new dot.
3. There is some vagueness in the application process. It opens up January 12, 2012, and just how they’re going to process the influx of requests was not answered very clearly.
4. The application sounds intense. This is where they’re going to weed out the bad apps; with 50 questions, many of them very technical, and some of them requiring multiple pages for answers.
And now some benefits:
1. It was mentioned by panelist Paul Twomey that if you’re worried about costs, then think of how much you might spend on a major advertising buy, and see the “costs” as an important investment.
2. Places that don’t have trademark can get one with their shiny, new dotBRAND.
3. You can control your brand and who can have a second-level domain in your gTLD. For example, Toyota can control traffic, inviting only those they want in their realm. Denverdealer.Toyota = Yes! Priusnearlykilledme.Toyota = Probably not.
Another example is that a premium brand like .ROLEX could let customers know who their authorized dealers are, and Rolex saves on fraud an abuse.
4. You can control what is acceptable use of your branded distributors and better define your online franchise agreements.
5. You have a built-in business model of reselling your domain (assuming anyone else wants to be on .BP.)
6. Your domains will be simplified. Imagine much of what you see now, like product.com/newyork shortened to newyork.product. That’s a user-friendly promotional bonanza.
Good or bad, there’s a little known industry that’s about to boom: The new gTLD Migration Consultant. It’s going to be a big deal to move Pepsi from a .COM to .PEPSI. If you’re someone with some knowledge on domains and the behind-the-scenes DNS magic, then moving these branded behemoths could be your new and lucrative gig. Call if you need a pool boy.

PageZen Top 5 Tips and Tricks

Like we’ve said before, PageZen is easy, and we don’t say that in the condescending oh-we-know-you-can-do-it way that someone says right when they give you a ton of work. We’re saying it in the old school “it’s easy” way. Back when “bad” meant “bad” instead of “awesome” and “sick” was still ill. PageZen is easy. Here’s how you take your PageZen website to the next level.

PageZen is Easy. Really easy.

The one-pager is FREE and it’s free to start the total PageZen package. So if you want to see how easy it can be to build a website for your business or your hobby or your cat, then please take our 14-day trial run.

You’ll note in your account that your domains come with a free trial run of PageZen and SEO Tutor. Give ’em a whirl and let us know what you think. We even have some even easier Tips and Tricks to help out. Oh, and nice work Otto, Quin, Name.com staff and the baristas at Ink! We couldn’t roll out top-notch production without you.

Twitter, FourSquare VC Says "Be Your Own Bee-Yotch"

There’s some offensive language here, but sometimes (and I’m sorry mom) it can be effective. Fred Wilson, whose mere presence is every startup company’s fantasy, offers his advice on whether to use Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

You know the Smash Summit has good content when the lighting is awful, the sound even worse, and people are still riveted by the speakers. (Not to call you out Microsoft, but this was your building and your Internet didn’t even work. I was kind of hoping for a giant paperclip to come and help me.)

What we should learn from the Crock Pot Girls

Let me be the first to try and share the success of an Internet Sensation. This time it’s not a kid high on nitrous oxide or an interesting squirrel. This time there’s meat, real honest-to-gosh meat. It’s the Crock Pot Girls. They are three mothers, Allyson, Jenna, and Nicole who, as their Facebook page says, “decided here was a great way us moms can exchange crock pot recipes.” Sounds pretty darn simple, and that should be the main lesson. KISS: Keep It Simple…Silly (Moms loathe the word “stupid.”)

So they go about this straightforward project and in less than ten days score half a million “likes” and so many wall posts they have to beg people to behave and follow the rules. What are the rules? Well, simple: share recipes. Now that’s about as Abigail Adams as you can get. This old-fashioned way of connecting people spun up in an electronic forum. And by golly they have 300,000 more fans since I checked the site last night. Soon they’ll be on Good Morning America, and we’ll be watching from our piles of press releases and flowcharts and wondering, “How?”

crock pot girlsSince it has to do with food we at Name.com wanted to be a part of it. As the Community Evangelist I contacted the CPGs to see if we could provide them with a domain and a website that we could monetize and search engine optimize. Our customers really think we’ve got something with our PageZen web builder and SEO Tutor, and we’re very fond of them. But that really should be the litmus test: are you portraying your product even close to something that with a flip of a switch can feed your family for a week?

There’s another lesson: give people something they want. We’ve all been serenaded by the sales gurus hammering their fists and berating us about benefits: “Share the benefits of your product!” But the Crock Pot Girls have one up on that. Their product is a benefit with benefits. People want food. They want lots of it, and they want it to appear magically. The Crock Pot is all that. You put something in it, you turn it on, and then you do something else with yourself. All you need is a recipe. In come the CPGs. Throw in the fact that the economy is weak and I’m surprised our ladies of the ladle haven’t been propelled to Congress.

At Name.com we’d love to hear that we’re the Crock Pot Girls of domains and website building. We want it to be quick, easy and convenient, and as satisfying as a pound of pulled pork. We want to put you in that place where you can be any level of web IQ and still get your ideas and products on a website that ranks big with SEO. Actually, I think there should be some kind of buzzword introduced here. Something about a “Crock Pot” business plan (not to be confused with “Crackpot”) where you sit alone with the slow cooker and brainstorm how close you can get to its paragon of goodness. If you don’t get all the way there, then don’t worry. It’s hard to touch moms with vats of food.

Name.com Emerges from Rigorous One-Stopification Process

The Name.com dev team stepped out into the daylight and blinked at the big, big world. It was time for a shower and something other than processed cheese and potato chips. It was also time for something else: a celebration. A good party was in store because Name.com’s One Stopification was complete.

A developer’s diet. Exercise is also recommended.

Our staff of intrepid tech-addled engineers have grappled the once painful process of building a website and cocooned it into the amazing and easy-to-use PageZen web builder. They tore down the ominous mountain of Search Engine Optimization and downsized it to the simple, step-by-step SEO Tutor.

When you go to Name.com, you are now greeted with everything you need to build and optimize, monetize and securitize the website you need. But there’s more. We’re working on quick and easy tutorials for all our quick and easy services. That’s doubly quick and easy.

With our One Stopification complete, you’ll be able to build your own website in minutes. Tweak it how you’d like. Add what you like. Add PayPal, social media, videos, your own unique twists, colors, designs and propel your profits into the webosphere with all the benefits about you and your business.

name domains hosting security websites

What One Stopification looks like.

We have the security, the SSL certificates, the domain names and the easy web builder with all the accessories. So you’re covered for small business, blogging and anything from domains to websites to ranking on the top search engines.

SEO Tutor starts at 36 bucks a month and you can do it yourself. Call that expensive SEO consultant and tell him you’re using the money you save to go to Mexico.

But we will still be here, One Stopified and ready with the same great customer support. It’s nice that some things never change.

XXX at work

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