Guest Post

RL.com – An Inside View of The Million Dollar Battle

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Guest contributor Richard Lau has a background that includes: forming/managing/buying/selling/brokering over 90 ICANN Registrars, the 2004 “Domainer of the Year” award, DomainManager.com and most recently iWhois.com

RL.com – an inside view of the million dollar battle

Background: Tools, time, tenacity

One of the first things I did as a domainer was put in the countless hours cold-calling, cold-emailing and making offers. Unrelated to my new ‘work’, my sister lent me a book about a Skip Tracer who used his skills to track down missing children. In the book were many hints, tips and anecdotes about finding people who, for whatever reason, didn’t want to be found. This seemed to dove-tail perfectly with domain registrants who had put incomplete, out-of-date or fake information in the public whois. Using these new found skills, I managed to track down registrants who had not been inundated with offers and was able to make calm, fair bids for domains that otherwise may have sold for over-inflated numbers. It was during this time that I found tools such as DomainTools.com and Intelius.com indispensable. I also realized paying for information, data and tools was money well spent.

iWhois.com has evolved from

Guest Post: The “Independent Web”: The only place where YOU control your online presence

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Godaddy Super Bowl CommercialThis is a guest post from GoDaddy.com. The company has generously supported the Ronald McDonald House. I am hoping to raise $10,000 for RMH in 2012, and I invite you to contribute to help. It’s a great organization!

In 1991, when the Web went public, it was remarkable because it was the first time in the history of the Earth that you could create a presence anyone else in the world could find, see and interact with instantly.   Best of all, you had 100 percent control over the content of the site and therefore over the experience of each visitor, as well as the data from it. Now, two decades later, a massive sea change has seen the addition of pages on Facebook ®, Twitter ®, Google+ ® and other similar sites. The problem is, unlike traditional websites, some of the content and all of the data created by interactions on those sites are not yours to use and to control . . . it is theirs.

To be clear, a presence, for instance, on  Facebook can be a good thing; it is the “water cooler” where 900 million people  gather (that’s more than 12 percent of the planet’s population). Even Go Daddy, a company founded on the concept that every individual can have and control his or her own  Web presence, has a Facebook page. What is important to realize is the difference between building your presence on what has been dubbed the Dependent Web  versus the Independent Web: both have value, but you only fully control one.

Apparently it was John Battelle, co-founder of Wired Magazine  and news website The Industry Standard, who coined the terms in his 21 October 2010 blog entry on BattelleMedia.com. He explained that in the Dependent Web, host companies deliver content, advertising and services based on what or who it thinks the visitor is. Therefore, the content presented is actually dependent  upon past and present actions such as webpages visited and mouse-clicks. In contrast, in the Independent Web (with some exceptions) host companies do not change content according to their perception of visitors’ wants/needs.

Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, compared the two in a recent GigaOM blog  by making the analogy that now “. . . more people want to own their own space on the Web – they want to own a house instead of rent an apartment.” In a posting early this year Battelle added, “Companies that have planted their presence too deeply into the soils of Facebook are going to realize they need to control their own destiny and move their focus and their core presence back into the independent waters of the open Internet.”

To demonstrate the difference, (and while preparing this blog post) a visit to GoDaddy.com  presented all the products and services the company offers, as well as links to various company news, facts and commercials. In contrast, on the Facebook.com/GoDaddy  page mentions of the same products and services were presented (albeit in different format). In place of the supplemental information,   “another chance at love,” taking away from the overall company message. In addition there was a column listing text posts from Facebook friends around the country. Is this good or bad? Well, neither; they are simply different experiences companies can offer by building Dependent Web-based pages or not. So, at the surface, this is fine; below that, maybe not.

Battelle went further saying “I’m a fan of integrating Facebook into your brand efforts . . . but the point is simple: If you are a brand, publisher or independent voice, don’t put your taproot  into the soils of Facebook. Plant it in the Independent Web.” Therefore, if your promotions and the results of SEO drive visitors to www.Facebook.com/YourCompany; that would mean that ALL of the data is Facebook’s to exploit. Instead, if you drive people to www.YourCompany.com/Facebook, you at least “own”  the data that led them to your Facebook account.

So consider that, when registering an Internet domain name  and signing up for a hosting account, you end up with a blank canvas on a wall anyone in the world can see. What you put on that canvas is entirely up to you and what data you gain is yours. That’s the real value of the Independent Web and why Go Daddy has supported it from the start. Oh, and be sure to remember that if you build a website  – but choose to use a free hosting service or  free email address  – you are giving the host company free reign to place their ads on your site and subsequently harvest your data from it.   And remember, obtaining a good domain and driving lots of the world’s population to your site on the Independent Web means you have created a real value in the virtual world.

