Is The Domain Industry Getting More Civil? |
Neustar Domain Names

Is The Domain Industry Getting More Civil?


I don’t know if it’s just my perception, but lately, it almost seems that people who are “public” domain investors have become more civil. By “public,” I am referring to everyone from domain forum participants to bloggers, commenters, and anyone else who publicly discusses domain names.

Personally, I have been visiting forums less frequently (only really spend time visiting DNForum and Domain Boardroom  these days), but when a flare up occurs, someone typically sends me an email about it, usually to ask for my perspective on something or I suppose to gawk at the post. This hasn’t happened in quite some time.

There are dozens or more ways to make money with domain names. There are thousands of personalities in the business who are trying to make money. However, it seems to me that people are being less antagonistic lately, and I think it’s a positive sign for this business. When you focus on your own business and don’t spend time arguing with others, you can really achieve positive results.

Am I just out of touch with things in my bubble? What’s your perception?

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 sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (30)


    Elliot, as long as you don’t try to grab one of the domains I’m after on NameJet, we can still be friends 😀

    December 1st, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Elliot Silver

    @ Acro

    Don’t worry, I stay away from the pigeon poop you buy… 🙂

    December 1st, 2011 at 11:23 am


    Are you trying to pick a fight with me? 😀 That’d undo your article’s scope on alleged civility among domainers. 😛

    December 1st, 2011 at 11:35 am


    I think the less performing domain investors are busy doing/finding a day job, and are taking the ‘Domain Business’ as a side dish. According to my stats at, the blogosphere is shrinking. Despite the fact that we add a new blog every once in a while, many of the very early blogs have completely stopped blogging.

    December 1st, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Elliot Silver

    @ Abdu

    Aside from DotWeekly, I haven’t seen many blogs that posted regularly stop posting. It’s difficult to post every day, and I am lucky to have advertisers, otherwise, I couldn’t justify the time outlay.

    On a traffic note, my blog’s traffic is up 30%+ this year, so I think there are more people interested in learning about domain investments and domain names in general.

    December 1st, 2011 at 11:39 am


    Abdu: now that Rick Schwartz announced his retirement as a blogger, I hope Elliot follows 😀

    Just kidding 😀

    December 1st, 2011 at 11:40 am



    I was referring to the number of blogs rather than posts. For example: Seven Mile, Domain Sushi, Conceptualist, Arbel Arif, Domain Rich to name a few. You are right that one cannot post quite frequently, and that too slows down the discussion within the community.

    December 1st, 2011 at 11:47 am


    One unnamed blogger I spoke to a while ago told me that they’ve quit blogging as they are fed up from the scrutiny they receive from posting their thoughts.

    December 1st, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Elliot Silver

    @ Abdu

    It’s one of those things that comes with the territory I suppose.

    December 1st, 2011 at 11:53 am


    Can someone check and see if R. Cline’s internet connection is working? I don’t see him here anymore. 🙂

    December 1st, 2011 at 11:59 am


    Don’t forget Julia’s Blog at:

    That was a great one until 2009.

    Regarding civility, I believe many domainers dropped out for lack of cash, but many new, still uneducated, but soon-to-learn domainers, ones showing up with cash, are replacing them. For sure, the Chinese are showing up now in a big way, even for English domains.

    I think also we are all getting older too. 🙂

    Lastly, arguing sucks and makes no money. I used to do a lot more of it when I was younger but try not to engage in it anymore. Both sides lose no matter what. It takes energy to argue and if you want to be a serious domain investor you need all your energy every day to keep on top of auctions, deals, etc… why give that energy to some jerk-off? If you do he then stole your money through energy theft, and you let him. You got suckered into it and that money is gone forever.

    December 1st, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      Elliot Silver

      @ Mike

      Solid points… arguing is draining, especially when it’s about something like the merits of investing in a certain extension or the value of a particular domain name. At the end of the day, the entire argument leaves nobody any richer but it does take a toll. Civil discussion is far superior and more educational for all.

      December 1st, 2011 at 12:07 pm


    Also, if you all take a look at the drops, you’ll notice a lot of trademark infringing names, domains that don’t make any sense, and names that will NEVER sell. As Mike mentions, many people are being replaced with others. Many people have left the industry – only some of them have declared that publicly. The blogosphere clearly proves that – new writers that is.

    December 1st, 2011 at 12:09 pm


    “Can someone check and see if R. Cline’s internet connection is working? I don’t see him here anymore. :)” @ Abdu, you are so naughty!

    “I think the less performing domain investors are busy doing/finding a day job.”
    It’s fun to post announcements of sales and income, so while these have slowed down, people are focused on trying new things or steamlining their portfolios.

    For two examples, (1) Nokta has posted and sold several domains from its portfolio cheap on (2) Frank Schilling is said to be focused on dissolving his portfolio. Maybe not dissolving it, but selling many more domains regularly than he used to! But he blogged advice to that effect, to reduce your domain holdings and increase cash.

    December 1st, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Elliot Silver

    Cash is king… always good to have enough of it to jump on great, but expensive deals.

    December 1st, 2011 at 12:13 pm


    This blog sucks, big f…ing time.

    There is more violence than EVER…

    LMAO…. 🙂

    PS For anyone who took my post seriously, GO GET A REAL LIFE come back and read it again. If that doesn’t work you are hopeless.

