“Like a Drug Baron”

In one of the more amusing comments I have read in some time, someone apparently compared me to a “drug baron” with respect to the new gTLD domain names. In response to an article on Shane Cultra’s blog, Neil wrote the following in a more detailed comment (bolded emphasis added by me):

You said you wanted to improve the quality of your portfolio like Elliot yet you insist on XYZ? Elliot may promote these crappy extensions heavily but he dosent use them, like a Drug Baron. He only invests in quality and improves his portfolio year on year.”

I appreciate the comment about my improving my portfolio because that is the aim of my business, but I take umbrage in the comparison that was made.  There are two things that I think are inaccurate in the comment that I would like to discuss.

The first issue  is with the comment that I “may promote these crappy extensions heavily.” I disagree with this. I certainly write about the new extensions quite a bit, but most of the articles would not be considered “promotion.” I provide coverage about a topic that is all over the news, and I share my insight and opinion. More often than not, the articles I write aren’t about investing in the domain names but are either industry news or news that was reported in the mainstream media that I wanted to discuss further.

I have been  pretty clear that I don’t consider the new domain names  a good investment for individual investors. Topical articles about the new domain extensions bring eyeballs to this blog and drive good discussion. As a result, advertisers from all aspects of the domain investment space are interested in advertising opportunities.  Yes, there are many companies that advertise their new gTLD domain names,  and I am not going to prohibit registries from advertising because that would be stupid.

Neil was also  inaccurate when he wrote “he doesn’t use them.” I do actually use a new domain name extension.  TeamSilver.Rocks is my Pan-Mass Challenge team fundraising landing page. The .Rocks extension suits my needs, and Rightside is sponsoring our ride. Sure, I am not using many new extensions, but the statement was inaccurate. I would also have no problem using Silver.Ventures should I create a new company for other business ventures and investments.

I feel like a broken record when I say that I am not investing in the new gTLD domain extensions nor do I recommend that people buy them either. Investing in domain name is my business, and everyone has their own risk tolerance and investment outlook. I wouldn’t begrudge someone from investing in the new gTLD domain names, but it’s clear that they do not really fit into my portfolio right now. There are reasons for people and companies to use the new extensions just like I am using mine, but that isn’t domain investing and this blog is primarily about investing in domain names.

I am pretty sure Neil did not mean to be offensive when he posted his comment since it was fairly complimentary, but I was a bit taken aback that I was accused of promoting the new extensions “heavily,” and I wanted to clear things up.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. Domains are like high class “who&^^%res”—attractive to your eyeballs and makes your senses go wild and also makes you think they are easy but you have to pay BIG BUCKS FOR HER/his services.

    When I type the url , I will and will always type in the dot com at the end.

  2. I do not understand why he had to choose that to call you. It could have been anything else almost but ya know Neil may not be a reader of your and follow your blog. I sure follow it and read most of your post.

    • Personally I would gladly promote a very small few of them, because some of them are really quite excellent and I’m primarily a user of domains instead of someone who sells.

  3. Elliot doesn’t even explicitly promote .com here. He simply describes what he’s about and his view without trying to prescribe. Do recall him making a statement in support of the new gTLDs once in terms of representing an opportunity for people to use, but was one little statement. He certainly doesn’t promote them. On a related note, just goes to show you how sometimes it seems necessary to address a reader’s comment post.

  4. It could be because there are 10 banner ads on the page and sometimes the background ad also. So maybe he meant to infer your advertising promoting the gTLD extensions and not you in your posts?

  5. First of all I’d like to apologize to Elliot for calling him a “Drug Baron” as its not a true comparison or a nice thing to say. I could’t find another true comparison of what I wanted to put across.
    But I stand by my stance of you promoting your advertisers even subliminally like the time you did with dot PW. like this example https://www.domaininvesting.com/namejet-auctioning-premium-pw-domain-names/
    Even Shane had a jibe at you.Whatever you may think by creating posts like that they are promotion plain and simple and newbies that hang on to your every word will buy into these absolute garbage extensions because you are recommending them.
    Its like when DNForum were one of your advertisers you mentioned them at least twice a week but when they stopped…nada. I cant remember the last time you mentioned them.I dont have a problem with you promoting advertisers thats what everyone does and its your right but I have trouble with extensions that you as an investor know is garbage but promote them because they are advertisers. But I think the PW promotion posts were the ones that lost a bit of respect not just by me but by many others as you may have read on the other blog comments at the time and I think you still get a backlash every now and then about your blurred advertising and promotion methods which stem from those PW posts.
    Even if you think you are not promoting something by doing a post you are sometimes like the other day with saying Embrace.com is not for sale which in itself was a promotion for offers for Embrace.
    BTW when I say use a Gtld extension I mean actually using it as part of your business ie. buying and selling actively and building out full websites on them not promotional stuff.
    But I apologize for the name calling. No matter what I say you are one of the domain blogs to read of all time.

