Crain’s Confirms Acquisition

It appears that Crain’s Chicago Business has confirmed the Chicago Sun-Times acquired the business back in June, as reported by SV 411 this August. founder Josh Metnick was retained by the Chicago Sun-Times parent company, Wrapports, LLC.

Here’s an excerpt from an article posted this morning on Crain’s website:

“When Chicago Sun-Times parent Wrapports LLC bought Inc. in June, it got more than the domain name business. The company also snagged the business’ owner, Josh Metnick, as its chief technology officer.”

Josh contributed to the article, providing information about his new role as CTO. In addition to working on a variety of “strategic technology initiatives” and recruiting technology professionals to the company, Josh will continue to focus on the sale of email addresses. He did not provide any financial details about the sale of, nor did the article mention how successful his company has been at selling email addresses.

Congratulations to Josh on the sale of the company.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. CentralNic has many pseudo-extensions that are available for domain registration same way as But CentralNic has much better names (such as US.COM) and many, many… When you check CentralNic financial results, you see that it is not such great business as you would expect. So why to believe registrations under is better business? I doubt it. I see huge value in domain name, but I see almost no value in related domain registration business.

  2. Mark,

    I believe where is making most of their money is in email addresses rather than subdomains, although that is a part. Many local professionals have ponied up a lot of money for these vanity email addresses because they can associate themselves with the location. is a powerful brand in the Chicago market. It is a very interesting way to use a geo-domain rather than just building a newspaper-style or travel website.


    First I landed here looking up information about geodomains.

    I searched geodomain case law and it is refreshing to see some of these same guys (ladies

    where are you?) in tabs that I open to read when I don’t want to be connected to the

    internet. Elliot Silver I see often in print and his photo, besides him when I see some of

    these gentlemen’s name I recognize them. Congradulations with your accomplishments.

    So you searched case law… yes… and landed here… yes… ok cool.


    I registered mostly every available domain name of communities in Massachusetts pure

    meaning name + .com, .org & or .net (applied for .edu and .mil – ask). Did deals with some

    men woman and other entities including but not limited to foreign, domestic & *Soverign

    Nations that I hope read this.(*Indian Tribe Tribal).

    Ok so you registred like which ones?
    Too many to immediately recall. But you can actually use the WayBackMachine to get close to

    that answer if you look under “Commwealth Internet Services (CIS) Communities for sale

    lease or rent.”

    So we had about 50 communities in Massachusetts and NH ( Simultaneously while

    researching which ones to buy from Internic [then the part of the National Science

    Foundation (an offspring from DARPA) later NetworkSolutions ( now I think they

    may be owned by Im not sure] I was also grabbing /registering State Capitals and

    (Montpieler VT) and other names that applied to (m)any industri(es) including but not

    limited to (CIS) (CIS) (CIS) (Ask about the meeting

    I had with the Banking Head of Business Development about me and my four friends a/k/a the

    lowell five)

    Here is a fun fact: Whi… Actually I was getting excited before smoking (medical) weed.

    Then just now sat back after medicating (getting high) (blasted etc) anyway so The fun fact

    was about some of the other non geodomains like… Side track dude check

    this out I was sent a letter before from the Goverment of Australia before telling me that

    I could no longer be the Registrant of fucking u excuse me (HELLO TO THE GENTLEMAN THAT BOUGHT / REGISTERED IT UNTIL IT IS




    SOMERVILLE.COM (CIS) FOXWOOD.COM (CIS). SIDE side note through an upcoming case I am

    involved in which is why i landed here as a result of the Century 21 Century21 breach of


    ___ Alright so back on track smoke a cigarette. Omg < and I hate OMG i also don't like when

    people use my time to read lol since they are liars nobody usually laughs out loud and then

    notifies anyone that they just literally laughed out loud. If anything they have a happy

    feeling inside their heads. ok up QUESTION TIME ok READY???????????

    Question Here we go. Would you market more than

    and what are positives negatives neutrals and I would need more inputs of each?

    Ok anyway. Wow Mental Health Issues are an issue of 2016 Trump Interview ok um Self

    Interview Im at this Doma

    www dot domainiq dot com slash nameQUESTIONMAKRJosh_Metnick

    Josh Metnick whos this guy who is Josh Menick Hey Joshua Contact Ray URGENT Paging Josh

    Call 718x290x5689

    Basically I have a chance right now to change and help guide the law of the internet

    valuations. Both of my cases are consistently referred to when people try to win their

    cases not so much with the last case we did but that case is still not over with for


    IMMEDIATELY CONTACT RAY REDICAN JR (CIS). THE court ordered the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal

    Nation (MPTN) to pay me for the cost of obtaining, maintaining and in reasigning the domain

    name This case I can't really talk about due to protective orders secret

    secrecy laws national security tribal treaties and just a lot of other shit any way they

    paid but since they have not paid in full the domain name is unusable. The casino indian

    tribe etc paid through someone else but at the time of receiveing the $ CBNO (CIS) REDICIAN

    ETC WROTE WITH SIGNATURE OF REDICAN WAS Were clear the amount we were receiving at that


    I use to know that I had a contract on my life taken out by people not or in associated or

    not with or without the tribe. Very scary. I was assigned protective details in a secure

    luxury location during getting me from certain places throughout massachusetts and

    connecticut. During one of the switch driver pass off with me being the pass off during one

    of these pass offs from getting me from one place to the other my driver disappeared

    amongst a immediate flash flood of people at a out of the way area far from mostly anywhere

    that I know where I am and no idea how to get to anywhere I know. So during the me getting

    switched to new driver flash of people my guy disappears im where I dont know I did not

    bring a gun or any weapon or self defence mace tazer etc so im fucked im mentally thinking

    the indians are going to hit me (as in this is it) I call a group of people I know speak to

    some trustingish people asking where I am so I was in somewhere between CT and MA at a BUS

    Terminal GreyHound I think My Bus after my detail driver security disappeared and this was

    then final leg we found out there were no more busses so i was stranded i was like are you

    fucking kidding me seriously I didn't even have that much weed left i was pissed. No I'm by

    myself trying to get a bus to bring me to Lowell, MA from Worcester with no scheduled

    departures. The hours on my gold Rolex (I don't have that watch anymore ask what happened)

    passed by only like twice though and I had to take over the situation. Ask what I did to

    have a bus take me to where I needed to go then I had my asian friends/associates get me to

    a home base. Anyway wow. Self Interviewer

    …If anyone has read this congradulations thats awesome. You probably think most people

    suck unless I'm wrong which I'm probably not. Everyones like you have a great idea but they

    don't really do shit you know what I mean.

