Geographic Domain Names

Update from the Geo Domain Expo

I have to run to the Trafficz cocktail party, but the Geo Domain Expo has been fantastic so far. While the past year or so has been a bit “bumpy” for the domain industry, the prevailing feeling in this sector of the industry is genuine optimism and excitement. Dan Pulcrano just released some very good news about his company, and I’ve heard other stories about tremendous growth for geographic domain owners.
The pioneering geodomainers continue to see growth in their websites (both in terms of traffic and advertising revenue), and new geodomainers like myself are more excited about the opportunities in this niche than anything I can recall. I haven’t been to a conference where people have been so willing to share advice and knowledge. As I’ve been told by several people, we aren’t really competitors, so it doesn’t hurt us to help someone else.
Instead of focusing on how the changing economic times are hurting revenues, lower PPC payouts, and the struggling economy, people at this conference are enthusiastic and excited about changes that are going on today. While I may be pessimistic about the health of the domain industry at times, I am very optimistic about my geodomain holdings.

Breaking News: Boulevards Cracks Quantcast 500

Boulevards Cracks Quantcast 500
Boulevards network, at 360, now ranks among Internet’s most visited properties
Chicago, IL., July 14, 2008 – The Boulevards network now ranks among the top 500 properties on the Internet, according to traffic ratings compiled by Quantcast Corporation.
As of July 11, Boulevards’ city guides and local information services achieved a rank of 360 among Internet destinations tracked by Quantcast.
“We are pleased to be counted among the world’s largest Internet properties,.” said Boulevards CEO Dan Pulcrano in an announcement at the Associated Cities Geodomain Expo in Chicago.
“Quantcast has performed a tremendous service for the industry by becoming the first ratings service to transparently aggregate data from multiple sites into a unified ranking. This is the Forbes 500 of traffic ratings.”
“Before, many companies flew under the radar and lacked visibility because their traffic was distributed among a network of URLs,” Pulcrano added. “Now, Quantcast adds up unduplicated traffic data from all of a company’s services, then publishes and ranks the results for all to see.”
Boulevards’ rating includes aggregated traffic from Boulevards’ high profile city guides, which include LosAngeles.com, Seattle.com, Philadelphia.com, Denver.com, Dallas.com and Houston.com as well as the popular MovieTimes.com site, formerly known as “Mr. Movie Times.”
Boulevards reaches a combined total of 50 million users each year, delivering more than 300 million ad impressions annually.
About Boulevards New Media Inc.
Boulevards owns and operates sites under the primary city domain in the majority of Top 20 U.S. cities and continues to push the boundaries of the city guide industry. Born in 1994 with the idea of “inventing the local media of the future,” Boulevards’ sites were among the first city guides to allow community postings for both events and businesses. The company offers a suite of marketing and lead generation services to both local and travel-related businesses.
With properties such as Los Angeles.com, Seattle.com, San Francisco.com, Denver.com, Houston.com, Washington DC.com and Philadelphia.com, Boulevards operates in 23 of the nation’s top markets, and is the largest U.S. operator of city guides branded with high-ranking, intuitive “cityname.com” URLs.
The Boulevards network reaches more than 4 million unique viewers each month, of which 91 percent are in the U.S. With traffic ranked alongside such companies as Oprah.com and MTV.com, Boulevards is one of the nation’s leading online media companies.
About Quantcast Corporation
Quantcast provides the first open Internet ratings site that enables Web publishers and advertisers to easily understand Web demographic trends. The company’s transparent Internet ratings promote openness and accessibility to accurate data by allowing web publishers to contribute directly to the service.
Contacts:
Public Relations, Quantcast Corporation contact@quantcast.com 415.738.4755
Boulevards New Media Inc.
pr@boulevards.com
408.271.3500

Evaluating the Geo Domain Auction

I was just checking out Moniker’s tentative Geo Domain auction list on Mike’s Blog, and I think there are a few good domain names for sale at reasonable prices. Chances are good that I’ll be bidding on one or more of these domain names, but I wanted to post what I believe are the best values in the auction.
ColoradoRiver.com $25,001 – $50,000
NewRochelle.com $50,001 – $100,000
OysterBay.com $25,001 – $50,000
SanJuan.com $250,001 – $500,000
SantaClara.com $50,001 – $100,000
Secaucus.com $1 – $5,000
Versailles.com $50,001 – $100,000
My best piece of advice for anyone who is thinking about bidding is to do your due diligence and research prior to the auction. Don’t just focus on the domain name, but research the actual geographic area. Try to envision what you would build on the domain name should you win it, and determine if you will be able to turn a profit. As most geodomain owners will tell you, a geodomain needs to be developed to unlock its full value. Have a plan, and be ready to implement it if you are going to bid.
I may be bidding on one of these names, but it really depends on whether or not I think I will be able to manage another project at the moment. Once I return from my honeymoon, I will begin selling ad space in Lowell and Burbank.