So what does this  mean to you? If at some point you find you no longer need it, check out how Elliot Silver and his blog (ElliotsBlog.com) followers have turned domain names into re-sellable properties worth from hundreds to millions of dollars; just try to do that with a Facebook page!

* Third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Guest Post: Domaining and a Dude Ranch

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This is a guest post from Peter Askew who has generously supported the Ronald McDonald House. I am hoping to raise $10,000 for RMH in 2012, and I invite you to contribute to help. It’s a great organization!

Howdy!

First off, a gracious ‘thank you’ to Elliot for allowing us to guest post. Runnin’ a blog ain’t easy, especially a blog that provides insightful info week in, week out. How he does it, and operate a successful domain development enterprise at the same time, I’ll never know. Cheers to him.

I initially planned to share some info on how I acquired, developed, and currently manage my travel-based site, DudeRanch.com, but as I put myself into the reader’s shoes, that topic didn’t seem to strike my fancy.

Then I thought, ‘Hell, everyone takes vacations – why not take this time to expose other folks on how amazing dude ranch vacations are, and how some ranches rival the finest 5-star accommodations across the country.’

So that’s what I decided : )

To explain more about this travel niche, I thought it might be helpful to break down the 3 main categories that ranches have evolved into: a Working Dude Ranch, a Recreational Dude Ranch, and a Resort Dude Ranch. All a little different, all a little awesome.

A Working dude ranch concentrates on an authentic ranch experience – herding cattle, tending to horses (feeding, grooming, saddling), ranch chores, and horseback riding (ie. what most folks associate with a typical dude ranch). You’re fully absorbed into the team and pitch in on daily ranch activities. They don’t intend to work you to the bone here, but they encourage some level of participation. Great for folks who want an active vacation – less great for folks looking lazy R&R. Sample Working Dude Ranch: Triangle X Ranch in Wyoming: http://www.trianglex.com/

A Recreational dude ranch focuses on relaxation and participation in activities throughout the day (think pools, tennis courts, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, horseback riding). They’ll allow visitors to pitch in on any working elements of the ranch, but mainly focus on recreation & adventure activities crafted for individuals and families alike. It’s a perfect medium, honestly. Transform into a ranch-hand one day, morph into a mountain hiker the next. Sample Recreational Dude Ranch: Lost Valley Ranch in Colorado: http://www.lostvalleyranch.com

And finally, a Resort style dude ranch focuses on high-end accommodations & activities such as trap & skeet shooting, Orvis fly-fishing,   an on-site Spa, geo-thermal heated pools, and   – of course – horseback riding. (ie. these ain’t dust kicking destinations – they rival any 5-star accommodation I’ve ever been to.) Simply put, they’re high-end and becoming more and more popular every year. They provide all of the experience of a working or recreational dude ranch, wrapped in a resort atmosphere. A win-win if you ask me. Sample Resort Dude Ranch: Brush Creek Ranch & Spa in Wyoming: http://www.brushcreekranch.com

All three unique and advantageous in their own way.

And don’t forget, most ranches are all-inclusive, meaning lodging, meals & activities are included in the base price. Something to keep in mind as other destinations tend to nickel-and-dime you.

And if you’d like to tear your kids away from their mobile devices and cell phones, you might not find a better location, as most ranches are tucked away in remote locations with limited cell and internet coverage. Most don’t even offer TV’s : )

To research other Working, Recreational, or Resort style ranches, drop on by our site. We have over 200 dude ranch vacation destinations listed and have them organized by state as well as region. Also, feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, as we’ll be live posting our upcoming August dude ranch road-trip through Wyoming & Colorado! One of our planned stops is The Brush Creek Ranch & Spa, so stay tuned for an up & close and personal visit to that location!

And congratulations. You now have a new vacation destination to consider : )

Thanks a ton for reading, and here’s hoping we’ll see you on the range!

Guest Post for Charity

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I will be traveling for a couple of weeks at the beginning of July, and I want to extend an offer I made last year.

Although I’ve been writing a series of articles with tips and business information that aren’t time sensitive to be posted while I am not around, there are still some time slots where I don’t have anything yet to post on my blog.  I am offering three guest post opportunities on my blog for you to discuss a product or service, and the cost of each is a $500 donation to my favorite non profit organization, the Ronald McDonald House.

