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Great Castello Brothers Interview

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I have a great deal of respect for David and Michael Castello and what they’ve done for the domain industry.   Not only do they own an incredible group of developed geodomains including LagunaBeach.com, WestPalmBeach.com, and Nashville.com (among others), but they also have some other great generic non-geo related domain names names as well.
Aside from their tremendous portfolio of domain names, the Castello Brothers are genuinely nice guys who are always willing to give advice. I am especially thankful for the advice they have both given me for my Lowell.com development project. Recently, they were interviewed on SimplyGeo.com in a two part interview. Part One of the interview was posted yesterday, and Part Two was just posted today. This interview is a must read!

Oversee.net Receives $150 Million Investment

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As discussed on TheDomains.com, Oversee.net received a commitment for a $150 million investment from Oak Hill Capital Partners. The transaction is expected to close by the end of January 2008. Oversee.net recently made news with their acquisition of domain registrar Moniker, and the transition to working as one collective unit has already begun. I received an email this afternoon with the subject, “SnapNames and Moniker Collaborate on Internext Domain Auction.”
According to Conde Nast publication Portfolio.com, “the funds will be used to boost growth and to acquire technologies that will enhance its suite of services.
Let’s hope future acquisitions continue to help individual companies build upon the strong foundation of its buyer.

Creating Partnerships in the Domain Industry

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There have been plenty of times that I’ve seen certain people in the business build a successful website, and I admired their vision, work ethic and execution. On more than one occasion, I’ve even said to myself, “I’d like to work with that person if I ever have an opportunity.”
With all the consolidation that has been occurring in the domain industry, it would be smart to continue to see various individuals and small companies putting their collective heads together to create something truly unique. I am sure that Bido is going to be very successful without even knowing exactly what it is, simply because Sahar, Darren, Ron and Jeff are involved, and these guys know the domain industry.
More often than not, domain investors and developers work individually or with a single partner. While this can be productive, it doesn’t always allow for new ideas to germinate. Working with a partner can teach all parties new things and new ways to solve problems. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one.
Obviously for this to work, the partners have to be able to work with each other, which can pose many challenges in and of itself. My advice is to be upfront with a potential partner if it doesn’t look like things will work out. A partnership can be a great thing, and it can help propel your business and the domain industry forward.

NYC Domainer Dinner – January 21

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For those of you who are unable to attend DomainFest, I am organizing a Domainer Dinner in New York City on Monday, January 21 at Dos Caminos in Manhattan. If you are interested in attending, please drop me a note ASAP. We have several people commited so far, and I need to confirm the reservation by this Thursday.

Hidden Issue of "Ghost Records" at Domain Registrars

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A few months ago, I encountered a problem at one of my registrars where domain names were still listed in my account even though I transferred these names out to buyers who used other registrars. While the Whois records displayed the correct ownership, these names were still showing up in my account. This was confusing as the names still looked like they were under my control, but I didn’t have any control over them and they weren’t really in my account.
I contacted my account manager who asked me to list all of the names that shouldn’t be listed in my account, so the issue could be resolved by technical support. I was afraid to do that, as I feared a mistake would lead to the cancellation of a domain name I owned. Since there were at least a few dozen of these names, and I have a significant number of domain names in this account, the process of going through my records would have been tedious. Also, since many of the names involved were average names that I had sold, it wouldn’t have been as obvious as some premium generics I sold, and I was afraid that I would accidentally list a name I still owned.
I had never experienced this “ghost record” issue at other registrars, so I put the question out there on a domain forum, and a number of people emailed me telling me that they had gone through the same problem with various registrars at some point. Fortunately, as luck would have it, I was contacted by Jason Lavigne, Business Development manager at Rebel.com & Pool.com, who gave me a suggestion to pass along to my registrar. With Jason’s permission to post, this is what he advised me to do:

“The problem can be greatly reduced by regularly running a script to check against the whois or by using the registry message queue. The registry message queue advises registrars every time a domain is added or removed from a registrar and is more reliable than using the whois. If a registrar checks their message queue daily for transfer away notices and then adjusts their database they should be able to minimize ghost records as we’ve done at Rebel.com.”

With this information, I emailed my account representative and asked to have the customer support group run the transfer away script against the Whois records. A couple of days later, these ghost records were all removed from my account, and the problem disappeared.
Thanks a bunch to Jason for that great advice!

Rick Schwartz Sells $750k Domain Name

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On his blog today, Rick Schwartz announced that he recently completed a $750,000 domain deal. The deal will be announced on DNJournal’s Weekly Sales Report in the next week or two. This is great, as most large non-auction sales do not get reported. I believe the more public sales we see reported, the better for the domain industry, as outsiders frequently use completed sales as a means to evaluate the health of the industry.
I am currently in Lowell, Massachusetts taking pictures and doing research for my Lowell.com website. I had a great day exploring the city, and I hope to write more about it on Monday.   Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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