    Anyway if anyone wants to get into bitcoin mining rigs and wants to get into any of the

    domain names I list or you discover that I may have control of or want to invest in CBNO or

    (CIS) or this next law suit or if your smart know programming languages know how to do

    amazing work online like a true Picasso and can fuck with industries distrubt the whats now

    with what I want mixed in with your special sauce

    Ill post this but could keep going












    woudl pay a specific fee unless the commission was more so logically they owe me commission

    for every month after their last monthly payment otherwise they would have just paid the

    known of monthly specific payment. In addition to that they owe me for having lost my (CIS). In the contract it stated that they were to pay the yearly renewal

    registration fee to Network Solutions for (CIS) (CIS) (CIS). They did that then missed a payment which resulted in me losing the (CIS) to someone in Queensland Australia that wants $15,000. — WOW


    BUY A .COM.AU and I can buy my domain back which i wasn't suppose to ever lose I can buy my

    stuff back from an Australian company thats messed up. Wow ok.

    If your serious call me 718 x290 x5689 or email me forcal at outlook dot com


    you will get either $25 in cash or $50 in tuna fish coupons. There is a settlement that if

    you are a citizen of the USA (and basically buy/eat tuna) you are entitled to money. This

    is not bullshit. My name is Ray Redican jr. Google my name. I have assest that I need to be

    monetized are my best ones proven to date that I have 100%

    control of right now.

    Check this out. This might turn into a legal battle why not right everything else does. But

    check this out. Every hear of the word or words hovertraxing hoverboarding like those

    segways with no handlebars just the platform part alternative forms of transportation they

    have the gyromoter or something like that in them to allow self balancing got popular with

    Michael J. Fox in Back to the future Back 2 The Future. So while searching for hover

    traxing companies this reminded me about when roller blading was super popular and I was

    looking for roller blade companies well now its the same thing all over again because all

    of a sudden i stumble across a company named Investest or Inventist something like that and

    they have something called Hover Trax or HoverTrax hovertrax so thats the part that reminds

    me of because of the company that Benetton sP.a had that was involved in

    the inline skating market (i hardly ever refer to their company name) ok so hovertraxing im

    gettting into since a close person in my life purchased one of these they go for about $2k

    on the high end and you can get cheap ones for $400 if your lucky with shipping. Anyway so

    there are as of this writing only less than 100,000 units sold world wide in the hands of

    end consumers upon information and belife. Actually i was watching CBNC this summer and

    this one company PhunkeeDuck or something like that said they have only sold 20K of them so

    far and they are one of the stand outs in this space so im estimating one hundered thousand


    I googled Hovertraxing to measure the keyword demand to make sure before buying there was a growing demand in the queried word(s) traxing and hover.

    Empherical evidence dictates there is growing wide spread rampant 3rd party public and

    private usage of the generic term(s) hover & traxing; hover traxing; hovertraxing to

    describe an non-athletic alternative form of personal transportation as recognized by

    multiple 3rd parties in english and other languages throughout the world including hover

    boarding hoverboarding (which is not really "hovering").

    So I determined that hovertraxing was something that had a number of enthuasiasts that

    mention hovertraxing to articulate personal and other stories all before I got my idea to

    google hovertraxing. When I googled hovertraxing there was results because neither I nor

    the company that sells a product called hovertrax invented the word. Hovertraxing and

    hovertrax are commonly known word(s) associated with the act of being engaged / riding a

    hovertrax personal mobility scooter Ray Redican has not created the word hovertraxing

    rather Redican through CBNO (CIS) has taken advantage of registering a domain name as a

    common word(s) that the public has created for hovertraxing not to disrubt the business of

    a company that has tried to sell a product under the name of the activity the product


    "I need to assert rights and don't want to hurt them so I could expand and make the above

    sound better but thats good for now without destroying them" (CIS) is new and its an exciting industry I spoke to Inventist / Hovertrax

    company some lady at the company told me that she really didn't care what I registered for

    the domain name and that it was ok. Some time after that I had the domain registered.

    Before registering the domain name the woman at Inventist stated to me

    that their company wouldn't object to the registration of

    anyway so yeah hovertraxing was around before I came up with the idea of googling it. I

    wanted to make sure I wouldn't get into trouble with registering the name so Im pretty sure

    I saw was available. Then I tried registering it, the credit card I had

    there was a problem with so I freaked out because I thought the guy at NetSol was fucking

    with me telling me I had a problem with the cc so then I thought ok now he or one of his

    cronies or some computer program with a algorithm to register everything was going to

    register my because my cc wasn't working. I didn't want to tell anyone and

    I had to wait until I got paid as I just tapped out so that was like two weeks. I could of

    got it paid but i kind of wanted the thrill of having to wait to get funds on that card

    fixed so that was like a couple weeks ish after waiting that time or in between i don't

    know everything happened kind of quick minus the two weeks of waiting but googled hover

    traxing seen its something in the public marketplace so i spoke to Inventis to make sure i

    would not be met with objection. After receiving permission to go ahead and do whatever I

    want that it was ok and they wouldn't complain or raise any legal issue we had registered.

