General Domain Information

“Brandable” vs. Generic Domain Names

I frequently see people trying to sell “brandable” domain names. To most experienced domain investors, brandable suggests that you need to explain what the name means and why you think it is valuable, which usually means a difficult time selling it. In most cases, brandable names aren’t good buys, especially as a short term investment.

By nature, copywriters, art directors and others involved in the creative process are very attached to their ideas. Deep down, almost every creative person wants to win a Cannes Lion, Clio or an Echo, and they want to win because of their idea. They want to be inspired from deep within themselves rather than developing someone else’s idea. I don’t think it makes sense that some domain investors think that a cool/hip sounding domain name will help inspire a marketing campaign or product name, which would seem to be the reason to register it.

On the other side, some people register these names hoping that a company will use that particular term or phrase in a new product and then seek them out to buy it. While I know of a couple people who did have success with this, there are many more brandable domain names registered than companies willing to buy them. It’s like buying a lottery ticket. Sure, once in a while it may be a good idea or even pay off, but more often than not, you will end up wasting your money.

In my opinion, if you can’t afford to buy a high value keyword name and choose to register new names instead, I recommend sticking with generic keyword phrases. Put two or three related keywords together to try and create strong sounding names. Use “quoted Google searches” to see how many references that term has in Google. Generally, the more references, the more interest in that particular topic. State specific keywords can be good, too.

Registering new names can be a thrill. Knowing what to register is what can save you hundreds of dollars.

.Mobi Madness = .Mobi Sickness

Wow…. I just spent the last half hour of my life reading Frank’s, Jay’s, Rick’s and Sahar’s blogs along with posts on a couple of forums about .mobi domain names and my head is spinning. I don’t understand why <some> people who have invested in .mobi feel the need to defend it like they are defending their children or family. Well, I guess I know why they feel the need, but it’s painful to watch.

It’s a freaking extension. If marketers promote it, investors will probably make money. If not, investors better hope they aren’t holding the bag like many of the speculators who bought names in other little used extensions. I don’t want to hear any more about bofa, disney, skype….etc. None of that means squat for 99.5% of the .mobi names that were registered based on speculation.

In my opinion, at best, some mobile-savvy marketers will buy .mobi names for THEIR brand, and some lucky .mobi speculators will make money (not just flipping to other speculators as it seems most of the successful investors are doing). At worst, .mobi is just another choice of extension that is owned by speculators and barely used by anyone.

Bottom line is that you can’t even have a rational conversation with most .mobi investors any more. It’s madness, and its making me sick!

WeddingChannel.com – Smart Interactive Marketers

WeddingChannel.com is a company that uses generic domain names to its advantage. When you take the term “Wedding Channel” at face value, it doesn’t really mean much in terms an interactive company. My first thought would be that “Wedding Channel” is a television channel with shows focusing on the planning and execution of a wedding. Well, WeddingChannel.com is actually one of the largest online wedding resources.

In my opinion, the bread and butter of WeddingChannel.com is its wedding registry. Couples are able to sign up on WeddingChannel.com and link wedding registries from stores such as Bloomingdales, Tiffany’s, Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn….etc. Guests are able to learn more about the couple, sign a guest book, see event details, and of course, they can purchase wedding presents from various registries all online. Because couples know that most guests will search for them on WeddingChannel.com, they sign up.

One reason for the success of WeddingChannel.com is that they own a ton of awesome generic domain names that all forward to the WeddingChannel.com website. If a person enters one of the company’s names, they will automatically land on WeddingChannel.com, where they are able to find what they need. Some examples of fantastic domain names owned by WeddingChannel.com include:

WeddingRegistry.com
BridalRegistry.com
BridalGowns.com
WeddingPlanner.com
Weding.com (They even own a high value typo!)

This shows that WeddingChannel.com “gets” domain names and uses them to promote their business. Some people don’t get this. They choose not to buy a generic name because they claim it will water down their brand. I think that’s crazy, because as long as they forward the traffic to their main site, the visitor will hardly notice.

Anyone who types in WeddingRegistry.com is looking to find (or create) a wedding registry. Instead of having to pay per click on someone else’s domain name, WeddingChannel.com OWNS ALL OF THIS TRAFFIC! If a person is searching for a wedding registry and they directly navigate to WeddingRegistry.com, Voila – they will find what they need at WeddingChannel.com.

Bullish on Domain Names

5 Reasons the Domain Name Bull Market Will Continue

Andrew Alleman at Domain Name Wire gives 5 reasons + a bonus reason why the domain bull market will continue.   I am in agreement with him on this.   There has never been a better time to own  a generic domain name.

I would add two more reasons to Andrew’s list:

– Domain names are used by people in all corners of the world.   They criss cross socio-economic distinctions, race, religion…etc.   Everybody who wants to create a message that can be seen throughout the world needs a domain name.

– Compared to bricks and mortar retail locations, there is much less overhead with domain names.

House Approves Senate’s Ban on Internet Taxes

Michael and Judi BerkensThanks to Mike for sending me this link this morning: House Approves Senate’s Ban on Internet Taxes

In an unanimous vote (402-0), the US House of Representatives approved an extension of The Internet Tax Freedom Act yesterday, prohibiting local and state governments from collecting taxes on various Internet services, including email and instant messages. This is good news, as a taxation on these types of services would have impacted just about everyone on the Internet, and it would have caused some drastic measures to police.

For the article, please click here.

Photo courtesy of Barbary Neu, borrowed from DNJournal

Domainer Magazine on Amazon.com

Domainer Magazine can now be found on Amazon.com! Congrats to   Jerry Nolte and Mike St. John for their tremendous efforts in launching Domainer Magazine and for the impact its had so far on the domain business.

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