Although I am a blogger that covers the domain business, I am first and foremost a domain investor. The proceeds from my domain investments are what drives the majority of my income, and it is because of my domain investments and involvements in the domain industry that I am able to write a blog that has unique insight and information on a daily basis.
Without any doubt, I have plenty of personal and business conflicts, and most are fairly obvious. There are many companies I write about that either pay for advertising or have paid for advertising. Some companies give me discounts, although that is likely due to my being a customer for an extended period of time and the quantity of my inventory, but I am sure I do receive benefits because I am a blogger, speaker/panelist, and an active participant in the industry. I try to be as impartial as possible when I write because 1) it’s the right thing to do and 2) I value my credibility more than the income from this blog.
I do or have done business with almost every company that operates in the domain space. I do this because I have to in order to be competitive and because I want to try out different services. I have had breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, cocktails, or something else with almost every executive working for many domain related companies. I am friends or friendly with many of these executives and employees of domain companies. Some are business friendships and some are friendships that go beyond domain investing.
Domain investing is what I do full time, and as a result, I know many people that operate in this industry (for better or worse). Because of my business and personal relationships, I receive tips and news articles from friends, business associates, advertisers, and others who I know. I post articles I am interested in posting, and they are articles I write, unless it’s written as a guest post. This means opinions and observations are mine, not what someone else wrote for me to post. My litmus test is whether it’s something I would find interesting or helpful to read if I was visiting this blog.
I think it’s impossible to be a journalist in the domain space without any conflicts. It’s somewhat of a clandestine industry, and there aren’t many places to learn the nuances of the business without actually becoming involved in the business. I attribute my active involvement for being able to offer tips, insight, and personal analysis, which I couldn’t do to the extent I do if I was a hobbyist or someone that wasn’t active in the business.
I have never investigated whether I am considered a journalist because that doesn’t matter to me. My blog is a place for me to give personal insight into what I see happening in the domain business. Sometimes my sentiments are echoed by others and sometimes people disagree with me. That’s fine, and even though I may be disagreeable in the comment section of my blog, I don’t censor comments unless they are inflammatory, self promoting (“I have a name for sale!”), or are what I deem personal attacks.
When you read my blog, you should know that I probably have many conflicts, and if I am writing about a topic, it’s likely because I have a personal reason for doing so (ie I found something helpful or beneficial to my own business that might be helpful to yours). I am either using a service or learned about something that I find interesting. I don’t take money to write reviews, and although I may have an affiliate link from time to time, it’s not usually even worth the hassle. I generally avoid affiliate links though because I don’t want people to think I am writing about something to make a few dollars. Trust me, even that perception isn’t worth the money.
I try to be impartial when I write, but no matter how hard I try, it’s impossible to be 100% impartial at all times. Just like almost everyone else who blogs or writes about the domain business, I have many conflicts and you should be aware of them if you somehow aren’t or thought otherwise.
Someone must have pissed you off 😉
Lots of people piss me off 🙂
“”Lots of people piss me off :)””
You just have to be you. You know no other way.
Nice explanatory article 😉
Have to love when someone accuses you of bias. Regards.
That’s the nature of people and this biz.
Do what you want to do…YOU ARE THE MASTER OF YOUR DOMAIN!!
You can be partial to something, yet still remain objective and neutral about it and other, competing things.
IMO, the only time it goes off the rails is when people start flogging a particular product, simply because they feel duty-bound to do so based on the ads (or, because they have an opaque interest in seeing something gain traction- for example, Robert Cline registers a ton of .co domains, then spends the next year posting mindless hype bullshit on every domainer blog that will let him)
I don’t know what the law says, but I don’t digest someones personal blog as “journalism”. Say what you feel, when you feel. Credibility is tied to honesty, so if you start modifying what you want to say- pro or con- because of the ad bucks, that diminishes credibility and in time, people will pick up on it.
… and FWIW, me personally, I’ve never gotten that vibe on this blog. Seems pretty straightforward and honest.
“I have had breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, cocktails, or something else with almost every executive”
Gee, Elliot, what might the “something else” be? 🙂
I only read one paragraph, and I counted “me”, “myself”, and “I” almost a dozen times. It’s certainly can’t be about just you, Elliot. I like your blog, but come on. Investor or not, you do have to expand your horizon beyond your nose, me thinks.