    Now i have (use to own so i have hovertraxing (what is hovertraxing where can I buy

    cigarettes and weed?) s

    Now just like with i never rollerbladed i have never hovertraxed HEY

    SOMEONE OUT THERE CHECK maybe available then we can do a deal. Anyway

    After researching the market because thats what I do. A market interests me for example: (CIS) – All other sports besides the one that your reading about (CIS) Rollerblading vertical (CIS) Dracut, MA (CIS) See USPTO.GOV Trademark (CIS) Entities will be searching where can I buy cigarettes and weed

    just an idea. (CIS) hover traxing

    SO i researched hovertraxing and in my reading there was this serial entreprenuer an asian

    gentlemen that I learned is the head main guy at this Inventist company. The lady i spoke

    with that told me I would not encounter any objection said that she was the decision maker

    and that she didn't need to get anyone elses input. Now after reading about Inventist I

    learn of this cool asian man that I get his name I forget it right now but anyway I get his

    name and I love when I see something on Television on the web or a movie like an actor or

    someone in the article I lilke being able to speak directly to that human. That is really

    awesome to me and I have a way of getting to people that I want while remaining a ghost

    myself. The casino case with the contract on my life and now the Cendant Apollo Group

    Century 21 case is causing intentional infliction of emotional distress severe pain

    insomnia anxiety loss of companionship 3rd party relationships including but not limited to

    other (health) problems the tribal domain case and now this realesate one has made taken me

    out of society for a while. Now Im back and its about to get fun my name is Ray Redican I

    need your help. Google my name google your name.

    Google these phrases

    Ray Redican madonna

    Ray Redican Lowell Sun

    Ray Redican (the name of my attorney in the lowell sun story 2010 if you put my name and

    his name and the word madonna you will see results with us three. If you help me out I can

    get you exposure that puts you in search indexes along with me and madonna like i did for

    that attorney that i no longer have he was an idiot needs new glasses [and shoes] couldn't

    see the vision).

    Ray Redican Julia Fiona Roberts wipo p/k/a Sting

    Ray Redican $19,999,999

    D2000-0427 WIPO

    3:02-cv-1828 (JCH) Bridgeport, CT Federal Civil Janet C. Hall – side not this judge is a

    ***t she lied in her Memorandum of Decision using fradulent evidence to guide her decision

    making process that led her to rule against me in only 2 of the 10is charges that I lost

    (we maintain rights to (CIS) there is not statute of limitations if the

    decision was not constitutional)

    Wow thank you Bob. I woke up at 10:13pm today spoke to the owner/ registrant of

    LowellMA.Com for almost two hours. I sold LowellMA.COM to him through 10-15

    years ago and was going through my paperwork prepairing for the real estate case I have

    coming up and i use to have and I sold and I was

    looking to see if i can get a copy of the sales paperwork. I no longer have my copy. If I

    had to guess I think it was less than $3,000 at that time around year 2000 but it could

    have been the one i sold for the least which was only $850 (eight hundred fifty dollars).

    That was a good deal for both parties since the buyer wanted it and I only paid the NetSol

    fee for it and its very good that he still has the domain and its better that he is with

    the CitiesUnlimited and I noticed he has two people on the contact page

    (that doesn't work on my cell) that I can reach out to also.

    Hey if you are reading this and this is your domain name I would appreciate it if you allow

    me to post this. The issues I bring up above people need to hear. My name is Raymond R.

    Redican Jr. Raymond Richard Robert Redican Junior CBNO is Center for Business and Not For

    Profit Organization's; Commonwealth Internet Serivces (CIS).

    I need to make it so that when someone comes to my website that they can sign up

    to become a member, make a classified advertisement for free with add ons to pay for a

    sponsorship like BACKPAGE.COM AND EBAYCLASSIFIEDS.COM, renew the ad. Must monetize All my files were deleted. My next lawsuit is coming.

    I'm going to win so if you want to be part of all this lmk also if you have experience with

    writting a book its about time for me (like my grandfather) to write a boook. In other news

    I was the first student in the history to get kicked out of Middlesex Community College

    accused of hacking the IT department getting into the professors records and changing my

    grades, this was a front page story in the lowell sun in 1997 (ask about details); I

    created that schools FIRST investment club and had members sign up at RaymondJames

    Securities with Dick Heny (Dick is an awesome guy). Transfered to UMass Lowell where I was

    expelled or suspended for violation of wire transfer wire tapping if you can go to look under Professor Martin Moser or mosser it had to do with a grade that I

    didn't like a project that I had to do and had to get excused from due to what ever the

    doctor said, this Martin character threated me on tape (the ones that you use for dictation

    learning aides) this recording somehow made it online the professor was affraid for his

    life was on heart medication and felt threatened – pussy (cat)… anyway i was ASK IF YOU

    WANT THE FULL STORY i was escorted out of UMASS LOWELL by state and campus police lost my

    internal bullshit trial by abstentia they wanted me to hire a school attorney yeah ok not i

    wanted to and wasn't allowed to hire a real attorney i was flush with money at the time so

    but they were scared but they filed at the real court where I was allowed to win by hiring

    the best attorney money and favors can buy in the city of the university Luis Saab so with

    Saab on my side we of course won but that screwed me up because i was kicked out of MCC

    then now ULowell (I registered before) wow so while this was happening i get

    invited to attend M.I.I Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Ken Morse at the M.I.T.

    eSloan School of Business Management Cambridge, MA I got invited to attend a semester for

    free. This school MIT was the best experience I have ever had in my life as far as school.

    MCC AND UMASS you get one professor in a low star surrounding. MIT you get stadium seating

    with every seat your in next to a plug for power and then internet maybe plug in dial up or

    wifi i forget. While looking downward in class you see your 2-3 professors yes more than

    one always. Every class we had minimum 2 professors. It was cool so one time i think we had

    3 maybe 4 professors down front all super smart people very successful money guys guys that

    have done it and women also all colors all nationalities all respect so we are in class and

    that day we have technology companies visit one was that was cool and we had

    many other companies from Sillicon Valley come for speaches.

    One gathering that Mike Whiting and I attended one evening Networking or something one oh

    yeah it was the M.I.T. 50k that we were entering one Asian man from California said to me

    and Mike Whiting (my friend) in the front of the class when we approached him for questions

    after he stepped down this asian guy said about (CIS) when I showed him

    my lanyard / keychain he's like oh you don't even have to ask thats worth $10,000,000 ten

    million all day from where I am from in California.