Sharing Information & Knowledge

Although this has changed in the last couple of years, the domain industry has been a fairly secretive industry. People have been reluctant to give advice, and while that might have benefited individuals and companies, I don’t think it was necessarily in the best interest of the industry. The crux of this was that everyone was essentially a competitor, and it doesn’t make sense to give away a competitive advantage.
One reason why I particularly like the geodomain industry is that people interact and share more than in any other niche in the domain industry in which I have been involved. Instead of treating each other like competitors, most geo domain owners are very happy to give advice and share their knowledge, helping others grow their geo websites. People like David and Michael Castello, Dan Pulcrano, Jess Bookstaff, Rob Grant, and others I am forgetting about at the moment have given me great advice to help me with Lowell.com and Burbank.com.
When I meet with geodomainers, our business conversations are centered around how we can improve our websites and marketing strategies to maximize our revenue. I’ve found that business conversations with people outside the geodomain industry tend to revolve more around making deals, which isn’t a bad thing, but from a learning perspective, geodomain conversations are usually more fruitful. For some people who might not have the time to devote to a geodomain, it doesn’t make sense to jump into this part of the industry. However, for those looking for a rewarding business, it might be something worth considering (BTW, Rick Latona is selling NewRochelle.com, which I think is a great name and growing city right outside of Manhattan).
In a sense, .com city, state, regional and other geodomain owners aren’t competitors of each other. Each of us has a different market and strategy, and it makes sense to share and learn with each other. In my limited experience, I’ve done things good and bad, and I am happy to help others so they don’t make similar mistakes, and I am eager to learn from others as well. Typically newspapers and tourism departments are our largest competitors (and not happy about it), as they didn’t buy these important names before we did.
In this vein, if you are going to the Geo Domain Expo next Thursday in Chicago and we haven’t made plans to meet yet, please get in touch with me. If you are new to the industry, I am happy to introduce you to the people I’ve come to know over the past several months, and I know they will be happy to share with you. This is going to be a great learning experience, and I know it’s going to be fun.   I am still hearing rumors about a Michael Seven concert…

Geo Domain Expo Award Semi Finalists

The semi finalists for the 2008 Geo Domain Expo Awards have been announced, and voting is now open. Voting can be done directly on the Associated Cities website. It’s great to see the leaders of this rapidly growing industry being rewarded for their hard work. When the industry has evolved 5 and 10 years from now, these people will still be at the forefront – they have the best domain names. It’s hard (or impossible) for newspapers and other publications to even compete with these names.
Best Monetized GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is generating the most advertising and/or commission revenue relative to the size of its Geo market?

LosGatos.com
PalmSprings.com
PigeonForge.com
Richmond.com
Most Economic Impact
Which site do you feel has generated the greatest positive economic impact on the local businesses in its Geo market?

PalmSprings.com
PigeonForge.com
Richmond.com
SanAntonio.com
Most Influential GeoDomain
Which site would you say had the most influence on how you have monetized and/or developed your GeoDomain?

PalmSprings.com
Richmond.com
Vegas.com
Best GeoDomain Technology
Which site do you feel has taken GeoDomain technology to the next level?

NewYorkCity.com
SantaCruz.com
Vancouver.com
Best US City GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is the best US City GeoDomain?

NewYorkCity.com
SanJose.com
Vegas.com
Best US State GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is the best US State GeoDomain?

Florida.com
Hawaii.com
SouthCarolina.com
Vermont.com

Best US Destination GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is the best destination-oriented GeoDomain?

Branson.com
PalmSprings.com
PigeonForge.com
Best International City GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is the best International City GeoDomain?

Acapulco.com
Glasgow.com
Vancouver.com
Best Country GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is the best Country GeoDomain?

Australia.com
France.com
Ireland.com
GeoDomain Hall of Fame
Person you believe has done most to promote the Geodomain Industry!

Jessica Bookstaff
Castello Brothers
Patrick Carleton
Skip Hoagland
Dan Pulcrano

Patrick Carleton Interview

I’ve been out of town the last couple of days, but I just read Patrick Carleton’s interview about the 2008 Geo Domain Expo. A number of people have asked me about the Expo, and I think this interview will shed more light onto why I am attending. If you are considering whether or not to attend, I think you should take a couple of minutes and read the interview.

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