    • I’ll try to address everything you’ve mentioned – thanks for the thorough comment (and apology).

      This is a blog, so a lot of things I write about are about what I am doing and/or my company. I think that differentiates this website from other websites. It’s not simply a news site, but a place to read about what I am doing and why I am doing it. This also means there are mentions of acquisitions like Embrace.com. Of all the domain names I own and mentioned on my blog, I think Embrace.com is a bad example because it’s one of the few domain names I don’t want to sell. If anything, you may be able to criticize me for showing off/flaunting acquisitions like this, but that is a matter of opinion.

      I have written well over 5,000 articles on this website. One of the negatives about having advertisers and writing basically on my own is that I always feel like I need to write articles to keep traffic up. Most advertisers don’t even ask about traffic numbers before advertising (or during their commitment), but I still feel like I want to ensure they get their money’s worth. This means that sometimes there are articles that were posted because they were convenient. Sometimes this low hanging fruit is about an auction taking place or is about a company’s news that may not be super interesting to everyone. I don’t think I am ever going to deviate about domain names and start writing filler about other tertiary topics, so there are sometimes a limited amount of topics. Regarding the .PW auction you mentioned, the only thing I would have changed is the “Premium” mention in the title. It should have been emphasizing the keywords rather than the domain names. On another note, the .PW registry is managed by the same company as the .Site and .Tech registries (http://icannwiki.com/Radix). As you can see, .Site and .Tech have been advertising for quite some time and I don’t think I’ve written about them at all. One thing I can tell you is that I don’t offer advertisers any sponsored articles and I don’t sell sponsored articles, aside from the very rare occasion when I offer them in exchange for a large donation to charity. In those cases, it is very clearly written that a donation was given in exchange for the article, as evidenced here: https://www.domaininvesting.com/companyname-com-new-domain-marketplace-launched/

      People should understand that the companies that advertise tend to have employees who focus on marketing and promotion of their business. This means that many of these companies (or their PR teams) are emailing me regularly to share news and updates. Sometimes I write about this news, and oftentimes I don’t. It really depends on my interest in the news, my schedule, how much has been published that day, and whether or not I think people will be interested in reading about it.

      Specifically regarding DNForum, most of the mentions in the past few year are things like the post about IJ.com (posted last week: https://www.domaininvesting.com/ij-com-brokered-by-domain-holdings/), which I had seen on DNF when I did some research about the domain name. Frankly, I don’t see very many articles specifically about DNF though. Further, NicheWebsites.com, another business owned by Adam Dicker, advertised for over a year and I don’t even see any mentions in articles (I searched NicheWebsites.com and “Niche Websites”). Advertising is most definitely not a criteria for news to be written. A good example is GoDaddy. I have written dozens if not hundreds of articles mentioning the company and GoDaddy has never advertised here. Similarly, Domain Capital has been advertising since 2009 or maybe even 2008, and I have only mentioned the company a handful of times.

      I write about things that interest me. That can include analysis of domain industry news, domain names in the news, my business, advice, things I come across…etc, etc. I did not go to journalism school and only took one Communications class in college. I do my best to be a writer, publisher, marketer and other various roles as operator of this website, and I do my best to keep this more of a news/opinion website rather than promoting things. It’s not easy operating a blog of this nature, especially one that has regular articles. Sometimes there are articles that are published because they are very easy (ie a good PR person sent me news with some key highlights and I had nothing else to write about that day so I posted it). I wouldn’t like reading those either, and I think they are few and far between.

      I appreciate your feedback, but I don’t think that I am promoting anything regularly let alone “heavily.” We may have to agree to disagree on that though.

      I also appreciate your apology. Hopefully I addressed your points.

      I apologize that this reply is a bit disjointed – I was up early this morning with the kids and am squeezing in some time to reply before I head out.

  6. Neil may, or may not, have a point. However, this sort of public argument does not help the industry. Could this not have been resolved privately?

    • I have no idea who Neil is, so I could not have replied privately. His comment was also publicly made.

      I also don’t think articles need to “help the industry.” I am more concerned with my reputation.

      Finally, it was something interesting to write about on a slow news day on my way home from vacation.


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