    I have assets that need to be developed. I need to surround myself with smart people that

    can get shit done. I have no money to offer you i have the asset that needs to be

    developed. I want a fully automated monetized domain. We can set up all transactions to go

    through you and you pay me after you already get the money. These assets being developed

    are more important than me what we do now determines (y)our place in history. RRRRJ (CIS)


    That’s why you need David Weslow
    of Wiley Rein. Go search for David Weslow on DomainSherpa See for yourself at

    Sign up at to get 20 free credits and start building and monetizing your
    domains today.

    If you own a geographic domain name and you are interested in monetizing it, there are

    quite a few different business models available to you. One of them is to sell email

    address on that domain name, and today’s guest has the industry’s most developed product

    offering in that category.
    I would like to welcome to the show Josh Metnick, CEO of

    we were spending about two thousand dollars a month supporting about fifteen email users

    because we still had a server and a dedicated call facility with its own software.

    “Well, how about if I pay you five hundred dollars for” So, I put the

    phone down and trying not to make some kind of noise, indicate some level of shock I guess.

    Josh: And so we went to Tony and we told him, “Look, this guy wants to buy

    for five hundred dollars. Do you want to split it with us 50/50, so it would be 250/250,”

    and Tony said, “No, not interested.” We were like: “What? You know what I mean?Josh: But he

    said no. I mean I thought he was crazy and I thought the other guy was crazy for offering

    five hundred. So, we could have repossessed it, I guess. I mean I get questions like: “Why

    didn’t you just take back the name?” And when somebody is depending upon their email, to

    repossess somebody’s email is a pretty drastic thing to do. So what we decided to do was to

    just let them negotiate and see if they can figure out a price. And the bidding got up to

    two thousand dollars. So, Tony wanted it, offered two thousand dollars, and then Tony who

    had it turned him down. He said no, and that is where the negotiation stopped. So I thought

    they were both crazy. I mean I thought Tony #1 was crazy for offering two thousand dollars

    and I thought Tony #2 was crazy for turning it down. So, I had this whole kind of diatribe

    that wound up in my head. I was going to yell at Tony, basically, and tell him that he was

    really stupid to turn it down. I literally slept on it, like I forgot to get around really

    to yelling at Tony. People who know me pretty well – I get distracted by cool things pretty

    easily, so I just never got around to yelling at Tony. But I fell asleep. When I woke up in

    the morning, I was thinking to myself: “What would I sell for,” and there

    is no way I would sell it for two thousand dollars. A lot of that has to do with the fact

    that it has been my digital identity for so long.

    Josh: But we decided to try it with that price point – two hundred dollars. So, we were

    going to go back to these fifteen users. This was our first real pricing experiment. We

    have done a number of these over the last eighteen months. So we went back to those fifteen

    users and basically wrote them a nice letter, but said, “We have costs as well and to

    support this, if you want to keep your email address at, it is going to be two

    hundred dollars a year, Michael: So, twelve out of fifteen said they would pay you two

    hundred bucks a year to keep the email addresses that they have been using. Josh: But

    paying for it formalized the relationship, where they knew, with assurance that they could

    hold on to it.e

    it was clear that we had to write some kind of system that would automate the fulfillment

    of the names. So that is when we decided to start building out @identity, and that was

    Ammar Kubba in Los Angeles. No, I’m sorry. He was Fort Lauderdale for Florida, who was at

    TRAFFIC Conference. So I met with Ammar Kubba for lunch.

    becoming like a registrar for email addresses of People did not actually buy

    them and own them. They were just the registrant for a specified period of time.

    it was clear that we had to write some kind of system that would automate the

    fulfillment of the names. So that is when we decided to start building out @identity, and

    that was Ammar Kubba in Los Angeles. No, I’m sorry. He was Fort Lauderdale for Florida, who

    was at TRAFFIC Conference. So I met with Ammar Kubba for lunch.

    Identity LLC, which was the platform behind @Chicago that enables other domain names to do

    what we are doing.

    Josh: Okay, so we are still doing some price experiments. So, somebody approached us about

    three months ago or so, and they wanted And they had already purchased

    one name from us. I think they had purchased It was a bankruptcy

    attorney. And he bought that from us at $299 a year, and then he said, “I really like” We were like: “Well, that is probably going to cost a little bit more

    than, but how much more we do not know.” And I will get to kind of

    where we are going right now, but the pricing we just kind of picked it out of thin air. We

    were like: “Okay. Well, how about seven hundred and fifty dollars upfront, and seven

    hundred and fifty dollars a year?” And he said, “Great, let’s do it.” Okay, done. I tell

    that story to people and they are like: “How could you let go for seven

    hundred and fifty dollars a year?” If you would have told me two years ago that I would

    sell for seven hundred and fifty dollars setup fee and seven hundred and

    fifty dollars a year, I would have thought you were insane.

    Josh: And that is why we are moving towards an auction model, but we are still testing some

    others. We have some buy now options, similar to Ebay, where you can decided whether you

    want to buy it now for a higher price or wait for the auction.

    Josh: We did some price testing over the last twenty-four hours that it was bumped to $99 a


    Michael: Okay. Great, and that is $49 every single year, and are you allowed to raise the

    rates or, as long as I continue to pay, I am locked into $49 per year?

    I wanted, because that is a premium word, that might come at a higher

    price point. Is that correct?
    Josh: Yeah. Correct.

    Michael: Okay, and so, right now, can I go on there and buy or must I go

    through this auction that we are going to talk about?
    Josh: Okay. So, we were doing the auction in two phases, so we have phase one auction and

    phase two auction. The phase one auction – I think the auction closes end of May or first

    week of June. I forget, but somewhere around that timeframe. We are only taking 576 names

    to auction at that phase. Those 576 names consist of roughly two hundred keyword names, as

    we call them. So,,, etc. And we have a list of

    those names. It is in pool system. You can see them all. And one hundred of the most

    popular last names from the United States Social Security Database is about 176 or so first

    names, female and male first names combined.
    Michael: Yeah, your math is correct there. Great, so 576 names going through phase one. And

    so, basically, you are saying let the market determine the price.
    Josh: Yeah.
    Michael: Is there a minimum threshold? Does it have to be $49 opening bid?
    Josh: We have minimum thresholds in tiers, and those tiers fall into three categories. Our

    least expensive product – FirstName.LastName – is $49 a year recurring.