Your article can be about almost anything related to the domain industry. It can be to introduce a new product or service, discuss a current product or service, or discuss your company and how it may benefit domain investors who read my blog. The article will be prefaced with some information about your donation to RMH, so people will know that you made a generous contribution to help children with cancer and their families.

Although I retain the final say over what can be posted (just to cover my rear), you can write the article and send it to me in the next two weeks and we can work together to choose the best time to post the article.

Feel free to email me with questions or post “I’ll take one spot” to reserve your spot!

Guest Post: John Colascione on His New Website Book & Why He Wrote It

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This is a guest post written by John Colascione, author of the recently published book, Mastering Your Website: Insider’s Guide To Fully Understanding Your Website, Search Engine Optimization and Building Your Brand, now available on Amazon. I asked John to write a guest post to discuss his background and the book. Feel free to ask any question in the comment section.

Hello, My name is John Colascione and since you’re reading this blog I think it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re a bit into domaining like myself. Thanks to Elliot, I’ve been given the pleasure as well as the honor of posting here on ElliotsBlog.com to both announce the recent release of my book “Mastering Your Website” as well as share some of my thoughts about “Search” in general and a little about me.

Guest Post: Tourism Organizations & Domain Names

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This is a guest post written by Rob Sequin, who has been a domain investor since 1999 and a domain broker since 2004. He specializes as a domain buyer broker and sales broker in travel related and geodomains. He just started the Travel Domain Newsletter featuring travel domain related news, domains wanted and domains for sale.

A while back Elliot wrote a great article “Visit Geo Domain Names Owned by Tourism Boards & CVBs”  that generated more than 100 comments.

I have been an active buyer, seller and broker of geodomains and travel related domains so when I saw the Exhibitor List from the recent New York Travel Show, I was curious to see the domain names that tourism organizations were using to promote their regions.

I was generally impressed to learn that most of these organizations appreciate the value of a good domain name. Some use pure geo domains, others use .travel and some use a prefix such as visit or go so most are using decent to high quality domain names.

Here is a list of tourism related organizations that recently exhibited at the New York Travel Show:

  • Africa Travel Association – AfricaTravelAssociation.org
  • Alaska – TravelAlaska.com
  • Anguilla Tourist Board – IVisitAnguilla.com
  • Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association – AntiquaHotels.org
  • Argentina National Institute of Tourism Promotion –  Argentina.travel
  • Aruba Tourism Authority –  Aruba.com
  • Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority –  AlanticCityNJ.com
  • Barbados Tourism Authority –  VisitBarbados.org
  • Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel –  FortMyers-Sanibel.com
  • Belize Hotel Association –  BelizeHotels.org
  • Belize Tourism Board –  TravelBelize.org
  • Botswana Tourism –  BotswanaTourism.us
  • British Virgin Islands Tourist Board –  BVITourism.com
  • Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Education Foundation – CaribbeanHotelAssociation.com
  • Caribbean Tourism Organization – CaribbeanTravel.com
  • Cartagena de Indias Tourism Board – CartagenaDeIndias.travel
  • Cayman Islands Department of Tourism – CaymanIslands.ky
  • Central Florida Visitors & Convention Bureau – VisitCentralFlorida.org
  • China National Tourist Office – CNTO.org
  • Costa Rica Tourist Board (ICT) – VisitCostaRica.com
  • Croatian National Tourist Board – Croatia.hr
  • Cruise Line International Association – Cruising.org
  • Cruise Planners/American Express – CruisePlanners.com
  • Curacao Tourism Corporation – Curacao.com
  • CYPRUS TOURISM ORGANIZATION – VisitCyprus.com
  • Czech Tourism – CzechTourism.com
  • Discover Dominica – Dominica.dm
  • Dominican Republic Tourism Board – GoDominicanRepublic.com
  • Dutchess County Tourism – Hudson Valley Region – DuchessTourism.com
  • Ecuador Ministry of Tourism – Ecuador.travel
  • Egyptian Tourist Authority – Egypt.travel
  • Embratur-Brazilian Tourist Board – BrazilTour.com
  • Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau – EmeraldCoastFL.com
  • Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation – VisitFlorida.com
  • FLORIDA TREASURE COAST – TreasureCoast.com
  • Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism – VisitSpaceCoast.com
  • Hungarian National Tourist Office – GoToHungary.com
  • India Tourism – IncredibleIndia.org
  • Israel Ministry of – Tourism GoIsrael.com
  • Jamaica Tourist Board – VisitJamaica.com
  • Japan National Tourism Organization – JapanTravelInfo.com
  • Jordan Tourism Board North America – VisitJordan.com
  • KOREA TOURISM ORGANIZATION – VisitKorea.or.kr
  • Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce & CVB – LakeGeorgeChamber.com
  • Louisiana North – ExploreLouisianaNorth.org
  • Louisiana Tourism Coastal Coalition – VisitLouisianaCoast.com
  • Louisiana’s Wetlands Cultural Trail – VisitLaFourche.com
  • Maine Office of Tourism – VisitMaine.com
  • Martinique Promotion Bureau – Martinique.org
  • Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism – MassVacation.com
  • Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau – GoHawaii.com
  • Mexico Tourism Board – VisitMexico.com
  • Ministry of sport and tourism of Kamchatskiy krai – VisitKamchatka.com
  • Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Uruguay – UruguayNatural.com
  • Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia – TourismCambodia.org
  • Mongolian Travel – MongolianTravel.com
  • Moroccan National Tourist Office – VisitMorocco.com
  • Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce – MtWashingtonValley.org
  • Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) – NambiaTourism.com.na
  • Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board – NassauParadiseIsland.com
  • New Brunswick Tourism – ACTP-PTCA.ca
  • New Jersey Travel & Tourism – VisitNJ.org
  • New Smyrna Beach Visitor Center – NSBFLA.com
  • NH Division of Travel & Tourism – VisitNH.gov
  • NICARAGUAN TOURISM BOARD – VisitNicaragua.com
  • Pacific Asia Travel Association – PATA NY Chapter – PATA.org
  • Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism – VisitPalmSprings.com
  • Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau – VisitPanamaCityBeach.com
  • Panama Tourism Authority – VisitPanama.com
  • Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority – PapuaNewGuinea.travel
  • PENNSYLVANIA’S LAUREL HIGHLANDS – LaurelHighlands.org
  • Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce – VisitPensacola.com
  • Phillipine Tourism – ExperiencePhillipines.org
  • Puerto Rico Tourism Company – SeePuertoRico.com
  • Quito Tourism – Quito.com.ec
  • Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau – RCVB.com.br
  • Romanian National Tourist Office – RomaniaTourism.com
  • Saint Lucia Tourist Board – StLuciaNow.com
  • Ski Areas of New York, Inc. – iSkiNY.com
  • South African Tourism –  SouthAfrica.com
  • Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau – SriLanka.travel
  • St. Kitts & Nevis Tourism Authority – StKittsTourism.kn
  • St. Lucie County Tourism – VisitStLucieFLA.com
  • St. Maarten Tourist Office – VacationStMaarten.com
  • St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau – VisitStPeteClearwater.com
  • Stowe & Okemo, Vermont & Green Mountain Railroad – GoStowe.com
  • Sullivan County Visitors Association – SCVA.net
  • Tahiti Tourisme North America – Tahiti-Tourisme.com
  • Taiwan Tourism Bureau Office in New York – TBROC.gov.tw
  • Tanzania Tourist Board – TanzaniaTouristBoard.com
  • The Tourism Authority of Thailand – TourismThailand.org
  • Tobago Division of Tourism and Transportation – VisitTobago.gov.tt
  • Tourism Council of Bhutan – Tourism.gov.bt
  • Tourism Fiji – FijiMe.tv
  • Tourism Malaysia – Tourism.gov.my
  • Tourism Prince Edward Island – TourismPEI.com
  • Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Development Company – GoTrinidadAndTobago.com
  • Turks and Caicos Tourist Board – TurksAndCaicosTourism.com
  • Ulster County Tourism – UlsterCountyAlive.com
  • United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism – VisitUSVI.com
  • Utah Marketing Organization – VisitUtah.com
  • Virginia Tourism – VisitShenandoah.org
  • Visit Orlando – VisitOrlando.com
  • Visit Tallahassee – VisitTallahassee.com
  • Whiteface/Lake Placid – WhiteFace.com
  • ZAMBIA TOURISM BOARD – ZambiaTourism.com

I like most of these domains. There is good use of .travel, Visit.. and country codes. All of these are very appropriate.

I have to give credit to these organizations that are using the pure geo brand; the Aruba Tourism Authority using Aruba.com, the Curacao Tourism Corporation using Curacao.com and the South African Tourism Board using SouthAfrica.com.

There are some acronym domains that I suppose are appropriate but they certainly won’t get much search engine love and may not be easy to remember. I have to point out the really bad domains in the list… New Brunswick Tourism using ACTP-PTCA.ca, India Tourism using IncredibleIndia.org, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Uruguay using UruguayNatural.com and Tahiti Tourisme North America using Tahiti-Tourisme.com. Sorry but in the US we spell it tourism.

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