DNJournal’s Ron Jackson made the mainstream press again, this time in an interview with ABC News regarding the Toys.com sale to Toys R Us in last week’s bankruptcy auction. It’s good to see mainstream coverage of the domain business, and I am glad news outlets continue to seek out Ron Jackson for his expert opinion.
I read a thread on a domain forum this evening that really pissed me off. Two people were highly critical of my friend Ron Jackson, and they were downright rude in their criticism. I think that people have the right to be critical of others (and I encourage it sometimes), but the rudeness that was shown was unprofessional and undeserved. Ron was one of the first (if not the first) domain journalists in the business, and he continues to publish news and articles that help the domain industry reach new audiences.
Ron spends hours upon hours each week writing articles, compiling reports, and interviewing industry professionals. Ron and his wife Diana attend nearly every domain conference, and one or both of them seem to attend every single panel and event, writing notes and taking photographs. All of this is used to produce the most respected, and the most widely quoted domain publication.
Whether you agree with what Ron says or with what any of the industry professionals profiled in DNJournal say, Ron is deserving of all of our respect and appreciation for his hard work. I don’t know how much Ron is compensated for his work via advertising sales, but I guarantee it doesn’t come close to compensating him for the time it takes to produce his publication.
I know it’s a holiday weekend, but I think everyone needs to take a few minutes to read Ron Jackson’s interview of Rick Schwartz. In the domain space, Rick has been something like a soothsayer, and when he speaks, I listen. While we don’t all own the same quality domain names as Rick, the things he is saying does affect all domain investors.
If or when Google decides to pull the plug and PPC as we know it drastically changes, there is going to be a lot of tumult in the industry. While quickly and efficiently monetizing domain names will be difficult and domain values will be impacted, domain owners need to keep the following things in mind:
- Businesses who want to be online need a domain name
- Advertisers will still want to advertise on relevant domain names
- People will continue typing-in domain names looking for products or services
- Easy to remember and relevant domain names are the most desired
- Consumers typically have certain web browsing patterns, and many type in their keyword and .com as a starting point
The point is that while making easy money from domain names won’t be possible, there are still going to be plenty of opportunities in the domain space. Some people will have to sell more than they have in the past in order to maintain the same revenue levels, so some deals may be had. I recommend buying domain names that would make sense to be developed. Just because a domain name did well parked, doesn’t mean that it would be good to develop.
I still believe the greatest ongoing revenue generating opportunity is selling advertising space directly to advertisers on developed websites. I believe websites are the newspapers of decades ago. Websites get the eyeballs that newspapers once received, and advertisers want to reach them. Motivated consumers are untapped leads that businesses would like to acquire.
I also believe that as companies continue to migrate their business online, more will get it, and more will want (or even need) the domain name that describes their business or industry. Generic and category defining domain names are rare, and they hold considerable value. Selling domain names to end users that get it will be the driving force behind the future growth of domain values.
Changing times call for changing strategies. Those who adapt and adopt will survive, and those who sit back will not. Who knows when all of this will happen, but I think it’s important to be prepared for the worst. Read Rick’s interview and judge for yourself.
Ron’s final analysis of the Geo Domain Expo was published today, and as always, it provides some great insight into the show. The show gave me some great ideas, which I am in the process of implementing on Burbank.com. Developing a business on a geo domain isn’t easy, but the show gave me the confidence to invest more money into Burbank.com to make it the best site about Burbank, California. I will be launching a full directory sometime in Q4 2008.
I’ve heard a great deal of glowing things about Dr. Chris Hartnett, but I didn’t have much background about who he is or how he became so successful and well-liked. As the title of this post says, once you read the DNJournal cover story this month, you are going to be “wowed!”
It seems that everything Dr. Hartnett touches turns to gold, and this is another inspiring story written by Ron Jackson. The domain industry is made of people who come from diverse backgrounds, with many of the leaders achieving great success in other industries. This is certainly the case with Dr. Hartnett, and his story is inspirational.
According to the weekly sales report distributed by DNJournal, last week saw some fairly strong deals. There were a few six figure deals, including the sale of Coffee.org, and the drop auction market was hot once again with some strong names fetching decent amounts. The real winner of the week was over at NameMedia.
Not only did NameMedia Senior VP Pete Lamson report to DNJournal that the company had a record first quarter, but May was also recorded as the best sales month in the company’s history. NameMedia’s Afternic DLS also closed 15 LLL.com domain names for $40,000/each last week. Personally, I don’t own any LLL.com domain names by choice, but I think the purchase shows that the market for these types of domain names are as strong as ever, even with the risk seeming to grow.
Interestingly enough, I had been in contact with Bigfoot about acquiring Let.com from them about 15 months ago, and they were only asking $50,000 for it at that time. It appears they have since sold the name, which is perplexing given the fact that they just jumped in feet first with the purchase of 15 LLL.com names at retail price. I do think it is a good sign for owners of LLL.com names though who are looking to sell their names.
Numeric domain names appear to be hot commodities as well. Because of their relative short supply coupled with the number of uses for these names throughout the world, they always seem to fetch strong prices. I like the fact that numbers transcend languages and are important in many cultures. It is important to research what numbers mean in other countries though! I owned a few numeric names a while ago, and one of them happened to have something to do with death. I sold it ASAP.
It does look like the aftermarket is fairly strong compared to the general economy. I have been and continue to be a buyer both for resale and for development. Hopefully these trends will continue through the summer.