    Josh: So the first tier is $49, the second tier is $249, and the third tier is $499. The

    $249 a year is for a first name or a last name. $49 a year is what we call Name Plus, which

    would be a first name or a last name with one initial on either site of it. So, like

    MichaelC or MCyger.

    Josh: And the $499 a year is for the keyword names, which includes the domain names. I

    think that is important to remember. When you buy, the subdomain name

    travels with it. You buy rights to as well, and we do not split those

    rights because we think it would be strange to sell one to one identity and another to


    And I am the only one to put in a bid at $499 and I get it for $499. Can I do what many

    domain name investors do – buy it and then go out and find somebody to pay more for it and

    sell it?
    Josh: Yeah, we allow explicit transfer rights. So, we treat them very similarly to domain

    names. And we have had a few domainers who have done that. Like somebody bought and These are domainers who bought, I think, So there have been a few domainers that have picked up on some

    pretty good names.

    Josh: Marketing. Yeah, lack of marketing power. So, the Chicago Tribune deal was signed on

    February 26th, which was a critical deal. It was – I don’t know – nine or ten months of

    negotiations with them, and that is a multimillion-dollar marketing deal over three years.

    Michael: Yeah. Okay, so you have just put in place a marketing partnership agreement with

    the Chicago Tribune Media Group. It is a multi-year deal that will reach hundreds of

    thousands of people around the Chicago area.

    However, the Chicago Tribune owns WGN, a Television Station. They own CLTV. It is a 24-hour

    Chicago-based news channel. They own Hoy, their largest Spanish language daily. We have

    sold Spanish language names. We have sold and So,

    I think they have eighty-something suburban newspapers. They have got huge web properties.

    They have got direct email lists of millions.

    However, the Chicago Tribune owns WGN, a Television Station. They own CLTV. It is a 24-hour

    Chicago-based news channel. They own Hoy, their largest Spanish language daily. We have

    sold Spanish language names. We have sold and So,

    I think they have eighty-something suburban newspapers. They have got huge web properties.

    They have got direct email lists of millions.However, the Chicago Tribune owns WGN, a

    Television Station. They own CLTV. It is a 24-hour Chicago-based news channel. They own

    Hoy, their largest Spanish language daily. We have sold Spanish language names. We have

    sold and So, I think they have eighty-something

    suburban newspapers. They have got huge web properties. They have got direct email lists of


    What do they get out of this partnership?
    Josh: Right. Well, to go into the details of the partnership, I cannot. I have got NDAs

    like seven ways to (Unclear 32:27.6).

    Michael: Okay, but it is fair to assume they are getting compensated somehow by the sale of

    email addresses and domain names?
    Josh: They are in the business of making money.

    There’s another – Crain’s -, which is growing pretty well, but we have got the Sun-Times

    Group, which is owned now by a company called Reports, and you have got the Chicago


    Bill Adee, is the head of all digital for Tribune. So, not just Chicago Tribune, but LA


    Michael: So, how would you pick the ten most influential people that could help the further

    development of and pick Bill Adee who is Director of Digital Media, not pick

    the Editor and Chief or the Publisher, or the family member that owns it, or a host of

    other people that were potentially higher up in the hierarchy?
    Josh: Well, we did contact a number of those individuals and we tried to not be annoying.
    Michael: Sure.
    Josh: Most of the time they would take our call. And I actually met with one of the family

    members who owned the Chicago Tribune at one point in time and I said, “Mr. X, why don’t

    you just buy us? I mean you are Chicago Tribune. We are Just buy us.” And he

    looks at me and he goes: “Josh, I can’t. Even if I wanted to, I can’t. We are in


    But Bill was unique in that Bill understood the vision from the get-go. He got it. We

    actually saw an order come through for And I looked at it and I knew Bill

    before he ordered it. I was like: “Wait a second. He is a customer,” so he bought a first

    name at full price. He did not call us and ask for a discount. He did not try to get some

    special. He just bought it. So that was some affirmation right there, and

    he is a digital guy. He is not like a legacy print guy who is trying to transform. He gets

    it. So, it has been really being able to work with him.

    Josh: So, most people’s connections were fortune four. I mean the web was just kind of

    goofy, experimental. It was slow and all this kind of stuff. So, most people were using

    Internet for email or for Telenet or Gofer – stuff like that

    Josh: So, most people’s connections were fortune four. I mean the web was just kind of

    goofy, experimental. It was slow and all this kind of stuff. So, most people were using

    Internet for email or for Telenet or Gofer – stuff like that. So I was at our front desk

    one day, and this was back when the old Internet form that you had to fill out to get all

    domain names for free. I was sitting there and I registered, and I registered, and I registered It was somebody else who had, but I

    had and And then I registered And I kept turning over.

    I was with my two partners at the time. I kept turning over, saying, “Guys, check out. I

    just got!” And they were like: “What are you doing? Just go out there and sell

    dial-up.” And I was like: “Yeah. Yeah, I don’t know.” I was like: “You are right. You are

    right.” And my big mistake was I took my arm-full of papers and I go to some random office

    park and I try to get people to signup for nineteen bucks a month to our Internet service

    when almost every single name was available at that point. So, I was not that smart. If I

    were smarter, I would have had a lot more names. By accident, I did actually register a

    .GOV, which I do not know if many people can say that.

    Michael: Wow. Yeah, because those are restricted. And even back in ’94, weren’t .ORGs

    restricted at the time?
    Josh: .ORGs and even .NETs I think you had to prove that you were some kind of network

    provider of some sort. .ORGs you had to prove that you were a non-profit or something.

    Josh: –for X amount of dollars and he had an equal offer from me for X amount of dollars.