That’s because this is ‘my’ blog 😉
I have no interest in expanding my blog beyond what I know and have become an expert at.
The truth is that Elliot did have a “conflict” with a well known domainer and did his best to talk it out:
I would just like to say, you do not have to be “journalist” to have a nice blog, and provide valuable information, advice, incite and news etc…
Very few “bloggers” would or do qualify as a “journalist” in the true and traditional sense of the word.
You have a blog and have something to post, (anything) your a “blogger”…at the least…and a “journalist” at the most.
Either way, I would not say one is better than the other, just different.
With that said,
The talent of a lot of domain industry bloggers, do reach the quality of a “journalist” when they make their post and comments.
Which is a very good thing for the domain industry as a whole.
Good post Elliot. Everyone does have conflicts. No question. Also I hate terms like “domain community”. Bullshit. This is the Jerry springer of community imo. I met a lot of great contacts along the way such as yourself
I read your blog and among 3 others or so.
For most part its your blog. We are in America and you can express whatever you may want.
I will say this but this .co topics got old and over coverage. Will leave it as that.
keep up the good work elliot. At times we may disagree. Nothing personal.
I sort of agree with you on the community aspect. However, although most people have their own best interest in mind, it’s still good to be able to have colleagues doing the same thing since most of my friends have no real idea about what I do.
Of all the domain blogs out there, yours is among the best of the best. From my perspective, I attribute this to many reaons, two of which are INTEGRITY and AUTHENTICITY. Conflicts are to be expected. Unlike others, however, you handle conflict wiith class and integrity. Keep up the great work.
We go to Keyword Tools, Estibot, and DNJ sales lists for facts; we come here for insight and opinion. You and DShane provide welcomed personal insight- keep up the good work and don’t let the “seminar callers” get you off track.
Let me lighten this thread up a bit…with some ‘real journalist” 🙂
I received this in an email (no link)…and I never post direct links to my blog, in a comment on a fellow domainers blog…I just do not think it s right.
If Elliot wants make an exception… I think everyone will get a ‘kick’ out of this… especially if you like math and really… a very unusually occurrence.
Best to All!
I read your blog almost every day, and the only people who think you may be biased are those who either don’t like what you’re writing about, don’t like anything you’re writing about, are too stupid to know what you’re writing about, or just stop by to cause trouble.
Just keep on doing what you’ve been doing, and ignore the haters, as you’re doing an amazing job, and your articles are always very interesting and informative.
I think most people appreciate your blog just the way it is, and of course for the ones who dont there’s that magic lil red X in the corner that should instantly solve their issue.
Nil illegitimi carborundum Elliot 🙂
Conflicts??? Are you kidding? This isn’t a paid subscription blog site. We come here to see what you have to say … Influenced by your day to day experiences who isnt?? It’s a nice thought to try and clear up any confusion… But E this is your blog… You can talk about politics , religion , and yes even about .co as often as you like. If your readers don’t enjoy the “news” or “commentary” or even the banter they can quit reading at any time.. You don’t owe anyone one an explanation or clarification for what you write here. Just my humble opinion.
Thanks for putting everything into its proper perspective.
Don’t worry about it Elliott.
People who have read EB for years know who you are and know what you do.
We also know that you give more than you take, don’t seek out arguments and readily disclose conflicts of interest.
Your site is a Blog – that means it’s going to have your opinions and people who expect Wall Street Journal standards objectivity are in the wrong place.
” and people who expect Wall Street Journal standards objectivity are in the wrong place.”
I would say Elliot and most domain industry bloggers, exceed some of the Journalist standards, conflicts of interest and objectivity of many ” journalist /bloggers” on Wall-Street.
But, your point is very well taken…
And let us not even get into the conflicts of interest and hypocrisy of some of of our “mainstream media” – journalist and bloggers etc…
ALL IS WELL with Elliot’s Blog…if happen not to think so…it is an easy fix, just do not read it.
But, that would be YOUR loss…NOT Elliot’s!
Peace To All!
BTW: Lets not forget OUR troops and their family’s that are serving our country today and in the past, as well as in the future…also, remembering the ones that have already gave some and ALL.