    December 1st, 2011 at 12:16 pm


    With no doubt, things are changing like never before. When was the last time you sold a domain on The marketplace that helped me make a fortune 5 years ago, today looks nothing short of an empty warehouse.

    December 1st, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Elliot Silver

    What are some of your big sales, Abdu? Congrats on making a fortune.

    December 1st, 2011 at 12:22 pm



    Every domain I listed there sold. With the huge volume of names I put in there, they would add up in piles. I remember hand registering around 800 LLLL domains and selling them on through (GDNX was an exchange Momentous developed for bulk sellers.. I had the pleasure of earning an account). That’s just one of those ‘big ones’.

    December 1st, 2011 at 12:28 pm


    most of the bloggers just cut and paste.

    Elliot- you better start preparing yourself to be a Father.

    Time for your Lamar class.

    December 1st, 2011 at 12:39 pm


    Domains For Sale posts have taken over the forums.

    December 1st, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Dotty Mobi

    “Cash is king”

    I thought Rick was da King !

    December 1st, 2011 at 1:59 pm


    Of course I’ll do a post on it later but I think this comment section pretty much explains it. We’re at a transition point in domains. We’re not exactly a growing niche. The low value domains are not moving and therefore the younger more caustic crowd has moved into other things. There are roughly 20 comments from the same 10 same people on all our blogs. Acro does a great job participating in the comment sections but Andrew,Mike B, Elliot, and I are virtually non existent in the comment sections of other blogs. The guys that would fight you about the value of things have realized they have none and moved on as well. There are also very few people advertising. Take away Protrada and you virtually have no new advertisers. So at this point the time vs payoff in domain blogging is terrible. Not sure why anyone other than Andrew, Elliot or Berkens would waste their time blogging at this point. The time put into blogging would be much better spent building websites and writing content for those sites. I blog because it’s a hobby as of today I enjoy it. But with no income there is no doubt those days will end soon. I like everyone else will be forced to put the time into a more rewarding endeavor.

    December 1st, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Elliot Silver

    “I blog because it’s a hobby.”

    @ Shane

    I did that for a couple of years and realized I needed to monetize my time. I was lucky to have started my blog when I did because more importantly at the time than advertising revenue, I was able to meet people who I wouldn’t necessarily have met otherwise. Instead of having to go up to someone at a conference and try to ask for a minute of time, people felt they already knew me and were more open. It led to a number of sales and good contacts within the business.

    Protrada isn’t advertising here right now though and hasn’t advertised on my blog before. I like their offering and had a chance to get to know them in Florida.

    The # of people commenting is far less than the # of people who read blogs. I remember I offered a free domain appraisal on labor day and had over 300 comments (including my own replies). I had to turn off comments because they continued to be made.

    Adam Dicker turned off the political section of DNForum, and I think that was a smart move. It’s hard to have a civil conversation about domain names with someone who just argued about abortion and welfare an hour before.

    One other thing that’s changed… me… in the past, when people would post opposing viewpoints, I might have been more argumentative. Maybe I’ve mellowed out, but I’ve come to realize arguing with people who may or may not ever return serves very little utility. Sometimes there are disagreements but they’ve generally civil.

    December 1st, 2011 at 2:20 pm


    I think it can be traced back to the slow economy, like a lot of things in this world. End-users are hoarding cash and less willing to take ‘risks’ on buying a great name, therefore there is less money in general sloshing around for a lot of domainers. The most antagonistic ones are likely less profitable and probably as someone else mentioned maybe spending more time looking for a day job, or Occupying their local park.

    December 1st, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Billy Boi

    This post makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

    Where’s your affiliate link to the Hallmark Channel?

    December 1st, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Elliot Silver

    @ Billy

    I am glad it made you warm and fuzzy. Sounds like you need it.

    December 1st, 2011 at 8:39 pm


    We are arguing the same old people here.

    Nothing new.

    After a while,it gets stale as we all know each others’ viewpoint.

    Time to move on…

    I am glad you going to be a daddy and you will know soon that there is more to life than DOMAINS.

    December 1st, 2011 at 8:50 pm


    Back to the title of your post, “Is The Domain Industry Getting More Civil?.

    Just wanted to pass along a recent experience this novice domainer had with a more prominent one…
    A particular pending delete domain name was expected to drop in a few days which was of personal interest to me and my son. Though this domain would not be considered rich in keywords, it was a familiar enough phrase to perhaps be of interest to other domainers.

    As I have been attempting to hand register drop domains in the past with some success, I notice that one particular domainer was beating me on some of my selections. Figuring that our domain selection process appeared to be similar, I figured I’d reach out to this domainer, expressing both my reason and personal interest in this particular domain and requested that he keep it off his ‘drop catch list to allow me a better opportunity to register the domain. His response back was quick … “I would be happy to go after the domain on your behalf. It would be a personal favor — don’t really offer that to many people.” I must admit, I was taken aback by the gracious offer as I was only asking for him not to go after that particular domain. I accepted his assistance and, although I still attempted to ‘catch the domain as it drop that day this domainer did in fact ‘catch the domain; create me an account with registrar the domain was at; pushed the domain name to my new account; and, wished me ‘Merry Christmas’!

    Now I must admit, this kind action was totally unexpected – especially, with the apparent competitive nature amongst the domain industry. However, there is something to be said about an honest approach – and, this kind action proves that the ‘Domain Industry Is Getting More Civil!’

    December 9th, 2011 at 7:37 am



    I approve of this message !

    December 9th, 2011 at 7:56 am

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