    The Chicago Tribune contract was like a hundred pages plus. It had all sorts of clawbacks

    and probability protections, and they were afraid of the chain of title. At this point –

    when was this -, 2000 or 2001, I mean I knew enough about the chain of title. I had been

    corresponding with Karl for five years and I knew one hundred percent that Karl owned this

    thing. So, my contract was two pages – the purchase contract. So, Karl was like: “Same

    amount of money. Crazy contract from big company that wants to sue me if I do anything

    wrong.” As well, we offered Karl a board seat. As part of the deal we were going to form and give Karl some equity, so he would have some upside

    Josh: Yeah, which you see. I mean you see guys like Rick Schwartz talking about things like

    that. I am a big believer in that.

    Josh: So, is owned by Inc., which is its own S Corporation. is wholly separate. is owned by Inc., which is also

    an Illinois Corporation, but it is a C Corp. is a bit informal. I own it 50/50

    with Skip Hoagland. He owns, and, and, and a bunch

    of great ones. So, Skip and I own 50/50.

    Josh: Some of them are starting to. Yeah, actually. So, our portfolio is not very big. And

    we have a separate company, Wyvern, which is the portfolio of names. And Patrick Carlton of A lot of people know Patrick because he was the Head of Associated

    Cities for so many years. Patrick and I were co-investors in that portfolio. It is a

    relatively small portfolio. It is about two thousand names in that portfolio. In that

    portfolio, off the top of my head, I would say the top ninety out of one hundred traffic

    names are IDN.

    It was published, I think, in the Sun-Times. I paid mid-six figures for and

    people thought I was nuts for spending that much on a domain name. I mean we have had

    years. We have done more revenue than that, so things, so far, worked out.

    Josh: It is hard to tell. And we are on a growth path with hotel bookings and ticketing and

    advertising and travel-related stuff, pretty much what you see on every other geo that is

    out there. That was our business model. I think sometimes one has to reinvent and pivot to

    really. We were succeeding kind of marginally. It was not anything mind blowing. It was

    getting pretty boring. Being a hotel affiliate site for eight years, I would not push that

    on these days at least. It was a great business for a while. Now it is highly competitive.

    Google has gotten in the game themselves. So, it started to get pretty boring. And when we

    looked at the cold hard fact, I mean we have got a product now that has very high margin

    and recurring revenue. We do not put a gun to anybody’s head to buy the product. People buy

    this product because they love it.

    ** Roberto belize virtual developer***

    Josh: He is a killer developer. And then, Cedric Hurst is our Lead Developer. At the age of

    sixteen, he does not like to admit this, but he actually wrote some of the Internet

    Explorer 1.0 code when he was sixteen.

    So, I understand that. So, right now, you are monetizing the website not through

    ThingsToDo, but you are monetizing through the email addresses and domain names that you

    sell as a payer. And how else are you monetizing
    Josh: That is all.

    There is a brilliant science that goes into getting it to that level of simplicity, but

    yeah, I mean a lot of these sites are still stuck in like 1999.

    Michael: Yeah. All right, so let’s talk about what you used to power the email system at I call it the @Identity because, whenever I see it, it is the @Identity, but

    then I think you referred to it earlier as Identity LLC. How do you refer to the system

    that powers your email system?
    Josh: So the name of the company that Ammar and I formed is called literally Identity,

    LLC., but the product, we call it @Identity.

    Michael: Huh, so, and It is an open source system that allows you to manage

    these email accounts.
    Josh: Yes. Yes, and also it allows us to provision subdomain emails, which we have been

    selling, which is fascinating to me.

    Michael: All right. So you started selling addresses. A lot of it was not automated at the

    beginning, although the sales process was automated. You sold a good twenty or thirty email

    addresses, and then you went to Ammar Kubba, who has been a past Domain Sherpa and you can

    go watch Ammar’s video – for anybody that has not seen that one, it is a great one -, and

    you said, “Hey Ammar, check out what has been going on here.” Long story short, you ended

    up forming Identity, LLC. with him. Why did you feel like you needed to bring on a partner?

    Ammar because we wanted to build the system to scale, and his knowledge of how Domain Tools

    is architected and his knowledge of aftermarket. We do hopefully see an aftermarket – a

    secondary market – for these things actually at some point. And TrafficZ. Just building up

    the parking system, he has a lot of experience in scaling large domain systems and he has a

    lot of relationships in the space, and he is just a great, kind of strategic domain

    thinker, if you will, to have involved. So, we gave away a portion of the company, but I

    think we gained quite a bit as well.

    “Well, if we are going to be supporting Richard Daley’s email or Rahm’s email, you need

    serious security for that.”

    Josh: And we do not have the budget to do that. So, that is what led to the decision. And

    then, since we made that decision, I think there are other. No matter what webmail system

    you buy, I mean we cannot compete with Gmail. We cannot compete with Yahoo. We cannot

    compete with Microsoft. What we can compete on is the name. For certain people, there is

    just no Gmail address. Yahoo even as a brand, I think, is fading. Hotmail certainly faded.

    If you see it on a resume, it is almost a warning sign. That is why I think Microsoft has

    been transitioning to as a more professional brand.

    Michael: Right. So that was one of the reasons. So, right now, when I sign up for, you actually set up a mail record on for the email box

    Michael, but I use my Gmail system to pull it from your server and to send through your

    server. Is that correct?
    Josh: Right. We do not actually hold on to any emails, so we have no inbox. So we use

    Barracuda Networks as our MX provider, so they filter it all for spam or whatever. And

    essentially what it is, at a computer level, is a Unix alias. So we have web interface

    where we just set up a Unix alias. People tell us where they want it pointed to, and then,

    bam, we do it. The 3.0 system – we are working on a control panel, where people will be

    able to change that themselves.

    Michael: Got you. So, if I understand it correctly, and I am not sure I do, Josh, if I have that I use as my main system, but I want, when

    I sign up for your service, I say, “Deliver all my mail at to, and you just forward it directly over.
    Josh: Right.
    Michael: Okay. And then, when I go to send email, I use an alias on my Gmail system to send

    it through the MX system.
    Josh: Well, it depends. So, Gmail has their own SMTP servers. When you have a Gmail

    account, you can access their SMTP servers directly via SSO and all that. Yahoo as well.

    So, we prefer that people use Gmail or Yahoo SMTP services. is Gmail

    underneath. Not Gmail for business. Not paid version of Gmail. is plain

    vanilla, free Gmail, and the outbound/inbound identity is seamless.
    Michael: Okay. So, it is seamless on most email systems except for Gmail actually, where if

    I get an email from you, it will say, “ via”
    Josh: That is true. Yeah, Gmail does. So, we have our own SMTP servers. We have

    SMTP servers. If it is that important to a user that they do not want that or whatever,

    then we just give them our SMTP server info.
    Michael: Okay, I got it. So then you actually send it through the Chicago SMTP and it shows

    up as, and then nobody ever sees that it is coming from Gmail.

    Josh: Right.
    Michael: If they really are that concerned about it.
    Josh: Right.
    Michael: Okay,
    Josh: We had a couple people that we had to do that.
    Michael: Makes sense. So, what other sites right now are you using the @Identity email

    Josh: Well, four or, potentially, like fifty sites, depending on how you look at it, using

    it, but they are all on the 1.0 platform, which is the old platform. The 2.0

    platform, which you see today on, is a huge improvement over the previous

    system. The previous system was basically a blank line with a search, and it kicked back

    very high. It was very confusing for the average user to use. It was designed by domainers

    for domainers. The new system is designed for more average consumers to be user friendly,

    etc., and should just generate different options for them that they might not think of. is on the system, is on the system, and is on

    the system. is on the system as well. If you go to, you will notice

    that we have almost every major city in Israel on that system

    Michael: Got it. Well, fantastic. And so, I am sure people who are listening to this

    interview are thinking: “Well, I own my city name.” In fact, I own BainbridgeIsland – the

    small, little island outside of Seattle. It is a great little community and big on

    tourists, and we have a magazine and a website. I have thought about offering email

    addresses. I own, and it comes with instant authority whenever

    I am dealing with any of the local merchants and stores. If I wanted to offer to the

    twenty-four thousand citizens of Bainbridge Island their own,

    could I use your system, and how would that work?
    Josh: Yeah. So, we have a software license agreement that includes the MX records and it is

    a rev share agreement. The rev share can vary depending on how strong the domain is or how

    much demand that we see. There is a fixed cost for us to set up each customer. So, yeah.
    Michael: Okay. So, who should they contact if people are interested in learning more about

    the rev share percentage? Well, first of all, are you willing to say what the rev share

    percentage is on the record, or does it vary too much by the power of the domain name?
    Josh: I mean it ranges between 70/30 – seventy us, thirty the domainer – to like 50/50,

    depending on who does what, which, for most domainers, seems like a lot. Like they are used

    to maybe getting more or something. I do not know. But I know with hotels, we got, I should

    say the industry average. For hotels it is somewhere around seven to twelve percent or

    something. There was a lot of work involved on the backend.

    Michael: That makes sense. All right, so whom should they contact if people are interested

    in discussing that option on their own website?
    Josh: So, they can contact me. Just

    Josh: I want to be clear too, because Sean Miller, who runs

    Michael: Yeah. All right. I see the has a service mark listed on the website. Is that a filed service mark with the United States Patent

    and Trademark office?
    Josh: So, trademarks are established by use, right? Not by filing date.
    Michael: Right.
    Josh: So, certain marks we have on file. Certain marks we do not. Our trademark strategy is

    a little bit of a black project right now. There is a lot of stuff going on there. But some

    stuff we have on file and some stuff we do not. But as far as data for us to use for the

    particular product that we are developing, I mean we do not have anybody anywhere that is

    doing what we are doing except in those other cities. So, we have been doing it for almost

    a couple years now.

    . Hopefully, we would like to work with the city at some point to apply for it. Similar to

    the way did, I think we could do well with them.

    e Richard Schreyer from

    Michael: Okay, that sounds great. Let’s see. If other people have questions for you, Josh,

    I am going to ask them to post them in the comment section below the video, and then I will

    ask you to come back and answer as many as you can. Josh, if someone wants to contact you

    and say thank you for coming on the show, sharing your background, your information on

    domain name investing, and your @Identity details, what is the best way for them to reach

    Josh: Still

    Josh: Okay. Michael, thank you for the opportunity to be here. It is cool.
    Michael: Thank you all for watching. We’ll see you next time.
    Watch the full video at:


    Josh, if you want to hear more, I am the co-founder of “.berlin” (2005) and “.gay” (2009)

    which both applied in this 2012 new gTLD round, you reach me at

    Great – feel free to contact us or and we can see if

    there is a fit.


    I had to include this interview. And now I am going to contact Josh

    Alright it appears my self interview turned into Binge Josh Metnick reading …

    I am on my third open tap from 3 days ago devouring every word and taking notes. I hope

    when I contact these people that someone is going to have a mental orgasim over Back when we had over millions of registered users we could of monetized

    a percent of those and got paid instead of free emails.


    Email: josh [at]
    Twitter: @joshmetnick

    Josh Metnick is best known as the owner of and is active in the geo domain

    space. He and former Associated Cities Executive Director Patrick Carleton co-founded


    In 2001, Metnick purchased for $500,000, beating out The Tribune Company. He

    has since been selling personalized email addresses to individuals and

    businesses willing to pay substantial amounts of money.[6] In its first year of selling

    subdomains and vanity email addresses, Metnick's company generated $125,000 in

    revenue with nearly no marketing.[8]

    Amongst others, he is also the owner of,,,, and, under which email addresses and subdomains are sold,

    similar to the model.[8]

    Metnick shared his discovery with fellow industry heavyweight Ammar Kubba, the CEO and a

    principle in Thought Convergence, Inc., whose portfolio of well-known companies includes

    TrafficZ, and Kubba said, "Josh mentioned some preliminary

    numbers and projections, and I thought that he was crazy…but then we talked some more and

    I started to see the light." Kubba decided he wanted in. The two formed a new company

    @Identity LLC, to build a platform enabling themselves and owners of other premier domains

    to tap this promising new source of revenue.

    Another long time Metnick friend, and fellow major city .com domain owner, Sean Miller of, also played a key role, joining Metnick early on to help develop an automated

    email sales platform. is now offering the service and the Castello Brothers are

    also gearing up to offer email addresses at

    The new wrinkle that Metnick discovered was that some customers, especially businesses,

    would value the right email identity much higher than would private individuals looking for

    an inexpensive vanity address. How much higher? Well, that is the amazing part of the


    Metnick said he raised the prices four more times before landing at $4,000 for five years.

    A local business woman took her first name at for that price. A male

    businessman did the same, then a local entertainment company bit at that price. Metnick

    knew he was on to something and needed to build an automated system and start treating

    email addresses as identity assets like domain names are. The beauty of email addresses is

    that so many of them can be sold off a single great domain name. His phenomenal early

    results showed him just how much some people loved their city and wanted to cement their

    online relationship to it.

    Kubba said. "In my opinion, the biggest problem with the early vanity email models was that

    they were trying to do too much, and the margins were too thin. How could a company like

    NetIdentity possibly compete with the technology infrastructure of an AOL, Microsoft,

    Yahoo! or Google?"

    We don't want to control the inbox. We want to manage the identity layer, above the inbox.

    We may be similar to a vanity email product, but we're also so much more (and so much less)

    than that."

    Kubba said, "In addition to, we will be launching the @identity product on,,

    Kubba sees yet another new opportunity in the @identity model. "We could offer/upsell a

    matching sub-domain as an "add on" to the email address. For example, the buyer of ron @ could also choose to buy There are definitely challenges with

    the model, but there are also tremendous opportunities that probably outweigh the

    challenges. The time is ripe for a new way of thinking about online identity, and this is

    the space where @identity will play and, hopefully, thrive," Kubba said.

    1: First was the insight that we could uncouple the identity ( from

    the service. Email as a service is a commodity.The identity, however, is a finite resource

    in terms of name space. There can be only one Pricing these identities

    as discrete assets, rather then as commodities, allows someone who really wants a

    particular name to actually find and purchase the name they want. I know many executives

    here in NYC with ridiculous emails like I mean, these identities may not

    always be on their corporate business cards but they use them all the time. And any serious

    professional understands image and presentation are important. A short, memorable,

    professional email that links you immediately and indelibly to your city is a killer app

    for networking. With @nyc or @chicago, giving out your email becomes a unique, effortless

    and impressive branding moment, not a chore.

    I'm a New Yorker! Moreover, I suspect that four hundred years from now New York City and

    Chicago will still be here. I'm far less certain about Facebook, Gmail or Twitter.

    4: Finally, despite twenty years of relentless innovation, email remains the root identity

    on the web. Email is central to everything you do online. Anytime I buy something I am

    asked for my email. Even to get my iPod or phone to work properly I need an email. I begin

    and end my day with email…even this interview is being done via email!

    Miller added, "An astounding fact: the total number of page views on the internet equals

    only 25% of all legitimate email sent! (source: Simply put, Email, even

    after discounting the volume that's spam, is used far more than Facebook and Twitter.

    Combined. And when i say far more, i mean by an order of magnitude. Daily activity on

    Facebook is currently around 60 million status updates. Twitter sees about 50 million

    tweets per day. Email? 188 billion legitimate non-spam messages daily! For a good

    infographic on the importance of email relative to services like Facebook, Twitter and even

    search on Bing and Google, see this link:

    Next article : I need to contact Ammar Kubba and Sean Miller about (CIS)

    they would probaby be interested in that name rather than geo's. Tell Josh to slow down

    the rapid scroll on its dizzing. and add more pictures No hotels and no


    Just ate three eggs needed to eat and smoke. Haven't smoked yet. On the last article i think…


    The Future Of Geo Domains: Makes $125K In 1st Year Of Selling SubDomains & Email Addresses

    In the first year, sales of subdomains and vanity email addresses using generated some $125,000 in revenue with virtually no marketing.

    “” is going well — our first year sales were approximately $125,000, but it’s recurring high-margin revenue. ”

    “First batch of yearly renewals came up — and the renewal rate was actually higher than 100%, which is interesting. ”

    “What that means — is that during the renewal process, our existing customers not only renewed, but they placed additional orders– significantly more than we lost. ”

    “I believe we lost five customers total in 14 months or so. ”

    “We are targeting around $250,000+ next year, maybe more if we do a deal with a local media partner.”

    “Our marketing budget for the first year was around $5,000, so we will be putting more into it and also doing a large drive for Cyber-Monday, as roughly 50% of our sales are given as gifts, we didn’t see that.”

    “Another thing we did not see was Spanish language names.”

    “We sold, and then the same firm, which has attorneys who specialize in Spanish-speaking clients, bought — so this again is taking us in another, unexpected direction.”

    “We sold and to one of the largest VC-based “” for parking companies– Spot Hero, to help create a portal for Chicago parking. will be launching soon.”

    “A domainer bought and (we bundle the subdomain and the email) for investment purposes, we have had some of those.”

    “For identity-centric domains, the domainer sets their own pricing, so while we charge several thousand dollars for and ongoing $750/year for that name , I think if you had a small or medium sized city name, or other name like, etc. you could make good incremental revenue by putting the system up at or and if you sell 1,000 emails at $99/year, etc.”

    “It’s an extra $50k a year (we do 50/50 rev split and handle all backend stuff, customer service, etc. cut checks on 7th of each month for previous 30 days collected) in recurring, high margin revenue — it’s a good addition to whatever revenue streams you may have.”

    “We see this spreading to other generic .com’s like “ which is also live but by invitation only and with elite pricing. I can say that they do have customer traction, there is a market for what they are doing and they are refining their branding.”


    Time to post. Ray

    check out some of my old press releases via WayBackMachine:

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